We just recently rolled out the new look of our website. This also included the new ‘Dance to Learn!’ Curriculum and 5 Methods of dance that we have discovered to ensure that we are teaching the whole child!
What are the 5 Methods of the ‘Dance to Learn!’ Curriculum in a Creative Dance Class?
Method 1: ‘Dance to Learn!’
‘Dance to Learn!’ is also our mission. We were founded on the premise that dance should be taught in a way that benefits the child as a whole, not merely just for recreation. To do this we have a monthly theme for our classes. This keeps our classes exciting and new every time. We’ve also found original music that coincides with the theme. The songs are fun, upbeat and easy for the kids to learn so they can sing along too. The themes are age appropriate and are designed around a child’s development stages. Focusing on Cognitive, Language, Social and Motor Development ensures that our creative dance classes are a great tool to compliment any core curriculum at a Montessori or preschool.
Method 2: ‘Dance to Discover!‘
Dance Exploration helps children discover the world around them. By applying a monthly theme we can focus on a new area of life that kids will be excited to learn more about. Whether the theme is ‘Back to School,’ ‘Animals,’ ‘Enchanted Creatures,’ etc they will get to make discoveries through imaginative play and movement.
Method 3: ‘Dance to Express!‘
People dance to express themselves. It makes people happier by reducing stress. We encourage our dancers in our Creative Dance classes to make decisions about their dancing that satisfies themselves. For example, if a student is asked to dance like a monkey and wants to crawl on the floor like a gorilla rather then stand up and swing from pretend branches, they are encouraged and rewarded for creativity and thinking outside the box. Dance Exploration Educators are trained to recognize different types of thinkers and how to reward, inspire and encourage each individual child’s creative process.
Method 4: ‘Dance to Accept!‘
Preschoolers are at a very important stage in social development. They are learning important skills such as patience, sharing, being kind vs being mean, etc. In our Creative Dance classes students are taught to exhibit these qualities. Like all activities, our dance classes are structured and come with rules and expectations. Students are reminded of these guidelines each week to ensure a smooth class can be had by all involved. Monthly themes include partner and group exercises to teach preschoolers team work at a young age. Whether it be dancing with partners, playing follow the leader, or sharing props, the dancers will be learning important social skills and how to work with their peers.
Method 5: ‘Dance to Move!‘
Of course dancing is all about moving! In Creative Dance kids will learn all their basic movements! Locomotor skills include: Tippi Toe walking, marching, skipping, leaping, jumping, kicking, twirling and some more difficult movements such as crab walks, grape vines, and combining skills. Dancers will also learn their non-locomotor movements such as twisting, shaking, bending, swaying, stretching etc. The use of props such as scarves, tambourines, maracas, stuffed animals, etc will also teach important find motor skills!
What is a Dance Exploration Creative Dance Class?
Dance Exploration, LLC’s Creative Dance classes have been created around a child’s cognitive, language, social and motor development. Class begins with warm ups which include stretches to popular Nursery Rhymes such as “Hickory Dickory Dock”, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider!” and other fun songs and rhymes. Multi Colored Scarves and props are also used in the warm ups to increase fine motor skills and improve hand-eye co-ordination and of course to make simple steps like twirling more fun! Across the Floor Exercises consist of basic elementary dance movements with the focus on correct execution and technique. Many of these exercises are done alone, but several include partner activities to encourage social development and peer relations. Mat work is included in this class to teach shapes and concepts such as over, under, through, around, in between, inside, outside, and more. Mat work is also great for spatial awareness. Class ends with costumes and free style dancing where the child is allowed to let their creativity and imagination take over. They are challenged to learn musicality as they dance to fast and slow tempos, and their minds are encouraged to work when asked to strike big, little or medium poses or pose like animals or bugs! The Creative Dance Class includes
The Terpsichore Literacy Program where once a month children will be reading a children’s book and taken on an adventure with their dance Educator re-enacting the story with movement. Children are nurtured by their instructor through a “Yes” Environment, and the small class size ensures the personal attention needed at this stage of learning. Children at this level are taught the fundamentals of choreography where they are taught dance routines and how to memorize them. Routines are based on the child’s ability and talent and are designed to encourage self-confidence and worth when executed correctly! Parents are able to observe what their child has learned through several free observations and community performances through out the session! Creative Dance classes include participation in the Dance Exploration Family Engagement Program!