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TAP Creative Sharing

By: Cassie Swayze, After Schools Program Associate VISTAWednesday night at the Theatre Action Project‘s office was our monthly Skill Share. We gathered on the TAP lawn to enjoy snacks, beer, sangria, and the beautiful spring weather. Skill Shares give our Teaching Artists (TA’s) the opportunity to learn some new skills, network with each other, and just have fun!

We started off with Kelly Schiller, Community Relations Assistant, and Jefe Greenheart who shared their hula hoop skills. Kelly and Jefe are active in Austin’s circus arts community and knew several hooping tricks. Pretty soon everyone was hooping using their hips, hands, legs, and even necks! Kelly also showed us how to make hula hoops with poly tubing, connectors, a hair dryer, and tape. This would be a simple (and fun) summer craft students will love.

Kelly and Jefe then showed everyone how to juggle; students who learn to juggle have improved cognitive and mathematics skills. It wasn’t as easy as hooping, but pretty soon TA’s were juggling 3 then 4 beanbags. As a special treat, the pair demonstrated partner balancing yoga. This may not be an ideal activity for our students, but it was beautiful to watch nonetheless.

Our next skill came from TAP’s Executive Director, Karen LaShelle. Karen showed us a positive-casting for papier-mâché technique using a clay mold. Using this method, TA’s and students could create highly realistic masks and puppets. Karen’s sharing sparked several conversations about potential uses for these masks as well as different, less time-intensive techniques TA’s could use to make expressive masks with their students.

Finally we moved inside to watch Marcelo Teson demonstrate several video editing techniques. Marcelo is a skilled sound editor with several years experience. As one TA put it, “He showed us how to make movies look real”.

All in all it was a super successful Skill Share. I can’t wait for the next one! TAP Skill Shares are free and open to everyone. Contact Cassie at for more information about the next meeting. We would love to see you there!

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

One response »

  1. that was such a fun evening! thanks to all!


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