CTB's Recipe for Creative Explosion


I love reading recipes and cooking up uniquely delicious treats.  And for sure, what Celebrate The Beat created for the Vail International Dance Festival was unique in its wild joy and energy and delicious in celebration of the captivating wonder of dance.

So, here is CTB's Recipe for a Creative Explosion


3 tireless lead teaching artists

3 dedicated assistant teaching artists

3 brilliant musicians

1 large elementary school

120 children

1 Bill Irwin

2 school buses

1 amphitheater

3 helpful interns

A pinch of Damian and Heather


1.  Choose a curricular theme - ours was Visual Arts - and hone in on Big Idea - ours was Chagall, Picasso and Haring.

2.  Hire appropriate staff - mostly local.  Tim Ribner from Seattle was a great choice as our incredible Musical Director.  Follow up with said staff regarding plane tickets, etc.

2.  Choose music to support Big Idea - Carmen, Klezmer, Gypsy Jazz and hip hop.

3.  Create choreography at a Professional Development retreat. Film the choreography.  

4.  Enroll families in POP HOP and prepare all for what is/was in-store which is/was: dancing for three hours daily, for a week.

5.  DANCE. Start with building the finale - letter “H” for ‘Haring’. Use constant inventiveness, humor, challenges and basically every ounce of energy you have to keep 120 children fully engaged for three hours each day.

6.  Keep rehearsing and mix in Bill Irwin.

7.  Keep rehearsing and, on the day of the show, bus the children to the stage at 3:00pm.

8.  Space the children on the stage from 4:00-5:00pm after being stuck in crazy traffic on I-70.

9.  Have a pizza party and then entertain 120 children for two hours by splitting them into five distinct groups and having the teachers rotate from group-to-group engaging them in a new game every 20 minutes.

10.  Change into t-shirt costumes, walk down a long path to backstage, pass Misty Copeland and….

11. Perform to the delight of a crowd of thousands….


Watch the delight on the faces of those in the audience and bask in their applause.