“The object of performing is to give life shape.” – William Shakespeare

The performing arts transcend barriers and unify our society, and to some degree or another we all take part in the art of performing. Whether it’s giving a presentation at work, teaching your children an important lesson or simply retelling a funny fib from early in the day, there is an element of performance in all of it. In short, the performing arts encompass an enormous umbrella of expression and storytelling.

Performing

So Why Is it Important?

There are many reasons why the performing arts are important, but we feel each reason can be housed under these three main principles:

  1. It helps us connect to the world around us.
    Have you ever gone to a show and been lifted, entertained or changed because of it? Maybe not, but chances are when meaningful music is sung or the inspiring and passionate dance is witnessed, it affected you in some way. That’s because when we put stories together with music it gives us new perspective and new tools to face and fix our problems individually and collectively.
  2. Performing on stage builds confidence.
    While confidence isn’t everything, it does help us in achieving our potential. In our world of likes, shares and retweets, so much of our self-worth tends to be measured by others. And while a portion of performing does give us a sense of validation from others, when kept in check, performing is a source of affirmation for our own self-worth.
  3. The performing arts helps us finding meaning.
    The performing arts gives the participant an opportunity to find meaning in the menial and magnificent tasks in life. Performing is important to our society, because it fills a void; giving reason to confusing or complicated questions we may ask. When stories are made into music it can become something that can move us and heal us and help us live better.

Other Effects of the Performing Arts

Sadly, the performing arts also have the potential to be destructive. Some performances today have become too sensational and tend to use extreme measures to delight or entertain an audience. Part of that cause comes from the demand of audiences to produce material that is more edgy and shocking. The other part may stem from a writer’s inability to generate new ideas or just the simple fact that scaling back the morality of a production means it will get more views.
This effect has shifted the intention of much of the performing arts and made it difficult to train in an uplifting environment. But at INSPIRE, we think performing can maintain it’s integrity and still bring delight and light to the stage. It’s important for some to choose a higher road in the performing world, and that is a road we have chosen to take and a road we will stay on.

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Are you looking for something for your kids to do this summer–look no further! There are many summer camps and reasons to get your kids out in the community and staying busy this summer. Here are 10 reasons, in no particular order, that you should sign up your kids for one of INSPIRE Entertainment’s Summer Music/Dance Camps.

10. Performance Skills

This summer we are excited to help your children learn to become performers not just singers or dancers. They will get opportunities to be a part of a team/group. They will be building scenes together, mastering incredible music, and dancing till they drop…and then they will be begging you for more.

Learning these performing skills can  greatly impact  their school and personal lives for the better. It will help improve your child’s social interactions, their confidence, their self esteem, and their ability to communicate. Give your child a boost in life by bringing them to our camps!

9. Some Needed Free Time for You

You need some time this summer, now that the kids are out of school, to get things done. Why not drop them off at INSPIRE Entertainment’s brand new facility and give them an opportunity to not only have fun but learn a LOT about themselves, others, and the power of music and performance.

Leave your kids with us and have confidence in knowing that it will be well worth your time, money, and go out and do something for yourself!

8. Community Relationships 

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Being a part of INSPIRE Entertainment means that you know that your kids will also be a part of building their community. We love to not only perform in our community but also give back by getting involved in local service projects.

INSPIRE also loves to bring in community members to help our students learn and grow from others. We do workshops all the time that help students to get connected to other types of performing (Comedy, Opera, Disney, etc) and build strong ties with their community.

INSPIRE Entertainment is here to provide your children with a one-stop shop at getting diverse opportunities to learn, grow, and perform without having to leave Arizona.

7. Building Friendships

Think back to your most treasured friendship. such. great.memories, right?  Being a part of a team, creating memories together, performing as a group, watching your friends overcome insecurities, setting goals and reaching them…all of these things and more are part of what we aim to do with your children this summer.

INSPIRE Entertainment isn’t just about learning to dance, act, and sing–it is about so much more. We want to build character, respect, and create an environment that invites change, vulnerability, and so much more!

6.  Dance It Out

Do your kids get all kinds of restless and wiggly at home with nothing to do now that school is out? Are they knocking over your furniture and begging you to take them outside or to the park to play? What about dropping them off at one of our summer camps where they can dance it all out!

Connie Bergstein Dow wrote in “The Power of Creative Dance”, Evidence is mounting about the benefits of movement in the learning process. Creative dance is the perfect vehicle for enhancing the mind-body connection in young children and an important part of early education…The creative arts, by definition, nurture these aspects of developing children. Movement allows young children to approach tasks through the body, or kinesthetically, and come up with new questions, new answers, and innovative solutions.”

5.  So Much Fun!

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We LOVE to have fun! If your kids are looking for a place to get out their wiggles and have fun JOIN US this summer! WE have dancing, singing, performing, and so much more. Our staff is trained in working with children and teens and we love to see them smiling, laughing, and most of all, wanting to come back for more!

4.  Incredibly Experienced & Talented Staff

Did you know that each and every staff member at INSPIRE Entertainment has over 12+ years of experience in music/dance performance. Check out The Team on our website to discover how much talent we have packed into one place.

We have Disney Princesses, Teachers that have performed all over the world, on cruises, in BYU’s Vocal point and Young Ambassadors. We have incredible dance, musical theater, and vocal coaches who have not only performed for years but have music education and teaching degrees as well.

When you children work with our staff they will get the best of all we have to offer and more. We continue to bring in new talent, offer fun educational workshops, and our staff are always honing in on their crafts!

3. Brain Power

Just because your kids aren’t in school doesn’t mean they need to stop working their brains. Being involved in summer music/dance camps keeps your kids’ brains going all summer long!

“Because making music also involves crafting and understanding emotional content and message-musicians often have higher levels of executive functioning.” (Anita Collins)

“Music has been known to alleviate stress by increasing the body’s release of endorphins—the feel good chemicals. New research also reveals that music produces powerful effects on the brain, promoting cognitive development, verbal skills and emotional intelligence.”  (Mary Desaulniers)

2Confidence & Self Esteem Building

Confidence

In a recent INSPIRE Entertainment Blog post, “How Performance builds confidence & Self Esteem”, we found “students who were highly involved with the arts outperformed less-involved peers, even within low socioeconomic groups. Music, in particular, helps provide children with improved classroom skills, including critical thinking, creative problem solving, team work, and effective communication.”

This means that when your kids come to our summer camps not only will they have fun, make new friends, and learn a lot about music and performance but they will also build their confidence and self esteem!

1. Making Dreams Come True

With shows like “American Idol”, “The Voice”, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Dancing With The Stars” and so much more your kids are growing up with dreams of being dancers, entertainers, singers, performers, and so much more. They want to learn more but you’re not sure where to start.

Make your kid’s dreams come true by enrolling them in our summer camps! They will find adventure, fun, friends, and begin or continue an amazing journey that will take them to places they can’t imagine!

All Summer Camps will be held at the INSPIRE Entertainment Studio – 3244 E Guadalupe Rd Ste 108 Gilbert, AZ 85234. Meals will not be provided, so please make sure you eat breakfast before coming to camp each day and bring snacks or a lunch if needed throughout the day. There will be breaks periodically throughout each day.   Register NOW!

 “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

As children and teens navigate their great big world they can’t help but feel small and insignificant. The lucky ones are those who find something they love at an early age.  The rest seem to gravitate toward whatever they are closest to or where they feel the most accepted. I have always loved the opening quote of this blog because of its truth.  In life there will always be those who hear the music and those who don’t. Even more there will always be those who dance when they hear the music and those who don’t.  Performing Arts Programs create a fun and structured space for kids to navigate the ups and downs of their adolescence.

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Learning how to perform, singing with and in front of others, dancing as part of a team or group – all of these things help kids build a sense of purpose, camaraderie, confidence, and self esteem. Cheryl Lock’s article, “Turn to the Arts to Boost Self Esteem” , that was published on PBS.Org,  had a lot of great things to say about how the arts positively affect children. She also mentioned,

A 2005 Harris Poll found that 93 percent of Americans agreed the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education for children. In another 2009 study, 12 years of data was collected for the National Educational Longitudinal Survey to look at the effect of education, visual, and performing arts on the achievement and values of children. The study found that students who were highly involved with the arts outperformed less-involved peers, even within low socioeconomic groups. Music, in particular, helps provide children with improved classroom skills, including critical thinking, creative problem solving, team work, and effective communication.

change the world

A few months ago the founders of INSPIRE were able to witness one of their students sit down at a piano and sing a solo in front of a room filled with complete strangers. This particular student started coming to INSPIRE Youth classes a few years ago but she was quiet and lacked confidence in her abilities. After some time, a few solos, and lots of of bonding through the power music, she grew into an incredible performer. It was amazing to sit and watch her put those skills into action.

“Music CAN change the world because it CAN change the people.” (Bono Vox-U2)

*Each week we will offer blog posts like this one and encourage you to join our newsletter! For more information about INSPIRE Entertainment go to our website: www.inspireent.com or send an email to info@inspireent.com

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INSPIRE Entertainment was excited to invite Jester’Z over to help our students with improvisation.  “Since 2001 JesterZ Improv has been the leader of Improv comedy in the Phoenix Metro area. Whether you have performed as a Jester, taken one of the classes or been to our weekly shows, you know the value of JesterZ Improv to the Mesa/Phoenix area.” They offer Improv Classes, Live Performances, and Corporate Experiences!

We had so much fun working with the Improv specialist and learning some life long communication/social skills! Our students had the opportunity to play a few Improv games such as: “Yes, Let’s” where one partner would say “let’s go to the movies”, the other would say “yes and we’ll eat popcorIMG_20150217_194806n” and then the other person would say “Yes, let’s” and then they would physically move like they were going to do it. Another time they had the students give an applause with 100% energy and it was the loudest the kids had ever been!

Two other Improv games we played were called, ” Yeah, I know Because…” where you act like you know everything on stage. So one partner would say something and the other partner would say, “Yeah, I know because…” And the “Freeze” game where a group stood in a circle and 2 people were in the middle acting out a scene. Someone standing in the outer circle said freeze, goes and taps one of the 2 in the middle, and takes their place being frozen in the same position as the person they tapped, and then they continued the scene. Besides having a lot of fun there are some great lessons learned from improv and some assumptions that are just wrong.

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Wrong Assumptions

You Have to be Funny. The goal of improv is to pay attention and  fully commit to whatever you’re doing. When everyone does a few simple things well, in the right time, the result is comedy.

 You Have to be Good at it Already. Improv isn’t so much about talent as it is to commitment, enthusiasm, and a willingness to go there. It’s mostly about good old fashion games and timing.

It’s Hard to Learn. It’s amazing what happens when you throw people together, give them some rules, and let them make magic!

Lessons Learned

Play is Important! It is important to get back to our childhood roots now and again and just wiggle around, play, and have fun. Everyone needs to take the weight of the world off their shoulders and learn to be really present.

Making Room for Laughter. Taking time to laugh is essential to happiness in life. Thinking about the funny things you said or were asked to do in an Improv class can lighten any day/moment. Laughter and Improv build character and create a space where new and old friendships can blossom.

Questions and No’s Get in the Way. The improv rule of “Yes…and” makes it clear that questions kill momentum and slow things down. In this manner it gets people to try things before they ask a million questions. The game offers you a chance to build on others’ energy and for them to build on your energy.

Improvisation is Everywhere. Life is full of acting. No one gives you a script of how to say your lines or do your part throughout the day. Improv helps you to think on your feet, focus on the present, and work with others for an intended or unintended outcome.

INSPIRE was grateful to have the opportunity to do some workshops with Jester’Z and we plan to continue this kind of community outreach in the future!

I started playing the piano when I was 7 years old. I hated it! It was hard, repetitive, and I never wanted to play the songs my teacher picked out for me to play. I thought my mom was the meanest mom in the world for torturing me with piano lessons. She told me that her mom let her quit piano lessons and she regretted that her whole life. She didn’t care how mean I was–I was going to learn to play the piano.  Sound familiar?

Ipiano lessonsn the article, “Science Just Discovered something Amazing About What Childhood Piano Lessons Did To You” Tom Barnes said,

If your parents forced you to practice your scales by saying it would “build character,” they were onto something. The Washington Post reports that one of the largest scientific studies into music’s effect on the brain has found something striking: Musical training doesn’t just affect your musical ability — it provides tremendous benefits to children’s emotional and behavioral maturation.

The study

“James Hudziak and his colleagues analyzed the brain scans of 232 children ages 6 to 18, looking for relationships between cortical thickness and musical training. Previous studies the team had performed revealed that anxiety, depression, attention problems and aggression correspond with changes to cortical thickness. Hudziak and his team sought to discover whether a “positive activity” like musical training could affect the opposite changes in young minds.

“What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument,” Hudziak told the Washington Post, “it accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control.”

The study found increased thickness in parts of the brain responsible for executive functioning, which includes working memory, attentional control and organizational skills. In short, music actually helped kids become more well-rounded. Not only that, they believe that musical training could serve as a powerful treatment of cognitive disorders like ADHD.

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Isn’t that incredible information!! The problem is that children today aren’t learning how to play the piano or any other instruments for that matter. Barnes continues, “In presenting their findings, the authors reveal a terrifying truth about the American education system: Three-quarters of high school students “rarely or never” receive extracurricular lessons in the music or the arts. And that’s depriving kids of way more than just knowing an instrument.”

So there is something behind the idea of parents wanting their children to learn to play the piano. I, for one, am grateful that my mom persisted. I consider myself an accomplished pianist today (been playing the piano for about 28 years) –mostly due to my mother.

*Each week we will offer blog posts like this one and encourage you to join our newsletter coming out next month! For more information about INSPIRE Entertainment go to our website: www.inspireent.com or send an email to info@inspireent.com