I didn’t always consider myself a dance educator. In fact, when I began my elementary teaching career I thought of myself as a math and science specialist. It wasn’t until my first professional learning experience in dance education 10 years ago that my mindset shifted about the benefits and value of dance education. I began exploring how dance and movement could be used to unlock students’ abilities to take risks and think critically, build their mental health and well-being, and encourage creativity. As I watched students use their bodies for learning, as well as instruments of expression, I witnessed their engagement in school increase. Since then, I’ve plunged myself, and my students, into the world of dance. Dance develops students’ creativity and ability to problem-solve collaboratively, two of the most important skills needed by twenty-first-century learners. Giving students the freedom to make choices within a structured program encourages them to reach beyond what comes easily, use their imaginations and test their personal boundaries. Dance also enables students to better understand themselves and the world in which they live. I have come to realize that dance education is more than movement for fitness or entertainment. Dance education today concentrates on process, the process of using the body to
- Express an idea
- Think about and challenge opinions
- Develop emotional understanding of self and others
- Revise and refine choices through critical analysis.
Planning and Organization Are the Keys to Success