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Spring Dance Residency - Waco, Texas

Midway ISD, Waco, Texas


Scene from "Forest Deep: A Rain Forest Trilogy" photo by David Quintero

"Rondonia: The Rain Forest in Words Music & Dance"


Editor's Note: Whenever anyone asks you just how important the Internet is to Education and the Arts, keep this story in mind:

In early August of 1998 the Texas Commission on the Arts announced that all applications for grants would have to be applied for over the Internet. There were mixed feelings among artists and groups about the requirement to be "internet accessible", some had no problem as they were already on the net, others (like Discovery Dance Group) sighed deeply and begrudgingly complied. As Managing Director , we secured Internet access through PDQ, a local Houston, Texas ISP. Once we were able to send and receive email we became aware of the value of the net, and took PDQ up on its offer of a free website, and thus was born Discovery Dance Group's website.

Later we obtained the domain name and with zero experience, began to build the site. By the summer of 1999 the website had become quite popular among dancers on the web, and many came to visit the new website. In August of 1999 a lady from Waco, Texas visited the TCA website and read about Discovery Dance Groups touring programs, she followed a link from their site to Discovery's and read about the several curriculum-relative "Arts in Education Programs" offered for Texas Secondary Schools. She sent an email to us and asked if Discovery would be interested in coming to Waco, Texas to perform in the schools of the Midway Independent School District. We immediately replied and then began a lengthy email and phone correspondence. Over the next 6 months emails flew between Waco, Houston, Fort Worth and Austin, the successful results of those efforts are described below. We are convinced that this wonderful collaboration would have never occurred if Discovery Dance Group had not been on the Internet!

Many thanks are offered to Rick Hernandez (TCA), for spearheading the TCA web-initiative, Laura Wiegand (TCA) for explaining it to all of us, Betty Switzer (TCA) for being Betty Switzer, Nancy Goodnight (Midway ISD PTA) for being curious about Discovery and following up, Fran Schoultz (Midway ISD PTA) for being patient and cooperative, Pam Pilgrim (Midway ISD PTA) for making it all clear to the District, and Anina Moore (TCA) for helping them get a TCA Touring Grant. Without their help this project would have never happened.

Jacqpea Franco-Stockman



This awesome digital photograph was taken in Bitteroot National Forest in Montana by John McColgan, is a fire behavior analyst from Fairbanks, Alaska. It doesn't matter where the forests burn, in the Amazon Rain Forest, or in the Western USA, we all lose!


RONDONIA - The Rain Forest in Words, Music & Dance

Discovery Dance Group presented a 3-day Spring Dance Residency for Midway Independent School District in Waco, Texas from Wednesday March 15th through Friday March 17th, 2000. The company performed at three Midway ISD schools, Midway Intermediate (5th & 6th grades). Woodway Elementary (K-4th grades) and South Bosque Elementary (K-4th grades).

The company presented a concert of dance at Midway Intermediate on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, that included "Forest Deep - A Rain Forest Trilogy", "We Are Travelers" , "Swing Shift" and "Marriage of the Millennium".

Thursday afternoon the company presented its Rain Forest Program "Rondonia - The Rain Forest in Words, Music & Dance", an exciting program of poetry, music and dance that underscores the importance of the Rain Forest to a highly receptive audience at Woodway Elementary. Students at Woodway participated in the program by reading poems from the program, including "Parrots", "Bugs, Bugs, Bugs", "Nut Tree", "Trees Breathe", "Three-Toed Sloth","Monkeys", and closing with "Worms".

Friday morning the company returned to Woodway Elementary and repeated the program for another group of attentive students, who also read poems between the dances. What a wonderful opportunity for both the company and the students to perform together!

Friday afternoon the company went to South Bosque Elementary and presented "Rondonia - The Rain Forest in Words, Music & Dance" for their students. A beautiful school with wonderful students!

A wonderful experience for everyone involved, dancers, staff, students, teachers and parents!

Thank you Waco, Midway PTAs & Midway ISD!

Special Thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Patel of VICTORIAN INNS at I-35, Exit 335C in Waco, and Gracey Tune & Linda Tongberg for their help in making this Tour possible!


Comments from those who saw the performance, include:

Nancy Goodnight - South Bosque Elementary PTA

"Just wanted to tell you again what a wonderful program you have. I am so fortunate to have come across your website last August. Feel free to use us as references... I would love to share my opinion with everyone!"

 Nancy Goodnight


Pamela Pilgrim - MISD Council of PTA's

"Your performers are wonderful! They are so talented! We have had lots of compliments from teachers, parents and students about the excellant quality and variety of dances. The different ages of the dancers were an inspiration for us all!"

Pamela Pilgrim


Lana Koziol - Woodway Elementary, MISD

"Thanks for sharing your gifts and talents with my seven and eight year old students.  We are so blessed from your shower of warmth and tender care.  My students continue to talk and draw on this positive experience you brought into their lives.  As you know, many of my students had never seen a live ballet performance.  They were enthralled and mesmerized by the butterfly, lizard, anaconda, and rubber tapper dances. The second graders  have written in their journals and drawn the performers.  I will try and color copy some of these for you to enjoy."

"Thanks for exposing them lovingly to ballet and poetry.  Please give a special "thank you" to Marcus and Michael for lifting Russell up for the class pictures.  They have truly sparked his interest in ballet. It is so profound to hear things like,  'Did you see how the butterfly ran down the hall in her costume and leaped while she said,  I love this school!'  The children are forever indebted to these talented people for listening and giving value to the children's comments."

"We will write and send you some letters when we finish our Iowa Test of Basic Skills this week and the CoGat next week.  The children have two weeks of tests coming up.  Wasn't it great timing to have them so relaxed by the performances for these upcoming events?"

"I look forward to hearing from you and getting a mailing address.  Thanks for telling the students that they can grow up to be happy and successful, too. We are basking from your mission of hope and encouragement."


Lana Koziol


Discovery Dance Group offers several curriculum-relevant Dance Programs for schools K-12, see them at Page 4 - Educational Dance Programs




Home | Hill Method | Educational Projects | History | Upcoming Events | Links | Portraits | Choreography | Archival Photos | Tap N.O. | JDWC 1999 | Contact | Spring Residency - Waco | Cinderella 2000