Jedi Mind Tricks

Summer Arts Academy Day 2

Jedi Mind Tricks, Day 2

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Media and Dance, Day 2

This morning, Christine guided our media class and we brainstormed more ideas for the music video. She started with general icebreaker questions so that everyone could connect to each other. We watched different music videos for inspiration, including one she produced for Thrive Collective of their “Campeones” mural in Tijuana featuring the song “Mexico en la Piel,” and popular songs line Justin Bieber’s “Where are U now,” The Hamilton Remix’s “Immigrants (We get the Job Done),” and “This is America” by Childish Gambino. We also listened to an early, unfinished demo of our own song, “Turn Up The Value.”

Afterwards, we discussed elements of these videos and how to incorporate them into something personal for us, including filmmaking techniques like time lapse, lighting effects, camera pans, dance moves, sets and locations. By lunchtime we were talking about fades and colors and other transition methods, but the smell of pizza had the final say in our discussion. We took a break so everyone could refuel on some delicious slices and ice cold lemonade. 

After lunch, Flexx the dance instructor took over, and he laid down the groundwork for a successful relationship between dance instructor and student:

  1. Respect the instructor.
  2. No sitting down or hunching over.
  3. Respect each other.

Flexx began with warm-up stretches because we students were preparing for a major workout. He then introduced beginner dance moves originating from Harlem, and later Indian and Brazilian beginner dances. Students from 8 – 18 years old danced in rhythm to the music and learned multiple dances from different origins. The floor rumbled with the synchronized steps of dance routines and high energy counting from Flexx. The class culminated with a simple cypher where everyone had a chance for the spotlight as instructor Flexx and fellow students cheered their friends on. 

We wrapped up the day with another icebreaker game that Assistant Director Steven Uhey affectionately called “Jedi Mind Tricks.” The objective of the game was to eliminate rivals and be the last player standing. Everyone would look down and point at a random player. If two players pointed at each other, they would be eliminated. Uhey claimed it was the longest game he has ever seen, with suspense mounting as we got down to the final three players. 

We closed with a big discussion circle where everyone talked about their favorite parts of the day, which ranged from dancing, to Jedi Mind Tricks and analyzing the music videos. A fitting and relaxing end to a high energy day. 


Valerie Freedom

My story begins in Franklin Delano Roosevelt School in Lower East Side. I was a small little sapling back then, fermenting in a growing, warm community. I germinated when Generation Xcel began its mural ideas. Over time I flew on the wind to other schools to plant saplings and create murals through them. Likes: Outdoor activities, Painting, Basketball, Socializing, Superhero movies, Communal unity, Dislikes: Violence, Biases

All stories by: Valerie Freedom

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