By Walter Rutledge
PS Dance!, an inspiring documentary showcasing the profound effects of dance education in NYC public schools, will air on tri-state public television station NJTV on May 26 at 10:00 p.m. The television program has already aired May 15 on WNET (THIRTEEN), and May 17 on WLIW21. The full film will also be available for online streaming at THIRTEEN.org/specials.
PS Dance! hosted by veteran TV journalist Paula Zahn and filmed in the classrooms of five NYC public school full-time certified dance educators. The film captures a typical day in the classrooms of five extraordinary master dance educators. The five educator are: Catherine Gallant (Pre-K-5), Battery Park City’s P.S. 89; Ana Nery Fragoso(K-5),the current NYCDOE Director of Dance, P.S. 315 in Midwood; Michael Kerr (6-8), Brooklyn’s New Voices School of Academic & Creative Arts; Patricia Dye (9-12), Science Skills Center High School for Science, Technology and the Creative Arts in Downtown Brooklyn; and Ani Udovicki (9-12), Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, in Long Island City.
The film reveals the impact that consistent and sequential dance instruction has on students’ aesthetic, artistic and expressive development. PS DANCE! highlights how the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance, PreK-12, supports dance teachers in developing creativity and imagination through dance. “This eye-opening film shows dance education at its best and it happens in New York City public schools,” explains Jody Gottfried Arnhold.
Arnold has been instrumental in facilitating these programs in New York’s public schools since 2004. Together with producer and director, award-winning dance filmmaker, Nel Shelby, and Joan Finkelstein, former NYCDOE Director of Dance 2004-2014, collaborated on this labor of love. The film shows the ways dance and the arts can affect the trajectory of student development. PS DANCE! took two years to complete.
PS DANCE! will be available on DVD, distributed by First Run Features. The proceeds from the sale of the film will go to the Fund for Public Schools for dance education programs in the NYC Public Schools. To donate directly to the Fund for Public School (for those interested in increasing the reach of dance education in NYC) there is a link on the website psdancenyc.com.