Dear School Boards across the United States,
Education is very important. Teachers, administrators, and students deserve respect and support. There are many methods- visual, auditory, kinesthetic- for sharing wisdom and cultivating experience that fosters focused knowledge-based understanding.
P.S. – Dance is an active engaging method and can make a huge difference in the education and lives of students. Dance should be a vital part of education and not a tag-line.
Things that PS stands for: Post Script, Power Supply, Powdered Sugar, and in this case, Public Schools
Dance For Every Child is the working motto for the PS Dance Movement and the PS Dance film. (I’m wearing my supportive tank top!) The graduate Dance Education students at NYU were lucky yesterday to have a private viewing of the film, followed by a brief panel Q&A with the teachers, directors, and film makers behind the message.
A little about the film:
PS DANCE!, two years in the making, interviews 16 kids and captures more than 100 students, who joyfully share the influence of dance on their daily learning. Step inside the halls of five NYC public schools and celebrate dance! Hosted by veteran TV journalist Paula Zahn, PS DANCE! is a New York Emmy-nominated documentary that captures what happens when students have dance in their curriculum. The journey is one of imagination, curiosity, hard work and discipline. In these studios, dance is for every child. See it here: PS Dance
I am obviously, on board with this movement. However, I did have some questions that I would like to throw out to the universe.
The film showcases a few public school classes, usually middle and high school, in which students are selected. In other words, dance for NOT every child. Doesn’t this go against the basic idea?
I think one of the biggest problems of dance in education is the idea that dance is talent-based, and that talent is exclusive to the few. I think, in order to reshape the concept and value of dance education in schools, the understanding of what achievement in dance looks like needs to shift.
How do we do that?
This is something I will be thinking about and invite conversation, ideas, experiences in the comments.