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The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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Students teach course in Creative Movement

Ruby Lynn ’20 and Jamie Friedman ’20 teach their “Creative Movement” course to local children at The Stew. Photo by Sofia Mendez.

Ruby Lynn ’20 and Jamie Friedman ’20’s weekly schedules look a bit different than those of most Grinnell students. Once a week for 45 minutes, Lynn and Friedman can be found at The Stew Art Studios in downtown Grinnell, teaching their Creative Movement course to children from the Grinnell community.

The Creative Movement course teaches children various styles of dance, providing a wide range of experiences. The course typically begins with technical dance moves, such as ballet, and concludes with more creative exercises and improvisation for the children, such as spelling their names with their bodies.

“Since [the class] has the umbrella term Creative Movement, we are really able to mix all of those [styles of dance] together when we teach,” Lynn said.

One goal of the class is to tailor to individual students’ interests. Typically, dance classes are structured and do not always give children a chance to explore. Lynn and Friedman make an effort to take their students’ opinions into account when structuring the class.

“It also allows the kids to be very imaginative and creative,” Friedman said.

“It allows them to express themselves through movement, and not just words,” Lynn added.

After holding a less formal class on campus last semester, Friedman partnered with Lynn to further pursue a course premised on creative movement. This semester’s course includes more focus on dance and is taught in the community.

“We thought it was important to go into town and teach it there,” Lynn said.

Both Lynn and Friedman have been dancing for 16 years and have experience teaching dance. These experiences prepared and inspired them to create their Creative Movement course.

“[Teaching the course] seemed like a really fun way to keep doing what we like to do,” Friedman said.

Although there is a dance studio in town, children in the community have limited options when it comes to dance. This course not only serves as a way for Lynn and Friedman to teach what they are passionate about, but also as a new opportunity for children in the Grinnell community.

“We wanted to create a class to teach all sorts of dance, ages five to nine. We wanted to do something in the community and bridge the gap between the community and the school,” Lynn said.

Lynn and Friedman worked with Erik Jarvis ’12, events and facilities manager at The Stew, to make their course a reality. Jarvis sees the benefits of having courses like this open to the community and hopes that other students contact The Stew to create their own classes.

“Just creating those relationships, having students in the community — I think the students do a lot of things that are really interesting where the community goes to campus to engage, but it’s nice to have a place where students can come have a space off campus,” Jarvis said.

Lynn and Friedman hope to continue their Creative Movement course after this semester.

“It’s really fulfilling for us, and especially because we both danced when we were kids,” Friedman said.

“There’s a need in the community for more creative outlets, and so if you’re interested in doing it, just contact someone about it,” Lynn added.

Students interested in holding classes at The Stew can contact Erik Jarvis at

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