Dance in Schools gets Cambridge students grooving to history and science

Dance in Schools gets Cambridge students grooving to history and science
Posted on 04/27/2015

One classroom learned about immigration through Yiddish dance. Another linked dance movement to planetary characteristics. Dance in the Schools, a dance education program integrating movement with academic curriculum, just completed a successful six weeks of sessions in 50 Cambridge Public School classrooms. The program spans all 12 elementary schools, reaching nearly 1,000 students from junior kindergarten through fifth grade. Sessions are led by 22 professional Dance Teaching Artists from around greater Boston, and are designed based on the choice of four standards-based themes. Dance in the Schools develops children’s ability to think creatively and cooperatively, innovate, problem-solve and focus in school, while being physically active. 

Highlights this year included the Graham and Parks School’s fourth-grade American Dream Expedition curriculum, with dance specialists focusing on styles from Yiddish immigrant dances to the evolution of hip-hop. At the Tobin Montessori School, Brittany MacDonald’s Lower Elementary students incorporated dance with their lesson on planets. “They used their research to think about how they would go through the dance as if they were on that planet. Then they performed in front of each other. It was a great experience linking content to movement!” MacDonald said. Sessions at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School were so valuable for student growth, learning, interaction, and sheer joy that the school found additional funding to add on another three sessions.

A research project substantiating the program’s value, led by a Harvard Graduate School of Education student, has been conducted in the schools and will be completed soon. The results are available upon request.

About Dance in the Schools
Dance in the Schools is a program available annually to all students, grades junior-kindergarten through fifth grade, in the Cambridge Public Schools at no cost to them. Professional dance teaching artists are matched with classroom teachers based on schedule requirements, age/grade, standards/curriculum areas of choice and expertise. The program integrates movement and dance with the academic curriculum, utilizing standards-based programming embedded with 21st-century skills. Dance Teaching Artists and classroom teachers actively collaborate before and during the program, to maximize the learning experience for everyone.

Massachusetts Dance Education Organization (MADEO) is the fiscal agent for Dance in the Schools.

Questions and comments can be addressed to Erica Sigal, Coordinator of Dance in the Schools at 617.254.4809.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.