Photos by Shana Sureck, an incredible photographer and mother of Tali, a dance student who is highlighted in the film.
Storytelling Through Documentary Film | PS DANCE! The Next Generation
Years later, I still feel so privileged to have directed & produced PS DANCE! — a documentary showcasing the inspiring impact of dance education in NYC public schools. (You can stream the film on THIRTEEN.org).
This incredible, life-changing project, created with Jody Gottfried Arnhold and Joan Finkelstein, was a dream come true. To collaborate so closely with passionate and brilliant people like Jody and Joan (not to mention all of the dance educators featured in the film!) was a treasured time.
Before making that first PS DANCE! film, I didn’t fully realize that I’m an advocate for dance education.
Jody came into my life and pointed it out. When she invited me into the classrooms of five NYC public school dance educators, I felt the world get brighter. With little notice of my arrival, and no script in place, my team captured everyday lessons and spontaneous reactions from teachers and students.
I witnessed joy and confidence blooming in elementary school, saw collaboration and caring thrive in middle school, and cried behind the camera while high schoolers told me how dance had saved their lives.
We knew this film would continue to illuminate the powerful impact dance education can have on every child…
…And we knew we had more stories to tell!!
Jody approached me about a second film in September 2018. Since 2019, and we’ve been quietly readying a new documentary for broadcast.
I am so thrilled to share with you some details about PS DANCE! THE NEXT GENERATION — our newest documentary film.
This film focuses on an exceptional and inspiring program created by Ann Biddle (Founding Faculty for Jody’s Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) and newly appointed Director of The DEL Institute). High school and middle school dance students are immersed in DEL’s teaching methods and emerge inspired and empowered. Each year, they put into practice what they’ve learned by leading elementary school students in a three-week dance intensive!
This unique combination of community service, mentoring, collaborative teaching and high-level training is nothing short of transformational:
- High school students step into real leadership roles
- Middle school students gain skills and receive mentorship
- Elementary school students welcome dance as part of their school day and are deeply inspired by the older students leading the way
PS DANCE! THE NEXT GENERATION, follows the journey of Ann and her students as they build confidence, learn responsibility, and find their passion.
It’s nearly complete, and we should have broadcast dates to share with you soon!
Dance education is a necessity, and I’m grateful to share this message through the medium of documentary film. I can’t wait for you to tune in!
More information soon!