• Embodying Our Voices

    Embodying Our Voices

    Embodying our Voices: Telling our Stories Through Words and Movement

    Embodying Our Voices is a partnership between Mary Francis “Cissy” Whipp and Lafayette Council on Aging’s Director of Programs Clare L. Martin, both teaching artists who aspire to enliven and enrich the lives of a select population of seniors aged 60 and older. Their collaborative effort will explore the relationship between language arts and adaptive dance enhanced with theatre elements, so that the seniors can write, share, perform, and celebrate their personal life stories. The project is sponsored by Lafayette Council on Aging, the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development: Division of the Arts, and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

    The project will include hands-on, skilled based, and sequential life writing sessions, storytelling instruction, creative movement, and theatre practices in a series of eight workshops at Lafayette Council on Aging’s Carencro Senior Center, weekly, beginning in February 2023 and concluding at the end of March 2023. The project will culminate with a performance and a brief reception open to friends, family, and the public on March 27th, 2023, from 10 a.m. – noon at the Carencro Senior Center, which will be documented by photographer Philip Gould.

  • My new book has been released!

    My new book has been released!

    Just Released!
    So You Think You Know Dance is an OER (Open Educational Resource) commissioned by the Louisiana Board of Regents' Affordable Learning Program. I am a member of a four person team of dance writers to create this Dance Appreciation online course and book. It will be piloted in high schools and colleges around the state for the 2022-2023 school year. I'm very proud of what we have put together! Check it out here: louis.pressbooks.pub/danceappreciation/

  • Teaching in Tennessee

    Austin Peay's Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts hosted a workshop for teachers followed by classroom residencies.

  • A Few Minutes with Cissy Whipp

    Check out my interview
    A Few Minutes with Cissy Whipp

  • Dance Educator of the Year

    Dance Educator of the Year

    I have been honored as the Dance Educator of the Year for Louisiana. Thanks to those who nominated me and wrote glowing letters of support!
    Check out the story:
    Cissy Whipp: The Epitome of a Dance Educator

  • Louisiana A+ Schools

    I am proud to be on a team of artists and educators that comprise Louisiana A+ Schools. It is a research-based whole school network with a mission of nurturing creativity in every learner through an arts-integrated school network. It is a creation of and funded by the George Rodrigue Foundation. (See www.rodriguefoundation.org/about)
    For more information on LA A+ Schools: www.aplusla.org/

  • Art Time documentary

    During the filming of a documentary on the Art TIME grant and its use of Kennedy Center's Arts Integration strategies, the crew came by my classroom at J. W. James Elementary. You can see clips of my kindergarten students learning about dance elements and applying that knowledge to creating a dance about the Caterpillar to Butterfly Cycle.
    arttimeinacadiana.com/ Art TIME in Acadiana|

  • Firebird Fridays

    My 4th grade dancers will be performing our original version of The Firebird Ballet in Acadiana Symphony Orchestra's educational concert, Link Up, on January 27 at the Heymann Center for Performing Arts. How many 10 year olds get to perform with a live orchestra? I am so proud!
    Check out this magazine article:
    Overture Magazine

  • Article about my dance program in Overture Magazine

    The November issue of Overture: Acadiana's Publication for the Arts has a feature on my work as a teaching artist at JW James Elementary Arts Academy. Check it out: issuu.com/overture_acadiana/docs/overtu…

  • Dance Education Chair for LAHPERD

    I am the new Dance Education Chair for the Louisiana Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (LAHPERD.) My goal is to create a better network of dance educators in our state to dialogue about common issues we face when teaching the art of dance in a school setting.

  • Eye of the Blackbird by Cissy Whipp presented at Artech Fusion

    We invite you to experience Artech Fusion 14, a program that promotes and highlights the dynamic relationship between arts and technology. Our unique program includes performances, presentations and installations that resonate within the intersection of Art and Technology. This year we will introduce work that ranges about talk about Big Data and Virtual Reality to premier performances featuring music, dance, theater, poetry and animation. Former Dance faculty member Cissy Whipp is reconstructing her 2001 performance piece, Eye of the Blackbird. The dance is a collaboration between choreographer Whipp, composer Danny DeVillier, and visual artist Steven Breaux who created the animated film that interracts with the dancers.
    Artech Fusion is the kickoff event for the week long Festival of the Arts that occurs around campus and downtown including lectures, theater, opera, demonstrations, and even a fashion show. - See more at: www.louisiana.edu/news-events/events/20…

  • Math and Dance

    This workshop helps to reinforce Core Math Concepts with a kinesthetic approach that calls upon multiple modalities to accommodate a variety of learning styles. It explores classroom tested creative movement/dance activities integrated into the elementary math curriculum. Participants will learn movement strategies and classroom management techniques while gaining an understanding of elements of dance as an art form. By using one’s body as a math manipulative, participants learn to apply principles of design to the shapes and patterns as they create math dances. Using active learning helps focus students while developing teamwork, social skills and higher order thinking. This is a stimulating way to actively work on important skills at the elementary level.
    I piloted it this summer for the ArtTIME Summer Professional Development Institute and got a great response from teachers. I am adding some ideas to make it more accessible to Kindergarten teachers and will have it ready for the new school year. I am presented it again at Acadiana Center for the Arts on November 12.

  • New Common Core Arts Standards

    I have been working as the full time Dance Artist at J Wallace James Elementary Arts & Technology School since 2002. I am revising the scope & sequence of dance curriculum and aligning it with the new Common Core Arts Standards. This is an exciting time for us in the arts.