Dance artist from Scotland teams with ArtSouth for week of events

Aimee Friel, a dance artist from Scotland, journeyed to Palmetto Bay to participate in ArtSouth summer camp events from July 10 to 14, partly as an observer but also to teach a master dance class.

Friel currently teaches and facilitates dance on a full-time basis with classes for children, young offenders at Polmont Prison, teenagers at secure units/safe centers, young parents and their babies, and for people with additional support needs and disabilities.

The schedule of events took place as follows:
Monday July 10, Silent Victims of Crime, Young Men’s Preparatory Academy, 3001 NW Second Ave., Miami;
Tuesday July 11, Sweet Home Academy, 10701 SW 184 St., Cutler Bay;
Wednesday July 12, Everglades Correctional Institution;
Thursday July 13, Miami Dade College Homestead Campus, 500 College Terrace, Homestead, and

Friday, July 14, Perrine Community House, 900 SW 97 Ave., Palmetto Bay.

Friel initially had made inquiries to ArtSouth, looking for an international cross-training opportunity and an organization at which she could intern and learn. Janis Klein-Cohen, board chair of ArtSouth, who has previously teamed with the Village of Palmetto Bay to host exhibitions of local artists at Perrine Community House as well as organized art classes and other events, welcomed the opportunity. The mission of ArtSouth is “to inspire understanding and appreciation of the arts for historically underrepresented communities.”

Attending the event at Perrine Community House with Friel were ArtSouth representatives Janis Klein-Cohen, Stacy Sobol, Wendy Robbins, Theresa Afcha, and about 30 young people of various ages from the summer camp programs in Perrine and Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church.

After the concluding event on Friday, Friel was pleased with the program.

“ArtSouth’s values and my values are a good fit,” she said. “I learned a lot from the experience.”

Besides the regular dance routines, there was one exercise called “The Handshake Game,” which was more basic and didn’t require dance training or skills, but which Friel still viewed as beneficial.

“The students got closer to each other by making eye contact and physical contact,” Friel said. “I got a really good response from the boys because it tapped into their competitive spirit.”

In a statement to ArtSouth, Friel had said that she was particularly interested in their Arts Beyond the Classroom Program.

“Multi-disciplinary work is something that I wrote my university dissertation on, therefore it’s always been an area of interest in my career,” Friel said. “I am currently getting to explore this interest further through my work at YDance. I create and deliver lessons in schools which use dance to reinforce the learning from the classroom. I have learned a lot but I also know there is always so much more to learn.”


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