By Chris Gignac, music teacher
Dance is alive and well at every level at TPS. From our preschool movers all the way up to our eighth grade Shakespeare choruses, movement and dance are an important part of our student’s experience.
Our youngest students begin learning how to move among others while being creative and in control of their bodies. In kindergarten we begin dancing to simple folk dances, such as the “Kindergarten Reel.” We also have some favorite music/movement stories, “Magic Forest” and “Sculpture Garden” in which the students move in tandem with one another to musical cues, make shapes with their bodies, and move expressively to show the story. Through these activities the students develop movement skills and better coordination. We continue with folk dancing through the elementary grades, gradually building a repertoire of dance steps.
This month we have hosted choreographers from the Leah Stein Dance Company for a dance residency. Leah Stein and David Konyk are working with the Junior Unit to create dances about Greek Gods/Goddesses. The students collaborate in creating the dance and the accompanying music to be performed at the Junior Unit Olympics.
Dancing will be featured in the Middle school with African dance for the upcoming sixth grade Rite of Passage ceremony. Seventh graders choreograph the ever popular “Rock Band” performance, and the eighth graders add movement to their Shakespeare plays with Renaissance dances.