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make your day dance

Dance Program: The Video

January 15th, 2012 · 5 Comments · Tags: ···

I have parents who aren’t too sure what this dancing business is all about. They don’t necessarily speak English, many don’t have time to come to school and talk about it, most come from a different culture or world view.

So I made a video and put it on the website. Truth be told, it was a lot of trouble. I had to collate 370 permission slips in order to videotape kids and post them on the school’s website. I had to get someone to videotape the performance (usually someone without any particular expertise but with a willingness to man the videocam through the whole performance). I had to revideo the classes that included kids without permission to videotape. Then, I had to learn how to use iMovie. And figure out how to put it on the web without Youtube, which has a less-than-educational reputation among my community of parents. And redo our school’s website so there would be a place for the video on it.

Here it is on the school website: The Dance Program.

And here it is at Vimeo:

Clearly, my purpose was to communicate with parents, so there’s only a little snippet of each grade level.  Here are the dances that were in the program:

  • Kindergarten: The Shoemaker, which gives 5-year-olds a chance to practice all the basic locomotor skills during rehearsal.
  • First grade: The kids were studying weather, so their dances include a song about the colors of weather and an improvisational structure accompanied by weather cinquains they wrote and narrated.
  • Second, third & fourth grades: We tried a musical for the first time ever: Character Matters by Bad Wolf Press. We all enjoyed it & I figured out some things I’ll do differently next time!
  • Fifth grade, group 1: A dance telling the story of The Magic Fan by Keith Baker, inspired by the kids’ concern about the tsunami in Japan, April 2011.
  • Fifth grade, group 2: The kids’ choreography, with a [very] tangential connection to biographies they wrote about role models in American history and culture.

I may do this again someday, so if you have any pointers, do let me know!


5 Comments so far ↓

  • Maria Hanley

    Great video! Almost half of our jobs are to educate parents about dance education. It’s so important and I think a video is an awesome way to do it!

  • megrm

    Thanks for watching. It’s also enlightening as a teacher to really study the video from an event (e.g. while cutting & compiling for advocacy) for what the kids are doing — stuff you don’t always notice when you’re stage-managing, directing & behavior-managing. Many insights!

  • Cait

    I really enjoyed watching the video – you did a great job – it will help parents appreciate the value of dance education!

    I agree with you that as a teacher you notice different things. Its funny how in Kindergarten it seems like a “free-for-all”, but as you watch the different grades, ‘leaders’ start to emerge.

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing :)

  • megrm

    Thanks so much for watching, Cait! Good comment on the way kids step up over the years — sometimes they really surprise me with their development, at a certain point!

  • Too much to ask: dance without music, revisited

    […] the nation. This point is one I can continue trying to articulate to parents, as I did in placing a video on our website, specifically for the purpose of explaining the dance program to current & prospective […]