Karla Nweje is an arts educator, choreographer, performer, and literary artist known for cultivating partnerships across organizations and programs to make quality arts experiences accessible to all learners. Karla is a regular presenter and speaker at arts and education conferences and serves on the teaching artist roster for many organizations.
Lesson 1: I Am Here – spoken word poem and choreography
Length: 21 minutes
Recommended Grade Levels: 6 – 12
Description: In this workshop video, Karla introduces students to the history of oral storytelling traditions in the African American community and the important role that griots and story tellers have played in passing down history and culture through generations. Karla will introduce both a spoken word poem and accompanying dance that she created titled “I Am Here”, and then lead students in a physical warm-up activity to get bodies and minds engaged. After learning the four individual phrases of choreography – going through each phrase slowly first, then up tempo – students will put the entire sequence together. You may need to revisit sections of the video for additional practice and repetition, so here are several timestamps to refer back to:
- Beginning: History and context
- 3:37 – Participatory warm-up activity
- 6:13 – Learning the four dance phrases
- 16:19 – Combining the four dance phrases
- 19:40 – The Big Finish! Full dance sequence with music
Be on the lookout for Karla’s second workshop video, coming soon, which is in sequence as a “Part 2” to this video.
Vimeo Link: https://vimeo.com/507134503/a880fa854e
YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/5LczMKeoNok