Creative Arts Foundation: 2 - Dance

Topic: CA2.1 - Demonstrate creative movement expression

Our bodies naturally respond to sounds and music. Movement is natural for children at a young age. Creative movement expression provides the opportunity to process emotions in a way that creates body awareness and control.

Creative movement expression leads to:
*Body awareness, strength, and control (e.g. balance and coordination)
*Ability to cross the body’s midline
*An understanding of rhythm, movements and patterns
*Spatial awareness
*Ability to follow directions and patterns
*Creating relationships with others

Looking Ahead to Kindergarten Family Engagement Special Populations
In kindergarten, students will begin to respond in movement to a variety of sensory stimuli using different body parts and the whole body (DA:Cr1.1.Ka) and explore different ways to do basic locomotor and non-locomotor movement (DA:Cr1.1.Kb). Additionally, students will isolate and move body parts in relation to other body parts and repeat and recall movements upon request (DA:Pr5.1.Kc). Students will also be able to Recognize and name an emotion that is experienced when watching, improvising or performing dance, and relate it to a personal experience or feelings (DA:Cn10.1.Ka).

Encourage families to:

*Play music and move with their children (e.g. sway/twirl with infant).
*Encourage and positively acknowledge creative movements.
*Provide time and materials for children to move when possible (e.g. paper plates, scarves, ribbon, etc.).
*Experience live creative movement opportunities in the local community when possible.

Educators can:

*Collaborate with other service providers when appropriate and with parental/familial consent (e.g. implementing activities recommended by a child’s OT/PT/Developmental Therapist).
*Plan and provide opportunities, space, and materials that are accessible to all children including those with varying mobility.
*For DLL, engage with families to incorporate music that reflects their language and culture.

Powerful Practices
Across all developmental stages, educators can:

*Provide adequate space and time for children to move and dance safely throughout the environment.
*Provide time and space for children to move creatively both indoors and outdoors.
*Provide a variety of props to encourage children to move in a variety of ways (e.g. paper plates, hoops, scarves, etc.).
*Provide opportunities for children to move and dance freely during various activities (e.g. putting on music and encouraging children to move and reflect on emotions while painting).
*Model and encourage the use of body movement as a language to express thoughts, ideas and emotions.
*Encourage the use of creative movement expression to process emotions and life experiences (e.g. processing the arrival of a new sibling, moving to a new house, family separation, etc.).
*Play a variety of appropriate music daily in an environment that encourages movement (e.g. Freeze Dance, Hokey Pokey, etc.).
*Seek opportunities to promote body and spatial awareness (e.g. to promote spatial awareness - using specific terms such as up/down, low/high, fast/slow, etc.).
*Intentionally use vocabulary related to creative movement expression (e.g. spinning, twirling, jumping, swaying, etc.).
*Seek opportunities to expose children to live dance.
*Consider using dance and creative movement to teach other concepts (e.g. patterning and movement in music, how the body responds to those changes/patterns, etc.).

Infant

Use routine care opportunities to sing songs (e.g. This Little Piggy or singing during caregiving routines)

Dance and move freely with infants throughout the environment with or without music (potentially using as a calming technique)

Model and name physical movements

Younger Toddler
Respond to the children’s verbal and non-verbal cues to dance and move

Model and name physical movements

Older Toddler
Respond to the children’s verbal and non-verbal cues to dance and move

Encourage children to name physical movements (e.g. “I’m spinning!”)

Younger Preschool
Observe and ask children questions to name movements and/or the thoughts, feelings, and ideas associated with them

Provide opportunities for children to act out stories with their movements as you tell a story

Older Preschool
Observe and ask children questions to name movements and/or the thoughts, feelings, and ideas associated with them

Provide opportunities for children to act out stories with their movements as you tell a story