Our school is fortunate to be one of the only schools in the area that offers dance as a content area taught during the normal school day. We teach dance Kindergarten through grade 12 and use dance/movement as an art form that used to communicate ideas, as well as, a tool for calming students through our yoga and Movement and Learning work. As people become more sedentary in general, it is important that we find ways throughout a students’ school career to remind them of the powerful impact of movement.
As I write this blog, I am surrounded by the sounds of students creating music, the sight of students creating their own dances, and drama students working through their own scripts and improv pieces. At first look, it is a bit chaotic, but after further observation, it is productive chaos. Each student is engaged in doing something; not tacitly learning, but involved in thoughtful dialogue with other students and teachers. The arts inherently do this. The arts engage a child in a holistic approach to learning unlike other subjects. This is why the arts are core to what we do at the schools of the Étude Group. As we kick off National Arts Education Week[https://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/images/2015/by_program/networks-and-councils/arts_education_network/BILLS-111hconres275enr.pdf] I want to use this week to share with you the transformative impact the arts have played within our schools.
We have had a busy week since our first day of school team building activities commenced on Tuesday! On Wednesday, Students had the opportunity to preview their seminars which include Contemporary Dance, Ensemble, Visual Narratives, Discovering STEM, and Playwriting. These previews gave students a hands on glimpse into what the course might be like so that they could make an informed choice about which seminar fits their interests best for this semester. Students also participated in their first Town Hall, a time each Wednesday where the whole school gathers to discuss school culture, build community, and showcase their work. During the first town hall, each advisory shared a vision of what they would like town hall to be like and the expectations they had for their peers to follow in order to make town hall an engaging space for all.