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make your day dance

Why Dance Matters: it’s contagious — in a good way

April 17th, 2010 · No Comments · Tags: ·

Fifth graders at my school, who have danced since kindergarten, generally accept dance — like recess or PE or math — or the air they breathe. But when transfer students make their first trip to the dance classroom, they often look like they’ve landed on Mars without oxygen. Geo was one such 5th grader, clearly mortified at the idea of dance. He tried to make himself invisible. Cooperative enough about taking his assigned place in the room for warm-up, he nonetheless sat or stood motionless while movement burst around him — no matter how simple the moves. I quieted students commenting on his immobility and offered him a safe, out-of-the-way spot when he was really in the way.  And he, surrounded by enthusiastic dancers, gradually — oh so gradually — warmed to the idea of moving. By year’s end, when his fellow 5th graders decided to choreograph and rehearse a dance for their graduation ceremony, he joined every rehearsal — during recess! — and danced his heart out with the rest of them.

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