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make your day dance

Space — an invitation to dance

October 11th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Tags: ····

A wide expanse. A clear, clean wooden floor. Sunlight from four high windows. The space invites movement.  Kids rush in, sliding and cartwheeling. When it’s time to dance, they explode in all directions, running, dodging, leaping, careening almost out of control but mostly not. A few pick their way carefully through the channels of space that open between moving bodies. Others fly into and through the clear patches of space that open and close around them.

A remodel three years ago gave my students a dance space, complete with a gym floor and a soundproof removable wall for converting the studio to a stage. It doesn’t quite offer 64 square feet per child, but it’s wide open. Big enough that the school district installed a clock on each end, in preparation for some future day when academics trump art. But for now, this space tells time in all directions and invites bodies to move and dance.

And the result?  the “performance outcome”?  Children who can do small-group choreography without coming to blows… who can explore the almost-out-of-control end of the energy spectrum… who can dance circle and line dances without bumping the walls… who can incorporate general space into their dances…  children who can learn to leap and love it.

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