Art Action experience: Volunteer teaching of ballet to Inuit children

Theme 4. Education
Session Name 4.1 Educating next generation leaders for Arctic & global challenges
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Anne Larcher (Laval University, Canada)
Abstract text

When one offers to volunteer teaching ballet to youth in an Inuit community in Northern Quebec, people can wonder about what it can bring to the youth on the one hand and to the teacher on the other hand.Assessing the objectives that I wanted to achieve as a teacher was key to target the appropriate teaching content. It could have been limited to the children “having a good time” but I was more ambitious than this. I could not ignore the issues of the North: high suicide rate among the youth, school dropping, the fact that (at the time) one quarter of the children were followed by social services and the lack of ethnical mix in the community. My goal was to give this young people with the tools necessary to open up in their own environment. Far from me the idea of them becoming professional ballerinas. Also, I focused on the following: 1) respect of the group 2) responsibility of each one towards the group 3) ambition to outperform and go beyond conceivable, especially as a group and 4) trust into the elders and those who have experience.

I propose to present how these objectives materialized in terms of choice of the show produced and its content, what were the difficulties met and how it was received by the community. I will include what I personally got from the experience and how it was key in my later life choices as an artist specialized in social art.

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