Palmer Mathews Dance at TAS

By Katrina F. ‘24 Spring 2023 Communications Intern

In February, TAS had the pleasure of welcoming a special visiting artist, Palmer Mathews, to the Middle School. He hosted Improvisation Workshops for our Middle School dancers in the dance studio, focusing on creative exercises to enhance our students’ dancing.This fantastic learning experience was sponsored by the PTA!

Palmer Mathews Dance Class

Palmer Mathews has been passionate about dance his entire life. Due to his parents' connection with the owners of a nearby dance studio, Mathews, was educated in Wisconsin, was enrolled in lessons and was thus introduced to the world of dance. He knew when he first started dancing that it was his genuine calling, and he continued following this passion throughout high school.

Palmer Mathews Dance Class 2

During the improvisation workshop with the Middle School dancers at TAS, Mathews led the students through various activities that improved their spatial awareness skills during the workshops. They practiced moving freely, within structures or constraints, and being deliberate in their interactions with other students. 

One of the exercises the students participated in was a group activity in which they transformed into objects chosen by Mathews, and collaborated to create a volcano or a microwave in which everyone had to be a part of the object. These activities taught the students how to work together, to be more creative and aware of the various possibilities for their style, and to open up their creativity and give them more ideas on how to approach their shared movement.

Palmer Mathews Dance Class TAS

We caught up with Matthews and asked what is the one piece of advice he would give to the dancers at TAS. He emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the classes, resources, and opportunities available at TAS. He also highlighted the importance of taking healthy risks and being confident when faced with challenging classes. He encouraged the students to push themselves out of their comfort zones and embrace new experiences in order to grow as dancers and individuals.

We asked Mathews what his favorite part of dancing is, and for him, it is being able to express himself as an individual while working in a group setting. Dance allows for both to exist at the same time. You can improve your personal training, such as kicks, turns, and jumps, while also using those skills in the context of a group setting. It is crucial for the whole dance piece to work smoothly. 

Palmer Mathews Dance Class at TAS

We are grateful to the PTA for enabling us to host Palmer Mathews' recent visit. TAS students had the incredible opportunity to learn from a highly talented and experienced dance artist. His workshops for middle school dancers were engaging, inspiring, and aided in the development of our students' creativity and innovation.