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2nd Graders Make Plea for Planet Earth in Original Dance Performances

2nd Graders Make Plea for Planet Earth in Original Dance Performances

Susan Thomasson’s spring dance workshop has become a hallmark of the second grade experience. Watch both of this year’s culminating performances.

As she has done each spring for almost a decade, Susan Thomasson traveled from New York City to spend two weeks on campus in May, introducing Convent & Stuart Hall second graders to the world of dance.

Ms. Thomasson, a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Education since 1980, has performed a wide variety of modern dance styles and toured with some of the most notable dance companies such as Bill T. Jones and Rosalind Newman. With each workshop, she begins by teaching the fundamental movements of dance before diving into more advanced choreography, culminating with performances inspired by the second grade curriculum in front of parents and students in Syufy Theatre.

Weeklong sessions for boys and girls are held separately, but both of this year's workshops focused on the same theme: the destruction of our planet's resources.

Stuart Hall students performed Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, which chronicles the plight of the environment. The main character is an industrialist who cuts down a forest of Truffula Trees to make disposable clothing. Convent second graders told the story of The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry, which follows two woodcutters who go to the Amazon Rainforest and learn from the rainforest creatures about the importance of a great Ceiba tree that they had considered chopping down.

Ms. Thomasson's annual residency is made possible by the Beaux Arts Artist-in-Residence Program.

You can watch full-length recordings of both performances below.

Stuart Hall Performance, May 19, 2023

Convent Performance, May 26, 2023