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Vazzy: Dance, French-Canadian Music and Song Project

Discipline: Dance, Interdisciplinary, Music
Homebase: Vancouver
Languages: English, French

Vazzy has been performing traditional French Canadian music to general audiences from coast to coast for many years. They have presented their performance, Vazzy in New-France, and their workshops/residencies in schools all over BC, as well as in Newfoundland, Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Accompanied by live music, their workshops and residencies engage students of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Vazzy provides a fun and exciting environment for students to learn about French Canadian culture and its language of expression, through these themes: traditional and social dances from French-Canada (K-12); foot percussion (podorhythmy) and spoon playing (4-12); traditional rhymes, songs, rounds and dances (K-5); traditional French Canadian songs (K-12). Beneficial to K-12 French Immersion, CORE French, FSL programs as well as French language-only programs. (On Vazzy's website, click on "Français" for French pages.) For dual track schools, the residency can serve as a bridge, uniting the two language/student groups with one project. We generally work with one class at a time (maximum 30 students). We leave support materials with the school after the residency including our dance CDs with music, dance calls and instructions (French and English), documents and MP3 files of French song lyrics and rhymes. Teachers and students can subsequently use what we teach in the classroom, for student performances, during carnival activities and other school events throughout the year. Optional: we can end the residency with an assembly/performance by the students, produced and accompanied by Vazzy. New: Workshops designed for special needs students.


Testimonials

During the week-long residency, children enjoyed the dance and movement activities and had fun learning many traditional French Canadian songs and dances as well as rhythms with spoons and feet. Suzanne and Bryn had many activities planned with a wide variety of music and were able to change to different activities according to students' needs and aspirations. They brought many instruments and materials with them and were very organized. Suzanne's French was very clear and easy to understand for our students. She spoke slowly and pronounced her words carefully. She consulted with our staff about how much children would understand in French and planned according to students' abilities. Our staff and music teacher learned a lot from working with Vazzy. Patti Holm, Principal, École South Sahali Elementary
Vazzy designed and implemented workshops for each of the 17 classes in our dual track school. The workshops were beneficial as they were tied to the French Canadian culture and to the curriculum at the elementary level. An excellent fit for all English, French and French Immersion Programs. I highly recommend Vazzy... I found their work with our students exceptional. Erika Moser, Principal, Deep Cove School
Suzanne has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially children. Vazzy's talent for teaching simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics, are both truly superior... Excellent verbal communication skills, extremely organized and very reliable. Their work exceeded our expectations. I recommend Vazzy without reservation. Rita Bruneau, Booking Coordinator, Fort Langley National Historic Site

Project Examples

Folk/Social Dance Residency Project


Tied to the curriculum's Folk and Contemporary Dance component, these residencies can be in English language only, French language or using a mixture of both languages. We teach French-Canadian community dances with moves and figures also found in many other traditions of folk, ethnic and contemporary dancing (Irish, Scottish, European, Square, Barn, Contra... ). In addition, we include social dances such as waltz and polkas to the program. We leave dance CDs with music and dance calls (FR & EN) as well as dance instruction documents with the school so everyone can keep dancing after our visit. From one day to multiple days / 4-7 workshops per day.

One or Two Day Residency


The goal of a short residency is to introduce a smaller number of students to French-Canadian culture and language in a fun and dynamic way, creating excitement and a buzz around learning the language, vocabulary and acquiring new skills. We generally see each participating group/class once, introducing dance, spoon playing- foot percussion and lively songs, rounds or rhymes. We can fit 4-7 workshops in a day (Elementary 7/ Secondary 4-5). We usually match the duration of the workshops to the school's timetable.

Multi-day Residency Project


The goal of a longer residency is for students to have a broader experience with French-Canadian culture and increase their French language skills. We see each division/class several times during a multi-day residency project. After consultation with the school, we plan the workshops (4-7/day) matching the French language ability of each group/class. Each class can pre-select a workshop theme on which to focus during the residency. As we like to mix the content of the workshops: if a class chooses foot-percussion and spoon playing as a theme, we will also add song and dance. If it is the school wishes, at the end of a multi-day residency, we can finish with an assembly/performance by the students.

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