Blog - Infinity Arts Center

November 5, 2019
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On October 26th, 2019 Infinity Arts Center celebrated their first big event at our new Performance and Entertainment Venue. We were happy to be able to utilize this space for a variety of activities ranging from silly to spooky. Entry to this event was free along with the performances, dance lesson, sing-along, haunted house, costume contest, and live painting station inside. Additional activities including a bouncy house and cupcake decoration station which were offered with the purchase of tickets.

Our Center Director and Dance Instructor, Vanessa Finnegan, performed a spooky solo followed by a silly and energetic dance performed with students of her Dance Mix class. The instructor then invited the children in attendance at the party up on stage to learn the dance! The kids spent a joyful 15 minutes learning the dance before performing it together on stage. Miss Vanessa’s Dance Mix class for children ages 6 to 12 meets on Fridays at 4:30PM, and is preceded by a 30 minute yoga class.

At intervals throughout the night Piano instructor Yulia Nilova played beautiful and haunting jazz music live! We are blessed to have such a talented instructor teaching our students. With her piano set up in the center of the event among a living-room arrangement where parents and children could relax, talk, and observe the goings on, her music provided a lovely addition to the family fun.

Our Musical Theatre instructor and Events Coordinator, Stephanie Gaertner, appeared as everyone’s favorite ice princess, with the vocals of a Queen, Elsa! Guests enjoyed singing along or just watching and listening. Stephanie will share her talent further at Infinity Arts center in her upcoming “Shining Stars” Musical Theatre classes for ages 5-9, as well as in her “Spotlight Studio” workshops for high school aged kids.

Hung on one wall of the 4000sq foot event space was a large contour drawing. This drawing included images of pumpkins, headstones, a castle, and a cute cartoon-like witch, all of which children enjoyed painting at their leisure throughout the night! We have our art instructor Lydia Kimbrough to thank for that drawing. Her upcoming painting and drawing class, beginning weekly on Monday, December 2nd at 6pm, will tackle the skills of contour drawing, along with various painting techniques.

We had so much fun taking the kids through the haunted house, teaching a fun and silly dance up on stage, cupcake decorating, bouncing in the bouncy house, singing along to “Let it Go” with Elsa, painting our big spooky wall drawing, and watching the performances!

We hope to see you at our next event!


September 5, 2019
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Are children getting enough exposure to art? While there is nothing inherently wrong with watching YouTube or television, their precedence over art can be problematic. Children’s minds should be nourished with beautiful and powerful works of art.

 

If you want to give your child the art their young minds crave, Infinity Arts Center has a number of opportunities for art exposure and learning. You can also take measures at home that will set your kids on a path toward lifelong art appreciation. Here are five artists every child should know:

 

1. Michelangelo – Your child’s art education won’t be complete without studying this master. Kids will be fascinated by learning how long it took Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel and the trials along the way.

 

2. Vincent Van Gogh – Kids will love the colorful and whimsical art of Van Gogh. Starry Night makes a good introductory piece for children to enjoy.

 

3. Beatrix Potter – Her beloved stories, such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, aren’t the only reason to study this artist. Her illustrations bring the stories to life and will be appreciated by young ones.

 

4. Norman Rockwell – Rockwell created pieces of art that depicted everyday American life. This art will be delighted in by children as they see the artwork almost jumping off the page. Norman Rockwell’s art is also a way to study what life was like for Americans decades ago.

 

5. Grandma Moses – How could children not like Grandma Moses? They will love studying the detailed scenes in her primitive paintings. Kids may also be intrigued by her life story, including how she did not begin her career until much later than usual!

September 5, 2019

It is shocking how many dance instructors like to simply run out the clock with kids rather than engage with them in meaningful dance education. I once met a dance studio Director who was in the process of INTERVIEWING ME who actually stated “I love to waste time.” I cannot fathom why it is that these people got into their field… especially those who are so blessed to be in a position in which they can make important decisions for an arts institution such as who to hire.

As for instructors who like to waste time, I have worked with a few in the past, and for those parents or employers out there who might pop in once in a while.. here are some tell tale signs to spot those time wasters.

  1. The instructor spends chunks of class time playing games that have nothing to do with dance. If you know that you have a good dance instructor who is utilizing class time so well that there is some extra time to play “sharks and minnows” or “duck duck goose” at the end of class or as a quick warm-up then this can be just fine. But it’s a slippery slope, and if you ask your child “what did you do in dance class today?” and all they can come up with is “we played freeze tag” then you definitely have a time-waster teaching your child.
  2. The instructor is standing by the door with the speaker, acting as “DJ” rather than interacting with the kids. This can happen when a teacher has the mistaken idea that once they have taught a group of kids some choreography they’ve done their job. They will then have the students run the dance over and over again without much commentary and without moving from their spot. When this type of teacher does make commentary on the most recent run through of their dance it will be a vague accusation – something like, “you guys need to get those counts on the wave part” in an exasperated tone, before playing the music again. The most frustrating part of watching this kind of teacher work is that their attitude says “this is not worth my time” and it is clear that the class is indeed excruciatingly long for them, but if they would just engage with their students, or god forbid, do the dance with them! Then time would go by much more quickly and enjoyably so.
  3. The instructor plays freeze dance every class, for a good chunk of the duration of the class without any attempt at making it educational. This is a hard one for me because I use freeze dance a lot in my classes, especially my younger age groups. But there is a BIG difference between playing a birthday party freeze dance game in which the only goal is to win, and using this stop and start game as a structured tool to encourage improvisation. So ask yourself these questions when deciding if using freeze dance in the classroom you are associated with is okay: does the instructor encourage the children to use some dance movements that have been learned in the classroom? Does the instructor point out and praise certain movements and improvisational choices as the students move? Does the instructor change it up with new and fun parameters?  If the answer to all of those is no and the instructor is doing something you could do with your child in the living room while eating dinner on the couch and pressing stop and start with your free hand, then you’ve got yourself a time waster.

It is sad that anyone in such a rewarding profession would take their time and the time of their students for granted in this way, but just like in any field dance has it’s fair share of workers who are just waiting out the clock till pay day. If you yourself are a dance instructor, it’s possible that you are wasting time in your classroom without realizing it, or without thinking about what wasted class time means for your students and for yourself on your career path. Just like any academic field, there are surface understandings of the subject (rote memorization of a single routine for example) and there are deeper understandings (for example, the awareness of the natural movement of the arms and legs in cross lateral motion and the ability to coordinate increasingly complicated combinations based off of that understanding). Do not sell dance short by teaching, purchasing for your child, or taking a class that does not respect the full potential of what dance has to offer.


August 24, 2019
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Music is almost universal – most of us enjoy it, whether by playing an instrument, singing and dancing to it, or simply listening. However, many schools are having to reduce or end their music programs due to cutbacks in funding. Canceling music programs is a mistake because music is a subject that can enrich children’s lives and education.

 

Here are eight benefits of keeping music in our schools:

 

1.       Music develops language and reasoning skills. Children with early musical training develop the areas of the brain related to these skills. Music helps to develop the left side of the brain, and songs can imprint information on the young mind.

 

2.       Music helps students master memorization. Even using sheet or book music, student musicians are constantly relying upon their memory to play. Memory skills are valuable in education and beyond.

 

3.       Students get practice at improving their work. Learning music is learning a craft, and students want to create successful work instead of mediocre work. This skill can be transferred to other subjects, too.

 

4.       Music teaches pattern recognition, so students can develop their math and pattern-recognition skills.

 

5.       Students with experience in music performance, or even an appreciation of music, score higher on the SAT. In fact, a study shows a 63-point increase in verbal and 44-point increase in math for music students.

 

6.       Music fosters imagination and intellectual curiosity. Children who are introduced to music in the early childhood years develop a positive attitude toward learning.

 

7.       Developing music skills teaches students discipline. Young musicians must learn to set aside time to practice and develop discipline and patience to master playing their instrument.

 

8.       Students who study the arts learn to think creatively. Creative thinking skills help children to think outside the box and even realize there might be more than one right answer.

July 29, 2019
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Self-confidence is key to success, and theatre participation can increase confidence in children of all ages. Theatre utilizes many gifts including storytelling, language, movement, voice and even technical elements. When children use and refine these gifts, they are affirmed in their learning experience.

 

Next week, our Hollywood Camp brings excitement and skill-building activities to your children. It’s just one of the many fun and creative camps we are offering this summer at Infinity Arts Center. Read on to learn five fast facts about Hollywood Camp:

 

1.      Hollywood Camp will ENGAGE young campers. Your child will discover how to sing, act, dance and be crafty in just 1 week. In fact, during Hollywood Camp, your child will be the celebrity! We’ll learn everything about show business and Hollywood!

 

2.      Hollywood Camp is coming up quickly. It will be held July 29 – August 2 from 9AM –4PM. Don’t let your child miss out!

 

3.      The camp is offered to kids ages 6-12. We have planned this special camp just for that age group, so you can be sure it will be an engaging and valuable experience for your child.

 

4.      Before Care will be offered from 7-9AM each day, as well as After Care from 4-6PM each day. We want to help you fit our camps into your busy life!

 

5.      We find that different camp schedules might work better for different campers and their parents. We’ll be offering Hollywood Camp as a Full-Day or Half-Day option. Besides attending the full day, your child can attend from 9AM-12PM or 1-4PM.

 

These are just five facts about our Hollywood Camp, but here is the most important fact of all: You can register for camp by visiting our sign-up page–  https://campscui.active.com/orgs/InfinityArtsCenter#/selectSessions/2535314

July 10, 2019
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At Infinity Arts Center, all of our classes have an impressively low student-teacher ratio. Small class sizes ensure that students receive a quality arts education through hands-on learning.

When you or your child sign up for one of our classes, camps, workshops or after-school programs, you can be sure to get the one-on-one nurturing small class sizes provide. Read on to learn about eight benefits of low student-teacher ratios.

  1. Working One-on-One

Students and teachers at IAC have plenty of opportunities to work together one-on-one, allowing the opportunity to tailor instruction toward the student’s needs.

  1. Participation Opportunities

Small groups mean having to compete less for participation opportunities. Students can have their voices heard and apply what they are learning to class discussions.

  1. All Students are Noticed

In large classes, students can hide and get left behind. But, fewer students means that each one gets the attention he or she deserves.

  1. Ability to Focus on Learning

In classrooms with fewer students, teachers can spend more time teaching the material and less time regaining the attention of students who might be easily distracted. They can also cater to different learning styles among students.

  1. More Efficient Learning

Students learn more in small classes, and they also learn faster. This means the class will progress through material more quickly, and students will have the opportunity to learn even more per class.

  1. More Feedback

In classes with smaller student-to-teacher ratios, teachers have time to customize their feedback to students. With individualized feedback, students get the help they need to reach their potential.

  1. Ideas are Expressed

In small classes, students have more time to share ideas and perspectives. They can explore their opinions and gain the confidence to express those opinions openly.

  1. Classrooms are Communities

With fewer students per class, students support each other and can connect more personally with classmates, which can lead to lasting friendships. Join the IAC community by enrolling in one of our summer camps or fall classes!


July 1, 2019
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We live in a world of complementary dualities, each of which is a part of a complete whole.  Light complements dark, sorrow complements joy, effort complements ease, sleep and relaxation (down time) complement our working life.  In life as in art, the negative spaces empower and define the positive ones.  Each defines the other, each gives life to the other, and thus in our world the whole exists.  They are sides of a single coin.

In fashion now are the sciences, currently called STEM, science, technology, engineering and math.  Sciences are concerned with the physical world, the observable and quantifiable.  They seek to understand how the physical universe is constructed, how it works, how it might be changed to adapt to circumstances, how it might serve people.   The sciences work with what can be logically proven or disproven through experimentation.   Together, the sciences have brought about immense and rapid advances in our understanding and in applications in our physical world.

My grandmother began life in a world in which the use of horses was still common.  Before she passed, men traveled to the moon.  Technology in the present advances even more rapidly. The quickened pace of these advances comes at a cost.  In order to devote the amount of attention and cultural value to STEM topics and to fully support these rapid advances, we have largely neglected the partner of STEM, the arts.

Arts – visual arts, music, dance, theater, literature, philosophy and writing, to include some – are more concerned with that which is less readily apprehensible.  Arts apply themselves to our values, our pursuit of wisdom, subjective perceptions and emotions, and to concepts such as joy, beauty and existential truth.  STEM deals exceptionally well with the concretely physical; arts express marvelously our souls.  Both are necessary.

Our world today is unbalanced; some would say it is chaotic.   This is not amazing if we notice that we have neglected the sisters of STEM.  The whole cannot be complete while only half of it is fully accepted and appreciated.  Putting an “A” into the acronym “STEM” to make “STEAM” does little.  The four strands of STEM are still emphasized while the arts are lumped together and given lip service.

At one time – my grandmother’s and maybe also my mother’s – arts had a greater place in our culture.  Schools gave emphasis to literature, writing and music.  Elocution, painting, drawing and crafts were also given instructional time, and exhibitions of these were valued.  Dance and theater were not only performing arts, to be enjoyed if one had time and money, but also often popular pastimes.   In private life, there was time to create beauty.   Math and science were certainly not ignored, but the whole was more balanced.

Not so today.  Schools emphasize and promote STEM subjects, and parents rush to enroll their children in STEM summer camps and extracurricular lessons. Arts in the schools are underfunded and minimal.

We have lost something.  Social structures have lost center or direction as they change and grow.  Balance is good as change progresses; it keeps the change from falling into destructive chaos.  We have lost that balance, that sense of direction, that guidance system.  Some would say we have lost our soul.  Re-including and re-establishing the importance of what we have neglected can help restore what we have lost.

Let us individually grow our whole selves, both the logical and the intuitive, with a sense of the wonder of the universe.

Peace, Diane

You can find more from Diane at  http://thevoicefromthebackrow.com/


June 28, 2019
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Experiencing the arts is an important part of the human experience. The arts compel us to look within ourselves, to engage different points of view and to see the beauty in both the ordinary and the spectacular.

 

Almost as soon as children develop motor skills, they begin creating art with crayons and finger paints. As adults, people who participate in the arts display more civic engagement and social tolerance.

 

Most of us view the arts as a positive aspect of human life, but what are some concrete benefits that art participation provides? Read on to learn about four ways art can make us better people in a better society.

 

1.      Communication Skills

 

Whether it is a painting, song or other form, art is an expression of a feeling or thought. Sometimes we can’t put things into words, and sometimes feelings are more beautiful when not boxed into a set of words. We can find release and meaning through artistic expression.

 

2.      Problem-Solving Skills

 

Participating in the arts requires constant experimentation and assessment. Should a scene in a play be interpreted this way, or would another approach work better? How should I choreograph this dance to most clearly show my intent? This process improves the artist’s problem-solving skills.

 

3.      Social & Emotional Skills

 

Oftentimes, the arts are a group experience, from playing an instrument in a band to being part of a theatre production. These experiences teach cooperation and positive interaction. Art also teaches us how to confront and relay our emotions. Participation helps form a healthy sense of self and identity as well as fosters self-efficacy.

 

4.      Self-Expression and Creativity

 

One of the best things about creativity is that there is no “right” or “wrong.” Young people, especially, can benefit from an environment that is inclusive and encourages creative and self-expression.

 

We have so many camps, classes, workshops and after-school experiences that teach and celebrate the arts. We invite you and your child to participate in the arts with us and to reap the many benefits such participation provides.

June 21, 2019
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Did you know that more than 52 million people visit Disney World each year? Engaging characters, music and performances make Disney a favorite among kids, but your little ones don’t have to leave Virginia to get a taste of the fun. In fact, you can stay right here in town and avoid the heat and long lines, as well as the tired kids and feet!

Our upcoming Disney Camp is a fantastic way to bring the magic and fun of Disney to your child’s summer vacation. It’s just one of the many exciting and creative camps we are offering this summer at Infinity Arts Center. Read on to learn five things you should know about Disney Camp:

  1. Disney Camp is going to be FUN! Discover how to sing, act, dance and be crafty in just 1 week! In a far-off kingdom, there is a totally awesome summer camp at IAC for kids. Jump into the worlds of your favorite fairy tales and explore the characters and themes in a camp that is sure to end in “Happily Ever After!” We’ll cover the classics and then create some of our own “fractured” fairy tales.
  2. Disney Camp is right around the corner. It will be held June 24 – June 28 from 9AM– 4PM. Don’t let this camp pass you by!
  3. The camp is offered to kids ages 8-16. All of our activities will be geared directly toward this age group, making it an engaging and valuable experience for your child.
  4. We are offering Before Care from 7-9AM each day, as well as After Care from 4-6PM each day. These options can help Mom and Dad with busy work and carpooling schedules.
  5. To give you even more options, Disney Camp will be offered as Full-Day or Half-Day camps. Besides attending the full day, your child can attend from 9AM-12PM or 1-4PM.

These are just five of the reasons YOU should attend Disney Camp at IAC! You can register for camp by visiting our sign-up page:  https://campscui.active.com/orgs/InfinityArtsCenter#/selectSessions/2535314


September 13, 2018
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PAINT AND WINE

6:30pm-8:30pm Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays throughout the Fall we will have Paint and Wine Workshops! If you are looking for a great night out with your friends while being able to get creative this workshop is perfect for you! One of IAC’s artists will help you recreate a painting . Students will follow step-by-step instructions while being able to sip on your favorite wine. Wine glasses will be provided for each person and you are free to bring your favorite wine.

All participants must be 21 or over. We ask that everyone please drink responsibly. All supplies included, BYOW.

PRICE: $35

OCTOBER
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19TH DC Skyline at Night
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20TH Falling Leaves
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25TH Tropical Sunset
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26TH Potomac Sunset
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27TH Waterfalls during Fall
 
NOVEMBER
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST A Glass of Red Wine
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8TH DC Skyline at Night
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH Falling Leaves
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH Tropical Sunset
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH Potomac Sunset
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH Waterfalls during Fall
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17TH Sunflowers
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND A stroll down Central Park
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD A Glass of Red Wine
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH White Orchid
DECEMBER
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6TH Love Birds
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7TH A Winter’s Day
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8TH Christmas Tree
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13TH White Orchid
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14TH Love Birds
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15TH A Winter’s Day
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20TH Christmas Tree
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21ST DC Christmas Tree at Night
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22ND DC Christmas Tree at Night