Amy Tepperman of The GROOVE EDGEucation came to WCI this past Tuesday, November 17th, to deliver a workshop for students of all grades and backgrounds. The presentation, hosted in the main gymnasium, included a speech and dance activity aimed at breaking down judgemental barriers that inhibit students from being inclusive, while highlighting qualities that will put students in “The Groove,” a term she uses to describe a state of productivity and well-being.
The dance portion of the workshop, led by Tepperman, consisted of a series of dance sequences that she asked participants to add their own variation to. It started with walking around the room, everyone in their own direction, and lead to more complex Beyoncé-esque dance moves.
Participation in the dance activity was higher than expected, and Tepperman said, “being able to see a group of high school students let go and just have this successful dance party is unbelievably satisfying.” She added, “I had no idea how it was going to go and everyone totally embraced it.” Most of the students responded to Tepperman’s speech; however, there were outliers who stayed by the walls and declined to participate in the activity.
Those invited to the event ranged from all areas of the school. Tepperman commented on the diversity, noting that “…it wasn’t one grade specifically or specific group.” Students were selected by Mrs. Notarfranco, the teacher responsible for the organization of the event, based on teacher recommendation and participation in similar workshops and conferences. Over 80 students and teachers were in attendance, including a large portion of the Life Skills class.
Tepperman established The GROOVE EDGEucation with her friend, who previously worked as an educator, after leaving her career in animation. They are currently based out of Toronto, and visit 100’s of elementary and high schools annually.