Dance About Anything helps K-12 teachers learn the creative process for developing movement and dance around a theme—and how to integrate dance with other subjects. The book follows a logical progression of movement activities, increasing in complexity from inspiration and dance design to exhibition of the integrated project. It provides all the materials for teachers to facilitate the creative and critical-thinking skills related to planning integrated projects:
-Students explore the dance-making process through seven easy-to-follow tasks that take them from inspiration and choosing a theme to solving movement problems and making movement phrases, culminating with work that involves dance design, revisions, and performance.
-Students integrate dance with other subject areas such as science, math, social studies, visual arts, theater, language arts, and music.
-Students work through integrated projects involving multiple subjects around a common theme. They learn how to transfer the work habits and strategies they learn through dance making to their work in other subjects, and then they showcase their work.
Dance About Anything is organized into four parts. Part I outlines the creative process of choosing a theme for a dance and explains how movement phrases can be developed from almost any inspiration. Part II lays out the remaining tasks and steps on the path to exhibition.
Part III shows how to develop and implement integrated projects. It discusses practical concerns about who, what, how, when, and where and provides a step-by-step guide for project completion. Part IV details three ready-to-use integrated projects with themes (weather, community, and prejudice and human rights). These are semester-length projects and can be used in advocating for awareness of the value of dance, connecting with other subjects, and getting students to work together on a unifying theme.
The included CD-ROM provides more than 65 reproducible forms that fuel students' creativity and aid teachers in assessment. Among the forms are 8 Inspiration Activity Cards and 8 Dance Designing Activity Cards that cover a variety of themes, including those of the three complete projects provided in the book. The book includes ideas for written and oral assessment of students' progress, and the CD-ROM provides teachers with assessment forms for doing so. In addition, a template of integrated projects is included that gives readers an opportunity to create their own integrated projects, such as those found in part IV of the book.
Dance About Anything provides the information and guidance that teachers and students need in order to become dance architects, designing and building dances and integrated projects from start to finish.
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Marty Sprague, MA, is a professional choreographer and performer with more than 29 years of experience in public dance education. She is the dance teacher at the Providence Academy of International Studies and artistic director of Chance to Dance.
Marty holds a master's degree in dance education from Teachers College at Columbia University and a BFA in dance from Boston Conservatory. She has been a licensed trainer for the National Center for Education and the Economy's Course I, Standards-Based Curriculum (a professional development course for standards-based teaching and learning). She served on the Rhode Island Governor's Task Force for Literacy in the Arts. Marty is a member of the Arabella Project, a dance group exploring the realms of the older dancer.
Marty is coauthor of Building Dances: A Guide to Putting Movements Together, Second Edition (2005); Building More Dances: Blueprints for Putting Movements Together (2001); and Experiencing Dance: From Student to Dance Artist (2005). She also served as a consultant to the authors for the first edition of Building Dances: A Guide to Putting Movements Together (1995).
In 1992 and 2005 Marty was named the Rhode Island Dance Educator of the Year and in 1998 earned an Outstanding Professional Award from EDA (Eastern District Association). In 2004, Marty was honored with Dance Teacher Magazine's Dance Teacher of the Year Award for K-12. National Dance Education Organization honored her as the Outstanding Dance Educator K-12 in October 2005. She is a member of the National Dance Association (NDA) and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and she is a charter member of National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).
Helene Scheff, RDE, has been a dance educator and administrator for 45 years in both the public and private sectors. She is coauthor of the first and second editions of Building Dances: A Guide to Putting Movements Together (1995 and 2005), Building More Dances: Blueprints for Putting Movements Together (2001), and Experiencing Dance: From Student to Dance Artist (2005).
A registered dance educator, Helene is the founder and executive director of Chance to Dance, an in-school dance program started in 1985 that brings quality dance education to children in grades 4 through 8.
A graduate of the famed NYC High School of Performing Arts, Helene is a former dancer with the Joffrey Ballet. She is a founding member and former president of the Dance Alliance of Rhode Island and has served as vice president of dance for the Eastern District Association (EDA) of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She is a board member of the Rhode Island Alliance for Arts Education and the Committee Liaison for UNITY. Scheff is a member of the National Dance Association (NDA) and dance and the Child international (daCi), and she is a charter member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).
Helene was named the Rhode Island Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance's (RIAHPERD) Dance Teacher of the Year in 1996 and was honored as an EDA Outstanding Professional in 1996. She received the RIAHPERD President's Honor Award in 1997 and an NDA Presidential Citation in 1998. She was awarded the Dance Alliance of Rhode Island Dance Legacy Award in 2002. Most recently she was given the Meritorious Service Award by RIAHPERD in 2005.
Susan McGreevy-Nichols is a national arts education consultant. She teaches part-time at California State University at Dominguez Hills. She taught at Roger Williams Middle School in Providence, Rhode Island, from 1974 to 2002. She was the founder and director of the inner-city school's nationally recognized dance program in which more than 300 of the school's 900 students elected to participate.
Susan is coauthor of the first and second editions of Building Dances: A Guide to Putting Movements Together (1995 and 2005), Building More Dances: Blueprints for Putting Movements Together (2001), and Experiencing Dance: From Student to Dance Artist (2005). She is a charter member and presenter of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and a former treasurer and board member. She also has served as the president of the National Dance Association (NDA) and the nominating chair and Rhode Island state leader for the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education. She is the currently the co-president of the California Dance Education Association.
Susan has received numerous NDA presidential citations and an Eastern District Association (EDA) of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Merit Award in Dance. In 1994 she was named Rhode Island's Dance Teacher of the Year, and in 1995 she was honored both as the NDA National Dance Teacher of the Year and as an EDA Outstanding Professional. She received AAHPERD's Honor Award in 2000. Susan resides in Santa Monica, California
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