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make your day dance

Why Dance Matters to me

May 3rd, 2010 · 3 Comments · Tags:

I teach dance, the least understood and least represented of Washington State’s legislated content areas.  I teach dance because it engages children physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially, providing them with visible and felt experiences of learning.  Dance has the power to touch and change all students: boys and girls, children from English-speaking and non-English-speaking families, students from wealth or poverty, with normal or different bodies.  Creating a dance draws a student into the creative process, of transforming idea into form and feeling into motion. Dancing together provides students with experiences of community, examples of diversity, and models for collaboration. As they learn and grow in dance class, they grow in self-assuredness, as well as their understanding of themselves as individuals and cultural beings.

I know the power of dance because it worked in my own life.  I only began to dance seriously after I had graduated from an academically-oriented private liberal arts college, with a degree in Asian Studies.  Despite academic success as a student, I felt that I only began to learn when I began to dance, and for the next 10 years, dance provided a rich education for me.  I teach it now, in the public schools, because every child deserves to be so engaged, to learn to use the body as an instrument of expression, and to understand the power of dance as an expression of community and culture.

Join the discussion about Why Dance Matters here & here.

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