Saturday, November 8, 2008

Field Trip Review: Lincoln Center Meet the Artist Series

On Thursday I went on my first field trip. I took my 9th grade Spanish 1 class to a flamenco performance at Lincoln Center. Lincoln Center has a special "Meet the Artist" school series that mixes performance with a little arts instruction. Programs are available for students of all ages: there are programs geared to elementary, middle and high school students. The hour long performance cost each student $5.00 and lunch money as they wouldn't be back to school in time to eat in the cafeteria. The trip ran smoothly, 26 students ended up attending and I had two chaperones with me and my class as well. I found the performance entertaining and educational, my students seemed to be enjoy it as well.

The only criticism I have of the experience was of the man presenting. My class was sitting in the middle section (directly in front of the stage) taking up half of the first row, as well as the entire second and third rows. Towards the end of the performance the dancer stopped and said "You know, you shouldn't sit in the front row if you are not going to applaud." I had noticed that my students were not applauding very loudly, but they certainly weren't being rude or inappropriate. His comment at first embarrassed me, but then it just angered me. My class is made up of a very diverse group of students. Some of my students have probably never been to a dance performance and were trying to be polite and well-behaved, others I'm sure are just shy and it might not be in their nature or natural for them to applaud loudly. Regardless the reason I think it is obnoxious to demand applause in such a way. On our way out the director gave me a comment form that I will be filling out, explaining my concerns.

All in all it was a good experience, but next time I bring a class I'll be sure to discuss with them the importance of applause when they are enjoying a show.

For more information about Lincoln Center's Meet the Artist series please visit this link:

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