Independent Dance Ambassadors – Keeping Kids safe and active with Dance!

In Colorado, Dance Exploration, LLC has served over 100 schools with our safe and educational after school dance, cheer and theater program. Each of our classes serve an average of 10 participants and 3 rounds of students. If we were able to expand our reach into 100 schools in each state nationwide with our Dance Ambassador program, we could bring a safe and educational after school option to children in 5,000 schools and potentially 150,000 additional children nationwide could be enriched by the opportunities our ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum provides.

IMG_7256

Why are after school programs important?

According to the Afterschool Alliance Fact Sheet 11.3 million kids are left unattended during after school hours (usually between the hours of 3 and 6p). Children are more likely to get into ‘trouble’ during these hours.

It’s been determined that children who do participate in after school programs have fewer absences, perform better, are better behaved and score higher on tests than students who do not participate in an after school activity. (Weissberg, R.P., et.al, 20 10)

There are 19.3 MILLION children who would participate in an afterschool program if one were provided to them! That’s 19.3 million children who could potentially benefit from a Dance Ambassador visiting their school with the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum!

Read the Source

What are the Outcomes of After School Programs?

  • Improved attendance and engagement in learning
  • Improved test scores and grades
  • Students at the greatest risks received the greatest gains
  • Keep kids safe, active and on track
  • Help working families

Read the Source

What are the Physical Activity Statistics for After School Hours? 

Based on a report conducted by America After 3 PM (Afterschool Alliance) 13,709 households completed a survey on their expectations of afterschool programs and if the programs were meeting these expectations.

  • 8 in 10 parents surveyed agreed that after school programs should keep the kids physically active.
  • 8 in 10 parents believed the programs should be fun for the kids.
  • 68% of parents will enroll their children in after school program based on how much physical activity it may provide
  • 2014 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth” by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance gave a “D-” which means most children are not receiving 60 minutes or more of physical activity 5 days per week
  • 84% of parents believe that After School programs should offer the opportunity for children to be physically active
  • The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that youth between the ages of 6-17 should exercise for 60 minutes daily.
  • 44% of school administrators have admitted to having to cut physical education activities int their schools to  make room for other academics during school hours
  • 1/3 (32%) of children are considered overweight or obese
  • Only 56% of parents realize that there are standards for after school programs that provide physical activity

Read the Source

IMG_6271

How Can Dance Exploration help or improve these statistics?

Providing a physically active and fun program to students
All Dance Exploration, LLC ‘Dance to Learn!’™ classes include physical activity! Classes inlcude a warm up section designed to warm up muscles with easy stretches, cardio and strength exercises. Across the floor and center activities get the children moving. Activities are designed to improve agility, balance, coordination, strength, mobility, and flexibility. Finally a choreography section (learning a dance to pre-set moves) can be challenging and fun! Our program is fun, dancing is fun! Upbeat music, learning new moves, dancing with props or in groups- our ‘Dance to Learn!™ Curriculum is designed for the whole child in mind. It’s not just teaching dance, it’s allowing children to express themselves through dance and movement! Encouraging creativity in designing and choreographing their own dance moves.

Providing more physical active hours in a day
Our programs are 45-60 minutes long! With the decrease in physically active hours offered to children in schools, they need as many hours of movement and activity as they can get!

Combating childhood obesity
Along with providing an hour of added activity to our students’ day, dance evolves around active and healthy individuals. We encourage our students to live more active lifestyles through a family engagement program. This gets parents moving at home with their children- adding more physical activity. If parents have healthier and more active lifestyles, so will their children.

Improving the awareness of Dance Standards
Like standards for afterschool programs, there are also state and national standards of dance education. Our 5 Methods of Dance™ follow these standards and we are train our Ambassadors on the national and state standards.

Now you know how adding Dance Ambassadors across the US can further enrich the lives of school children nationwide! Make a pledge today to help us get more kids active and dancing!

Pledge our Kickstarter Campaign

DANCE TO MOVE

Advertisements

‘Dance to Learn!’™ Dance Ambassador Program

SLIDE SHOW 5The goal of the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Dance Ambassador program is to train and certify Dance Professionals in the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum. In development since 2009, Dance Exploration, LLC’s ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum has been taught to children in preschool and elementary schools across Colorado! When founded originally, it combined a ‘Recipe for Success’ which used the following ingredients to compose of the classes:

Dance Principles:
1 Part Warm Ups
1 Part Across/Around the Floor
1 Part Center Activity
1 Part Choreography

School Principles:
Combine any one or Combo:
Math/Numbers
Science
Reading/Writing
Spelling
History
Art

Development Skills:
Include any and all:
Cognitive Skills
Social Skills
Motor Skills
Language Skills

These combinations included a dance class that was designed to teach the whole child.

5 METHODS OF DANCE

Since 2009 the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum has been developed and now includes the 5 Methods of Dance™ these methods include:

‘Dance to Learn!’™- teaching the child in a way that fosters creative thinking, problem solving and interacting in the world with dance and movement.

‘Dance to Accept!’™- teaching children about social and economic differences and how to embrace the unique talents and skills of others through dance and movement.

‘Dance to Discover!’™- helping children discover their world through dance principles. Discovery can be any concept that children would learn whether in school or just a life concept.

‘Dance to Express!’™- helping children find their individual passion. Many children have a hard time communicating or sharing their problems or thoughts, dance allows another avenue for this expression.

‘Dance to Move!’™- movement through dance can teach balance, coordination, flexibility, agility and strength. Dance also encourages and active and healthy lifestyle.

These five methods have been designed with the whole child in mind and are based on the different stages of childhood development: Cognition, language and speech development, social skills, and motor development. Our new recipe for success is the perfect combination to immprove Dance Education in schools.

According to the National Dance Education Organization 57% of children do NOT have access to dance training in schools! Of the 43% who do, only 7% of this training is offered by a teacher who is trained or specialized in dance!! (http://www.ndeo.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=893257&module_id=55774)

Think about that! Would you want your child to learn how to drive by a person who doesn’t have a driver’s license of their own? Would you want your child to learn how to tumble and flip by a person who never trained in gymnastics? What about trusting a person who didn’t train in proper ballet technique before teaching your child how to dance in pointe shoes? Dance in all forms takes years to develop proper technique and training! Just like professional football players train for years, so do our dancers and dance teachers! Why do more schools not entrust the teaching of dance to dance professionals? It’s clearly a topic that requires more education, as well as more dance professionals who are open and willing to enter the schools to provide that education!

With the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Dance Ambassador program, our Ambassadors will receive a teaching certification on the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ curriculum and the 5 Methods that formulate that Curriculum. They will be authorized to teach the Curriculum for three years to children in schools in their state of residence! Our Dance Ambassador program is not made available to dance studios where dance is already taught on a professional level by dance professionals. This program is designed specifically for school children who don’t have access to or cannot afford professional dance education. With the Dance Ambassador program, we can also ensure that the dance training provided to children in our schools also includes all the benefits that dance provides by including the 5 Methods of Dance designed specifically around the stages of childhood development!

#7

With the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum website, our Dance Ambassadors will also receive a three year dance curriculum subscription to continued education and development in the ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum to ensure that children can continue to receive the best in dance education!

Can you help us improve the statistics for the quality of dance education provided to our youth in schools nationwide? Make a pledge today and help us on our mission!

Learn how to apply to become a ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Independent Dance Ambassador!

Adventures with Olaf!

Dance Exploration’s January 2015 theme for our Preschool aged Creative Dance and Pre-Ballet Classes is ‘Winter!’

What better kid-friendly and, very popular, character to help us with this concept, than with Olaf! Everyone knows Olaf! He’s a silly snowman who likes ‘Warm Hugs!’ and dreams about living in summer.

Here are some fun Snowman games inspired by Olaf that you can play in your Preschool Aged Dance classes!

Build a Snowman!

This game was inspired by the following Dancing Olaf Video created by Disney Animation Studios:

What you will need:

Construction Paper
Scissors
Black Sharpie

Cut out the different parts of your snowman (ours had 9 pieces total):

2  Small Circles (Feet)
1 Large Circle (Bottom)
1 Medium Circle (Middle)
1 Small Circle (Head)
2 Arm Pieces
1 Carrot Nose
1 Head Piece (hat or hair)

Our Snowman looks like this:

Olaf game

Have the kids help you build the snowman piece by piece so they know how he’s supposed to go together.

Now it gets harder. They must build their snowman blindfolded!

First blindfold each child. Ask them how many spins they want to do (no more than 5) After they’ve done their spins have them put their snowman piece down.

After all the kids have had a turn, your snowman may end up looking more like this:

IMG_5789But it’s okay! It’s all fun and games…and the kids will LOVE it!

olaf game 2

Snow Man Prints in the Snow!

Fun for any preschool aged hip hop class!

Pretend that each dance move you do, is to make a print in the snow!

Round 1: Hand Prints
Take a few steps forward and jump down and touch the ground to get your hands in the snow!

Round 2: Snowman Foot Prints
Take a few steps forward, jump down and do a big spin on your bum. Jump up  and do it again!

Round 3: Skid Marks
Take a few steps forward. Bend down with your hand behind you, shoot both legs out and pull them back in. Miss Zoe demonstrates below:

IMG_4811

Round 4: Make a circle
After successfully making your ‘skid marks’ in the snow, next you must cover your tracks by making a big circle! Miss Stephanie’s student demonstrates in her preschool hip hop class:

Dance Exploration is a mobile after school dance and performing arts program for kids, traveling into preschools and elementary schools in the Denver Metro Area! Our ‘Dance to Learn!’™ Curriculum is enriching the lives of children through out Colorado! Book a free trial at your school! Olaf can’t wait to dance with you either!

IMG_5852

Celebrating going Back to School in Dance Class

We’ve had a great start to our Back to School Dance Classes for the 2014/2015 school year! We couldn’t be happier with all that our children are learning and with an upcoming Nuggets performance, we will be able to share their progress with a live audience!

This year, in our preschool classes, we have been creating a monthly theme of which to base our weekly curriculum and song choices!

Our September theme was ‘Back to School!’
Our kids enjoyed some fun activities based entirely on going back to school! We are going to share some of the fun activities that the kids learned during the month of September. You are more than welcome to try any of these in your dance classes! The next time you’re looking for a ‘Back to School!’ dance game or activity for your little ones, give any of these a try! Leave us a comment and let us know how you like it!

Warm Up Activity: Pack a Lunch
Sitting in a Straddle position go around the circle and ask each child individually what they want for lunch.

Jimmy wants a sandwich- Reach towards your right foot. Grab a sandwich and put it in your box (drum the floor in the center of your legs).
Sally wants an apple- Reach towards your left foot. Grab an apple and put it in your box (drum the floor in the center of your legs).

Boys at the Montessori Children's House of Denver pack up their lunches during warm ups in dance class.

Boys at the Montessori Children’s House of Denver pack up their lunches during warm ups in dance class.

When all the kids had a turn, eat your lunch up. Starting towards your right foot, bend forward and across the floor to the left foot. Ask, “Who still has food left? Raise your hand!” Then start from the left foot, bend forward and across the floor to the right foot. Be sure to make your “Nom, Nom, Nom!” noises!

Around the Room Activity: Wheels on the Bus
Standing in the middle of the room in the circle sing, ‘The Wheels on the Bus go ‘Round and ‘Round!’

March around the circle and add a different movement to each verse.

The Wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round: March while circling your arms to the right and to the left

The Wipers on the bus go swish swish swish: March while doing swishing arms above your head

Students at BMH-BJ demonstrate how they march in a circle during 'The Wheels on the Bus!' activity.

Students at BMH-BJ demonstrate how they march in a circle during ‘The Wheels on the Bus!’ activity.

The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep: Bend your knees and bounce each time the horn goes beep

The lights on the bus go on and off: When the lights are on do a big jump with arms out. When the lights go off jump in and get little.

The driver on the bus says ‘Sit, Sit, Sit’: Make a pointing finger and bounce. Tell a friend to sit, sit sit.

When you’ve done it a few times, have the kids sing and dance the song on their own!
Across the Floor Activity: Late for School Obstacle Course!

Put together a fun, ‘Late to School!’ Obstacle Course.

Clear the room and put down items in a pathway that the child must jump, climb, or crawl through.

For example: Mats on the floor can be rocks the child must hop scotch on.
Jump ropes could be stairs that they have to leap down. Hula Hoops can be puddles they must jump in.
They need to crawl through a tunnel to get to their spot on the bus.

A student at the Primrose School climbs through an Obstacle Course.

A student at the Primrose School climbs through an Obstacle Course.

Try these fun ‘Back to School!’ Games in your class! Let us know how like them 😀

What is SPARKLE?

Dance Exploration, LLC has quickly grown to become Colorado’s Premier dance and performing arts program for children! We have created a unique management principle called #SPARKLE
Here’s a little about how #SPARKLE works

SPARKLE

S is for Systems
Dance Exploration has created a unique system of policies, procedures, training, continued education and staff evaluations to ensure the success of all of our Staff Members!

P is for Pledge
Dance Exploration management pledges to readily available for all Staff Members. To answer questions, solve problems, and lend a helping hand.

A is for Ambitions
Dance Exploration is extremely goal oriented. Therefore we set attainable goals for our staff members and travel along every step of the way.

R is for Regiments
We believe in team work! We have a moto that our Staff isn’t working for us, but rather working with us! Join us in our common goal!

K is for Knowledge
Dance Exploration believes in continued education and training so we can have the best Dance Educators in the industry!

L is for Leadership
We try to create independent leaders in every one of our Staff Members with frequent evaluations and feedback to always foster improvement.

E is for Express
As in Express Yourself! We are an open door to communication! We know two heads are better than one and five heads are better than two!

Do you want to #SPARKLE too?
Apply for a great Dance Exploration Career on our Career Page

What is PURPLE?

Dance Exploration has created a new hiring campaign to find the perfect Dance Educators to join our team for the 2014/2015 school year!
Are You #PURPLE

purple

P is for Passionate!
We want Educators and Staff Members who are passionate about Dance Exploration and our mission ‘Dance to Learn!’

U is for Uniquely Talented!
We want our Educators to be creative, artistic and unique in their teaching styles and curriculum. They will then help us continue to develop our ‘Dance to Learn!’ Curriculum for years to come!

R is for Respectful!
We want our Educators and Staff Members to respect our students by teaching in a positive “Yes” Environment. Our teachers should know how to respect their peers, school staff and parents. Most importantly, our teachers should respect themselves and be great role models!

P is for Professional!
Our Educators and Staff Members should be organized and reliable individuals with out going personalities and great communication skills!

L is for Love Kids!
We are a youth organization! The first question we ask in all our interviews is, “Why do you love kids?”

E is for Educated!
We are looking for Educators that are looking to continue their knowledge in Dance and Theater Education by completing Dance Exploration Training Courses!

If you feel You Are #PURPLE visit Our Career Page to apply for a Dance Exploration Career! A Career that Sparkles!

A Peek Inside a Creative Dance class!

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.

Image

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.

Image

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!

Image

Book a Creative Dance Class at your school!