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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Dance, anyone?

Dance, anyone?

Related Tags: Arts
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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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Christine Termini Passarella's picture
Christine Termini Passarella
Founder of The Kids for Coltrane Project in Education

Yes Karen, my Kids for Coltrane students dance quite often, and absolutely love it!!! They also choreograph dances too. It is a joy to see them teach each other as well. Thank you so much for bringing this into the discussion. I look forward to writing more on this soon, and bringing the dance world into this valuable discussion. What you wrote about communication and expression is so very true! I can tell you personally that learning how to dance new steps in recent years has been fantastic for me as well. Let's keep this talk going!

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia
Staff

Hi Karen and Christine and everyone else interested in this topic -

I totally hear you - as a kinesthetic learner, I think dance is a crucial part of learning! I thought about setting up a group called Kinesthetic Learning. Does that title work for you? Or would you folks rather see it as part of the arts?

Faith Davis's picture

I agree! Unfortunately, it is the last art form to be added to a school's arts programs and the first to go. Even though research supports that students learn best through and with movement. On a positive note, a charter school was formed here in Los ANgeles dedicated to dance. Every student gets dance for one hour every day. Gabriella Charter School is unique in that DANCE is at the center of the curriculum!

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia
Staff

[quote] Gabriella Charter School is unique in that DANCE is at the center of the curriculum![/quote]

Hi Faith - That's wonderful! Do you know anyone there who might be interested in being a part of this community?

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

Hi Betty and all our friends here in this marvelous group. I must say that my students adore dancing!! It is an integral part of my program. I am teaching through the arts, and dancing is one of the beautiful paths we take. I vote to keep it in our group. I think that if you are teaching in a multiple intelligences classroom you cannot segment the arts. If however, we put it in a separate category, I am certain there will be much to share as well. I am so thrilled this community is discussing dance. It is just such a gift to the kids. All children should have dance in their lives. I will write more on this soon.

Daniel Long's picture

Good Morning! As a former faculty member of the PA Institute for Arts Educators, I too am very glad Dance is beginning to receive some attention! In many public schools, "Square Dancing" in Gym class is as close to Dance as they get! The same can be said for Theater as well. If it weren't for school musicals and English class, Theater would be as scarce as dance.

There is currently a group of high stake holders gathering to update the National Standards for the Arts. Perhaps they might have info to share woth this discussion?? I know they met recently to get the process going, but I don't know when the next meeting is.

Dan Long
Twin Valley HS
Elverson, PA
dlong@tvsd.org

carmel ann collins's picture

Hi everyone,
Dance is a natural way of learning and expressing ourselves. It is not only a powerful tool of universal communication it is a powerful tool for uniting and strengthening community. I have been teaching dance full time in a public high school for some 8 years now in rural New England. It is good to hear from others across the state talk of dance in their schools. It makes me not feel so alone!

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia
Staff

[quote]
There is currently a group of high stake holders gathering to update the National Standards for the Arts. Perhaps they might have info to share woth this discussion?? I know they met recently to get the process going, but I don't know when the next meeting is.
[/quote]

Interesting. Would love any links if you come across them.

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