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Category: Free Inquiry

Dance Experience

To conclude my inquiry project, I just wanted to bring the focus back to why I chose this topic. The reason I chose this topic is because I am a dancer and now I teach dance and so I value how dance helps students succeed in their everyday life. This transfers to the idea that dance supports the creation of valuable life skills as well as a balanced learning atmosphere where the child is at the centre of their education.

I as a future teacher, believe in this educational pedagogy and arts mindset as there are many affects emotionally and cognitively. Performing Arts is a subject area that should receive more attention and in my classroom this will definitely be my goal!

Something I believe is beneficial and that I learned is to understand is that educational dance in schools and studio dance is different. However they still do share common outcomes and benefits related to health and development. Here is a link to a blog further discussing this topic. 

The following website, is from the dance studio my mom and I opened and created the  website and I manage all social media.
I have also added a photo of myself when performing in Disney World in 2017!

Building an Art Model

Throughout this term, I have talked about the specific benefits of dance and music. However, these extend beyond just dance. The performing arts category and arts model can thus be a way to include various cross curriculars such as dance into the classroom.

According to the following article, Article Arts Method a teacher can follow a specific teaching method such as the Art Model. This model was created by Jacqueline Autard and is based on three characteristics CREATING-PERFORMING-APPRECIATING. This supports the idea of student driven system where the child is at the centre of their learning as they are given the opportunity to explore and create all while learning from others performances and compositions. Children will also learn observation skills and various styles which will lead them to learn communication, collaboration instead of competition and constructive criticism rather than judgment.

Dance and an Art Model can thus help students learn about themselves (teach self awareness) through the idea of emotional literacy. It can also help students understand their body, mind and imagination. This model suggest that teachers don’t just have their students follow but instead they must allow children to explore and create through the idea of modern theory.

Through this model, there is suggestions how to teach dance for example.

Here is a breakdown of a lesson that supports the Art model “Create, Perform, Appreciate”

  1. Welcome
  2. General Activation
  3. Exploration
  4. Composition
  5. Conclusion




The above diagrams and pictures are taken from the research article (Article Arts Method)


Kindermusik Program In Relation to Dance

Kindermusik is a program that was founded in Bermuda by Suzanne and has now extended to an internationally recognized program. The program consists of using music (singing, instruments, laughing, storytelling) and movement (dancing). There classes range from O years until age 7. However, with the research that has been done I truly believe a similar program could be implemented for all ages. According to their website ( ¬†their “award winning curricula and world-class educators provide engaging musical learning experiences during the years most critical to brain development.”

The following diagram is also from the Kindermusik website and focuses on some of the benefits of bringing music and dance to support learning.

As such in relation to some of our teacher education materials and in reference to our learners and learning environment class,¬†many of the needs are met. Notably the social-emotional needs, cognitive and physical needs. In order for a child to be motivated we as teachers need to be aware and consider the Childs emotional development in relation to mental, physical and spirituality. Emotional literacy is thus important as it gives you “The ability to identify, understand, express and respond to emotions, including self-emotions and the emotions of others.” (class notes Ed-d 301,Diana Nicholson 2020). This program and dance in general also supports creativity, which provides children with the opportunity to share and create their own ideas. It also has many other co-curriculars such as language and literacy as well as math.¬†

Therefore this program really looks at understanding the child as well as meeting the Childs needs and motivating them through movement. As such, it is an effective model to support children’s learning as it addresses so many developmental aspects as well as various learning styles (kinaesthetic, visual, auditive). As a result, it aims to support the diversity of students learners and identities.

Dance Teaches Valuable Life Skills

School and Education ranges from various learnings and experiences. As such, it is important to incorporate and value the diversity of learners as well as the cognitive, social,  emotional and physical aspects of life and education.

In order for a child to be the centre of their education, we as teachers need to value and meet their needs socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. Thus, supporting and teaching them a well balanced lifestyle and skills. In resent studies, there has been evidence of dance teaching valuable life skills. Notably, teamwork, empathy, respect, collaboration and cooperation. This is key as dancing is very expensive and many students will only be exposed to arts based programs through school. As a result, it is important that the arts are well supported in our current and future education systems and classrooms.

The following article describes many of these factors in relation to the importance of dance.

Some facts and numbers that stood out to me was how according to the previous article “66 percent reported an ‚Äúincreased acceptance of others”.” and how the arts funding is decreased in school but rather it should be increased.

The following tweet describes some of the skills dance supports through a visual photo.

Dance Education

Dance education refers to dance as a subject and core curricular. In the following video it really defines dance education. It shares a really good example, “when we study science for example we aren’t necessarily going to become a scientist” just like dance when we study dance it doesn’t mean we are going to become a dancer.”¬† Therefore the goal of dance education in schools is to educate and expose all children to dance in order to help their minds and bodies grow rather than train them to be professionals like studios who stress technique and specific styles. Dance education provides students with opportunity to be creative and to be exposed to a variety of styles and movements. This article further outlines the importance of dance in schools as well as the difference between studio and school dance curriculums.

The following article discusses more of these differences.

Something that stood out for me, as a a current dance instructor and studying school educator is how much my current experience can help me teach and expose students to various styles. Although it is not the goal to teach technique, since I have experience I can demonstrate with technique and teach safely. The goal of dance education is to educate the whole child all while supporting the child’s creativity and confidence. The arts are just as important as core subjects as they help create a healthy balanced lifestyle that supports all aspects of the brain. Additionally performance and practicing dance helps thus facilitate and build confidence which supports the wellbeing and idea of educating the whole child.

Dance Pedagogy and Mindset

Whether or not you view yourself as a math, science, language arts teacher, there is always more to it. Teachers support children through multidisciplinary subjects to support not only intellectual development, but also mental, physical, emotional and spiritual development. As such, we need to create a well rounded and diversified classroom through perhaps the arts mindset or dance pedagogy approach (which could be an effective mindset). ¬†Dance is thus a tool to support children’s wellbeing in a multidimensional way, as stated by the following article:¬†Dance Pedagogy Mindset Research Article.

Therefore this supports last weeks theme of mental health and wellbeing, but this article also refers to the idea that it extends to our social development as well. As a result, students who are exposed to dance tend to show more empathy as they are able to communicate their emotions better as well as work with others. This is important as dance can serve as a tool in the classroom, to create a caring, accepting atmosphere where all children feel valued. Dance also uses movements which can support the diversity of learners in the classroom as it gives them the opportunity to learn kinaesthetically.

Furthermore, the following link describes how a teacher adopted this dance mindset 

In this article it describes the importance of dance as it uses the whole body to “learn ¬†about themselves and the world around them” and how their confidence,
motivation, engagement, risk taking and creativity increased. These are all values that can be transferable to life skills and as a result is one of the many reason I believe in a dance pedagogy and wish to support this in my future classroom.

Dance and The Brain

There are many health benefits of dance. Notably there have been numerous research around how dance helps people with  Alzeimers, Dementia and other medical disorders.  Click here to view a study by Stanford that supports this claim.

Knowing this we as educators can expand on the long term benefits for our students. When students are empowered and inclined to dance from early years on, it supports their mental and physical health. Dance allows students to be creative all while showing a willingness to participate and learn through movement. Since dance is supported by movement and music, the brain is engaged in numerous ways.  Dance and movement allows the brain to release dopamine (the feel good hormone), which supports various learning styles. As such, students who may be suffering from depression or anxiety can benefit from this, as dancing activates sensory, motor and emotional responses.

Here is a video that describes how dance supports students with anxiety and depression.

Since, anxiety and depression are becoming more and more common in todays day and age, it is important to address resources to help students and people learn. As stated in the video, the benefits of a dance class extends beyond just the time of following the class. Therefore, starting children off younger can benefit them in their adult years. Dance can serve as an outlet much like singing. As a result, we can conclude that the performing arts can help students feel more confident and be more healthier, both physically and mentally. The use of dance in the classroom can thus help students have the opportunity to dance (as dance classes are expensive and not always widely available). The more opportunities we as teachers provide the more we can support the diversity of learners in our classrooms. This is why I believe that dance is important to include not only in Physical Education but also in the daily classroom and cross curricular (as we learned in the last blog).

Inquiry Dance Supports Cross Curricular’s

This week in relation to my inquiry question on how does dance support learning,  I did some research around how dance can benefit cross curricular subjects. As such, I learned how dance can support students learning whether that be learning math,  literature, science etc, dance is able to help students. You may wonder while how? While the reason is primarily because dance allows students to be actively engaged and instead of just listen they can do. The action of doing allows students to be successful and supports them as they are able to better understand and visualize concepts as they are working them through movements. As a result, dance effectively demonstrates the idea of learning all while support diverse students needs and learning styles (kinaesthetic, auditive and visual approaches).

Furthermore, below I have included some articles and a video that demonstrates how dance can be effectively used in the classroom to support the learning of diverse subjects.

Inquiry Subject

Hi again, I am back with an update!

My inquiry subject will be how does performing arts help students learn and grow? I have started some research and would like to focus my inquiry on dance specifically.
Here is a video that demonstrates responses of children towards their experiences and thoughts about dance. These children suggest that dance has empowered them to succeed, as such it demonstrates the importance of dance!

This video is an advertisement for a Canadian program that is called Sharing Dance by Canadas National Ballet School. This Sharing Dance program shares various resources for teachers and is a program that supports the use of dance in different settings notably in school classrooms. The following is the link to the website incase you want to take a look:

Dancing serves as a means for students to move and learn valuable skills that extend beyond just dancing. It allows students to visualize, get up and move as well as listen all while cooperating with others. It also has many health benefits that can help support children. If you want to find out more about this subject, stay tuned on my blog for more soon!

Here is an example of a creative dance lesson plan that could be used in the classroom (intended for the younger years, approximately grade 3 and below) :

Inquiry Project Idea

So I have been brainstorming ideas around my interests related to an inquiry project.

Inquiry is important as it  allows students to be the centre of their education. As such it empowers students to connect their learnings and share with others based off their curiosities. This provides students with the opportunity to be autonomous and engaged in their studies as they make it what they want it to be. For example, for my inquiry project last semester, I looked into the Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM) program as I was curious to know more about it after observing it in more than one classroom. This project allowed me to explore and learn based off of a subject of interest and I will get to share this information at our gallery walk.

Moving forward, I think it would be very interesting to evaluate the need for gymnastics and dance in schools and how this helps children learn and grow. This subject is intriguing to me as I have done dance and gymnastics since a very young age. I also believe that the performing arts play a huge role related to learning and as such value the importance of these in schools. This connects to some of our current classes notably EPHE 311 and EDCI 306A as they touch on the relationship of music, dance and gymnastics to education.

My inquiry question for my free Inquiry project will not only related to dance and gymnastics directly but more generally the performing arts and their importance in learning and healthy development.

Visit this link to understand some of the benefits of dance in schools!