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ALTO: Workshops

In addition to longer-term (5-session) Residencies that feature connections between an art form and another subject area, ALTO Teaching Artists also offer several stand-alone Workshops for classrooms. ALTO Workshops focus on teaching one arts-based learning strategy that can then be applied to multiple curriculum connections in later experiences. Some teachers think of Workshops as foundational sessions that later Residencies may build on, or as chances to learn a new teaching strategy they can apply on their own. Most Workshops are single-session experiences, usually 60-90 minutes, depending on grade level and art form. Several of our Teaching Artists are developing new Workshops, so check back on this page for expanded offerings in the next few weeks. As always, reach out to us with any questions.

Workshop Descriptions


Grades 1-6 (60 mins)
The art of making frozen pictures that are physically dynamic, emotionally expressive, and compositionally interesting. In this workshop we will work with a well-known fairy tale to create these frozen pictures. These tableaus can be used to explore social studies, history, literature and vocabulary in a deeper way. This workshop will also introduce how to elicit dialogue from individual student actors in the tableau. This kind of embodied interpretation of written text deepens student understanding of the experience they are representing in the frozen picture, as well as the subject they are studying.
Teaching Artist: Wendy Chapin

Actor’s Toolbox and Concentration Challenge

Grades 1-6 (60 min)
The Actor’s Toolbox is an agreement between the teacher and students done daily as a reminder of the key behaviors that a student can take responsibility for. These key behaviors are a student controlling their body, voice and mind as well as learned skills of concentration and cooperation all things that can maximize learning in the classroom. The Concentration Challenge is a game requiring students to hold a single point of focus with a totally still body for a certain amount of time. The game has 7 levels with each level becoming more challenging. This game done over time helps to deepen students’ ability to concentrate. One session for one hour.
Teaching Artist: Wendy Chapin

Movement Skill Building

Grades K-3 (three 60-minute sessions)
These three lessons introduce the BrainDance, elements of dance, Body, Energy, Space and Time, and some simple and highly adaptable movement alternatives to allow students to simultaneously relax while simultaneously focusing attention. They are simple, stand-alone exercises, but can also be layered and integrated into curricular connections in math, science and language arts.
Teaching Artist: Kathleen Kingsley

Drumming for Health: Connection and Community through Cardio Drumming

Grades 3-6 (one 60- to 90-minute session)
Cultures with drum and dance traditions have strong and healthy communities and individuals; rhythm, movement, and community circles are a part of everyday life, bringing health, connection, and well-being. In this workshop, famed West African drummer and dancer Mohamed “Bako” Camara guides students to have a unique experience of social emotional connection with themselves and peers, increased cardiovascular and muscular strength, cross patterning for better brain connection, and use of physical activity as a vehicle for self-expression. Meets New Mexico Physical Education standards as well as New Mexico Arts Standards in Music and Dance.
Teaching Artist: Mohamed “Bako” Camara

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Teaching Artists

Wendy Chapin

Wendy Chapin is a theater artist who began teaching in the Santa Fe public schools in 2001 independently as a theater teacher, working with integrated arts for the Alto Program, and working for Artworks a Lincoln Center Program sponsored by Partners in Education. She also teaches for Southwestern College where she got her MA in Art Therapy.

Kathleen Kingsley

Kathleen Kingsley is a dancer/choreographer/dance educator. As co-founder of City in Motion Dance Theater in Kansas City, Missouri, she choreographed for and danced with the resident company. She also initiated the first of four children’s dance theaters. She is a graduate of Anne Green Gilbert’s Summer Teacher Institute in creative dance. Her work in dance straddles both the teaching artist and school educator roles. As co-founder of the Río Gallinas School for Ecology and the Arts in Las Vegas, New Mexico she developed and taught the dance curriculum for grades 1-8. She established the dance department at the United World College of the American West (UWC-USA) and developed the IB dance curricula. Currently Kathleen is co-founder and executive artistic director of MoveWest Center for Movement Exploration in Santa Fe. She is also ALTO’s Residency Program Coordinator.

Mohamed Bako Camara

Mohamed “Bako” Camara was born in Guinea, West Africa and has lived in the United States since 2012. Before coming to the US, he traveled the world as Director General of Guinea Percussion, a men’s performance company, showcasing traditional rhythm and dance of Guinea. He was also the Artistic Director of Nimbaya, the first women’s drum and dance company from Guinea, which spread a powerful social justice message through drum, dance, song, and theatre performances. Currently a resident of Santa Fe, NM, Mohamed is a performing artist at the Railyard Performance Center (Santa Fe, NM), Wassa Wassa African Dance and Drum Festival (Santa Fe, NM) and Camp Merveilles (Gunnison, CO). Mohamed loves sharing his culture by teaching people of all ages at camps, in school settings, and as private students.

theater with glowing lights at night with hills in background

For more information, please contact:

Charles Gamble
Director of School Programs