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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Dance, anyone?

Dance, anyone?

Related Tags: Arts
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28 Replies 1037 Views
Despite the great Sir Ken Robinson's pointing the fact out, in his popular TED talk of a few years ago, dance is still the most marginalized of disciplines in schools, and it is not even listed as a subject area on this website. The name of this group is Art/Music/Drama. The denial of the role of the moving body in learning is pretty complete and not only here. However, the good news is there is much to understand and value about how dance helps children (and adults for that matter!) understand their worlds, communicate with others, and discover their own expressive personalities. If there is any interest here in discussing the ways in which dance is a powerful tool for transformative learning, write away!

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Nicole Hardin's picture

I am a third grade teacher at a school filled with kids from poverty. Most of the kids will never be able to take dance outside of school. I would love for dance to be a part of our curriculum!! My heart aches for it everyday! Where can I find resources to pull it in through classroom instruction?

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer
Staff

Hi Nicole,

We've got quite a bit of resources on dance in the classroom:

:: Video: Music and Dance Drive Academic Achievement: http://www.edutopia.org/arts-opening-minds-integration-video

:: Article/Video: In Salsa Dancing, Fancy Footwork Is All About the Numbers: http://www.edutopia.org/spring-your-step

:: Poll: Do digital fitness programs beat traditional PE? http://www.edutopia.org/poll-pe-digital-fitness-programs

:: Hula Dancing Brings Students Closer to Native Culture http://www.edutopia.org/hawaii-cross-discipline-performance-curriculum

[quote]I am a third grade teacher at a school filled with kids from poverty. Most of the kids will never be able to take dance outside of school. I would love for dance to be a part of our curriculum!! My heart aches for it everyday! Where can I find resources to pull it in through classroom instruction?[/quote]

Christine Termini Passarella's picture
Christine Termini Passarella
Founder of The Kids for Coltrane Project in Education

Hi everyone, I would like to share a link with you. I had the extreme pleasure of witnessing first hand the dancing that comes out of the fabulous "Dancing Classrooms" program. The fifth graders at my school in Jamaica Estates, Queens participated in this program and have emerged more confident, graceful and with improved communication skills. Of course, their ability to dance socially brings them pure joy!!. If you are interested in bringing dance to your school check out http://www.americanballroomtheater.com/.

This program was founded by Pierre Dulaine and Yvonne Marceau. Their work was the subject of the movies Mad Hot Ballroom and Take the Lead.

Linda Lovins's picture
Linda Lovins
SEADAE Co-Chair, National Expectations for Learning in Arts Ed.

It's wonderful to know you're interested in the National Standards, and to know the news is spreading! To follow developments in the re-conceptualization of the National Standards, you may want to visit http://seadae.org. SEADAE is stewarding the work with NDEO, MENC, NAEA, and EdTA, along with many other partners, and will be looking for broad-based input from across the nation as the work proceeds.

Lorenzo Dawson's picture
Lorenzo Dawson
Ballroom dance teacher - middle school students

Is anyone familiar with Dancing Classrooms of NYC? Now in hundreds of 5th grade classrooms. It uses ballroom dancing as a means of teaching social development and respect skills. The effects have been felt in all subjects. Now 18 more cities are modeling after the original NYC program.

Christine Termini Passarella's picture
Christine Termini Passarella
Founder of The Kids for Coltrane Project in Education

Yes Lorenzo, thanks for highlighting this fabulous program. There is also a film about it entitled Mad Hot Ballroom. The fifth graders in my school in Queens, New York have benefited from it on many levels. I can also tell you that I do ballroom dancing with my second grade students and my older enrichment groups. My program is called the Kids for Coltrane Project. I do not have a budget, so I find creative ways to bring the arts to my kids. I took dance lessons and shared what I learned with the kids. The most amazing things started to happen. The children helped me choreograph dances. They were incredible. At one point the PTA donated funds to bring in a dance teacher. When the lessons ran out the teacher volunteered his time to keep the lessons going! There are many ways to bring dance to the children. We must be creative and never give up. Dancing is wonderful for the children. The Dancing Classrooms program is successful and beautiful to behold. I am so glad to hear how it is growing!

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

Hello Dancers,

I have a new Blog at http://phineas8888.blogspot.com
that will explain some of my background and interest in Art and Music and Dance; and will specifically explain how and why I made the following new video at youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2AtGu1PsIo

It is very brief at 2 1/2 minutes... but I hope you enjoy it and find ways to adapt it, to create your own videos, or student videos, etc.

Movement is Life and is born from Stillness...

Allen / phineas8888

KellyAnn Bonnell's picture
KellyAnn Bonnell
Education and Outreach - Arts for Social Change Director

I'm thrilled to hear from a teacher implementing Dancing Classrooms. One of the challenges we've had in getting it adopted in AZ is the absence of SBR to support a program we absolutely know works. I know Pierre and his team are currently doing to the research that so many schools require for adoption and I'll be thrilled when there is more of it.

Another great resource for dance is the movement and music curriculum available through High Scope. High Scope has a long history of developing curricula that meets SBR requirements so its quite easy to get districts to adopt and for those who are perhaps not dance savvy the resources are easy to use with strong theoretical background.

http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=15

Sharon Nesbit-Davis's picture
Sharon Nesbit-Davis
Education Director for Arts Council/Teaching Artist

I've worked in both community and school settings with kids in poverty and know how crucial the arts (dance, drama, visual, music) have been in helping them to grow in confidence and envision the life they want. Our arts programs have helped a number of youth become the first in their families to graduate from high school and go to college. I sit in school improvement meetings and want to scream. The focus is on test scores not the goal of having children love to read or develop the 21st century skills I read are most valued: critical thinking, problem solving,...things intrinsic to the arts. One of these days I will let out a primal scream and startle everyone because my art focus is mime.

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