Thursday, November 22, 2012

ART and CREATIVITY: An Important Gift for Children

Hello EC Community,

My presentation at NAEYC 2012 in Atlanta, Moving is Learning: 

Dancing Across the Curriculum, was on Friday, November 6, with special 
guest Debbie Clement!
Dancing to Debbie Clement's song Monkey Fun at NAEYC 2012

In my introduction, I talked about how dance can offer children the gift of body awareness, coordination, and self-confidence, among many other benefits.  Case in point, myself!  Debbie suggested to me that this would be a good blog entry for PreK and K Sharing.  As I write this entry during the week when we are all getting ready for the 
Thanksgiving holiday, I realize 
that the opportunity I had to 
participate in the arts as a young child is one thing in my life for which I am extremely  grateful.

When I was a young girl, I was very awkward and uncoordinated.  My parents were concerned because I fell down a lot, bumped in to things, and, as my mother says, I would even trip over the patterns in a carpet.  I was the one who was always chosen last for any playground sports team, and I was a disaster in gym class.  I remember feeling like I could not get the different parts of my body to work together. 

Connie: Harbinger Dance Company
Detroit, Michigan, 1976

My parents decided to put me in a neighborhood dance class.  As I started to gain strength and become more confident, I learned that, lo and behold, I was not so much uncoordinated, but just very flexible and needed to learn how to move in an integrated way.  Dance was the gift that I needed in order to help me develop this awareness, and I found that I loved it.  I have been very fortunate to have a career in dance, from performing, to teaching, to writing, and for the past five years, offering workshops for educators.

Once I discovered dance, I loved it so much that I never wanted to stop, and that passion continues to this day. And, the message that I want to give to teachers everywhere, is:  Dance (and all the arts) can be integrated right into the classroom.  I do not see them as "extras," I see them as essential and transformational.  

In fact, here is a pop quiz that was also part of my presentation:

In a 2010 IBM Global Study of 1500 CEO's, from 60 countries, and 33 different worldwide industries,  what do you think was the ONE crucial quality that CEO's cited as the most important factor of future success?


The "chief executives believe that more than rigor, management discipline, integrity, or even vision -- successfully navigating an increasingly complex world will require creativity."

Dance, and the other arts -- visual, music, writing, drama -- by their very nature help to nurture creativity.  We must offer children the opportunity to participate in the arts while they are young, so that we can help them to develop nimble, open, and flexible minds that can look at a problem in many different ways, in order to come up with innovative solutions. It is one of the most important gifts we can give our young children, so that they can grow up and compete in an increasingly complex and competitive global workforce.


Keep on Dancin',



For more ideas on dance and movement:

And to order: 

1.  Dance, Turn, Hop, Learn!  Enriching Movement Ideas for Preschoolers
2.  One, Two, What Can I Do?  Dance and Music for the Whole Day (with double CD by Debbie Clement) please go to: 

No comments:

Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment below....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...