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Save the last dance for Professor Albirda Rose

November 16, 2004

Photo of Dance Professor Albirda Rose at a New Moves Children's ConcertFor 32 years Albirda Rose has introduced SFSU students and children to the rhythm of movement and life, through dance. Rose, profiled in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, has parlayed an interest in dance that began at age 9 in Oakland to a storied teaching career in the SFSU School of Music and Dance.

For the past several years, Rose and her SFSU students have taught dance at after-school centers in Visitacion Valley, one of San Francisco's most impoverished and crime-plagued neighborhoods. The classes culminated in The New Moves Children's Concert, a free dance performance held Sunday, Nov. 21.

Rose, who plans to retire in January, uses dance to teach "young people respect, reciprocity and a little bit of discipline," the Chronicle article states. She incorporates a technique and philosophy created by Katherine Dunham, a legendary dancer, anthropologist and educator, that teaches children how to function in a larger society.

The Visitacion Valley classes have not only helped the children find a creative outlet for expression and improve their schoolwork, they have given the SFSU dance students a diverse, real-world experience, Rose says in the article. Previously, she had her students teach dance to children in wealthier neighborhoods, a much different demographic than the population in Visitacion Valley.

The program in Visitacion Valley was founded in 2000 with a service-learning grant from the San Francisco Urban Institute.

-- Matt Itelson
Photo: Gino de Grandis






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Last modified November 22, 2004 by University Communications