Spotlight on new PHAME classes


Winter Term is just around the corner, and we have so many great classes on offer! Many of our classes have been around for years—Musical Theatre, iPad Music Lab, Choir, we’re looking at you. But every class was new once, so we want to be sure our brand new classes are getting the spotlight they deserve. With New Years Resolutions just a week or so away, maybe now is the time to consider diving into the unknown and trying something new. Here are some new classes that are sure to become fast favorites:

Amaya strikes a pose.

Amaya strikes a pose.

Circus Arts

This fall, we were immeasurably lucky to have The Circus Project do a workshop with students at PHAME. Together we learned about juggling, partner acrobatics, and the many tricks to be done with a good old-fashioned hula hoop. Now we’re thrilled to be offering a Circus Arts class of our own, taught by our fantastic Yoga teacher, Amaya Alvarado.

You might be thinking, how much can I learn without a circus tent and a fancy trapeze? The answer is: quite a lot. Amaya will be introducing students to juggling, poi spinning, hula hooping, physical theatre, and both solo and partner acrobatics. And while students are learning these awesome skills, they’ll also be developing personal style, body awareness, and confidence. All activities will be modified to fit students’ learning styles and comfort levels, and students will set the pace.

If you’ve ever wanted to run away with the circus—or if you’re just looking for a new way to express yourself—this is the class for you.

Hip-Hop Revolution

What do Nicki Minaj, Nike shoes, break dancing, and the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton” have to do with each other? They’re all a part of Hip-Hop culture.

A DJ’s turntable.

A DJ’s turntable.

Hip-Hop began in New York City more than forty years ago, and was born from the cultural exchange between African American youth and young immigrants from Caribbean countries. Hip-hop is more than just music. It’s a cultural movement defined by Dj-ing with turntables, graffiti writing, fashion, break dancing, and emceeing/ rapping—in fact, it’s one of the most influential cultural movements in the world today.

In this multi-disciplinary class, students will learn about the fascinating history of hip-hop from David Chachere, who also teaches Music Theory, iPad Music Lab, iPad Ensemble, and Digital Photography here at PHAME. David has more than thirty-five year of experience as a musician and member of the music industry, and is deeply knowledgeable of hip-hop’s evolution. He’ll also be inviting hip-hop artists from the local community to come in and share their knowledge with students. But this class isn’t just history—students will get up close and personal with drum machines and turntables, they’ll try some new moves on the dance floor, they’ll sketch out graffiti tags using iPads, and they’ll write their own hip-hop lyrics.

Whether you’ve been following hip-hop culture for years, or are just tuning in for the first time, this is a great class to help you dig in to this important cultural phenomenon.

PAL: Presentation, Advocacy & Leadership

Do you like public speaking? Or is it a key element of nightmares? If it’s something that scares you, you’re not alone.

Luckily we now have the PAL class, where students can learn about how to present their ideas to a group in a way that makes them feel confident and in control.

In this warm and welcoming conversation-based class, students will discuss what the words presentation, advocacy, and leadership mean to them. There’s no right answer—it’s up to students to unpack how those words fit into their own lives and experiences.

If you want to learn more skills for standing up for yourself, or if you want to work on being more confident talking about your ideas, this class will help you develop your ideas and give you new tools for sharing them. You don’t need to have a background in leadership or self-advocacy. You just need to be interested in having a conversation and considering new ideas.

The PAL class is taught by Rob Smith, our Director of Community Engagement. In addition to teaching PAL and Rhythm & Drumming, Rob’s job is to develop new relationships with prospective students and other organizations. His experience in this work has given him key insight into different strategies for communicating ideas, and he’s thrilled to now offer PAL as a class.

Current PHAME students can register for these classes—and more!—by visiting our registration page. If you haven’t taken PHAME classes before but are ready to take the plunge, head over to our Prospective Students page to find out how you can become a PHAME student.  

Anya Roberts