“Dancing is like dreaming with your feet!” This famous observation was made by Constanze, the wife of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The faculty and staff at Dearborn believe strongly that every child should have the chance to discover the wonders of dances and dreams. Through their strong commitment to the arts each of our teachers find creative ways to bring music and movement into the classroom.
The Arts Education Branch at LAUSD provides traveling teachers as a part of the Arts Prototype Program. Schools that are willing to go the extra mile can receive quality arts education for their students. Dearborn has made that commitment and brought professional dance educators to campus to teach not only students, but also their classroom teachers.
At Dearborn dance instruction is progressive and age appropriate. In Kindergarten, movement and music are a part of daily lessons. Our youngest students are provided with an opportunity to develop their motor skills and imaginations through dance. They learn the basics of music, rhythms, and movements that reflect and broaden their personal experience. They skip, they hop, they glide, and they giggle.
By third grade our students can understand and apply the techniques of loco-motor and axial movement, they have learned the vocabulary of dance, and they have had many opportunities to evaluate meanings and skills of other dancers. They continue in the process of learning to express themselves through dance. They develop partner skills and can perform original movement sequences in cooperation with small and large groups.
When our 5th graders graduate they have learned complex dances from other times and cultures and can easily connect their dance experiences to the subjects studied in the core curricula.
The California State Department of Education encourages that dance instruction be a part of the education of all students. At Dearborn the goal is to go above and beyond Educational Standards. Many of the teachers volunteer extra time in Arts Cadres. They model healthy living and are willing to put on their dancing shoes and get out on the floor. They do this with the students, and for the students. Our teachers partner with the Arts Branch teachers and take what’s learned back to their classrooms.
Comprehensive dance instruction includes an understanding of the components of dance, creative expression, knowledge of dance history and culture, as well as the capacity to critically assess and find meaning in a dance performance. The goal at Dearborn is for students to use these skills and see these connections in their everyday lives.
To dance is to let the feet speak for our hearts. As one of our 2nd graders said, “Dancing makes me happy.”