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Creative Movement program allows dance majors to give back

By Gabriela Cojulum
On September 30, 2013

Some in Sam Houston State University’s dance department may have donned a tutu in their younger days before hitting the floor. An older, more experienced dancer in a stand-alone studio probably taught them.

But those students are now getting to return the favor.

Seniors dancers host the Creative Movement Program in the Performing Arts Center every Sunday.

The program is designed for children between the ages of 3 and 8 to “develop skills in movement function and locomotion while exploring the elements of creative dance in a fun and engaging format.”

There are three different groups divided by age: 3- to 4-year-olds, the 5- to 6-year-olds and 7- to 8-year-olds. which are all supervised by assistant professor Erin Reck.

Seniors Katy Connor and Karina Martinez teach the 7- to 8-year-old group with live music performed by senior Francisco Castillo from the music therapy program.

“This class teaches them about space and helps with balance and coordination. It will definitely help in the long run.”

 

“I loved my dance pedagogy class when I was young. I took it over because a former student left and I absolutely love it,” said Connor.

 

Children get to show off their favorite dance moves at the start of the class as an exercise in creativity and expression.

They warm-up using stretches and other moves the SHSU dancers teach them before getting into the meat of the class. The instructors kept the children motivated by asking simple questions about the lesson in order to be rewarded with a mark from the “smarty pen.” This encouraged the children to not only listen, but also participate without being completely distracted.

The SHSU students can’t help but boast about how fun it is.

“I loved my dance pedagogy class when I was young. I took it over because a former student left and I absolutely love it,” said Connor.

 

“It’s rewarding because you get to see their progress and that’s really cool,” Martinez said.

There will not be a recital at the end of the session, but the dance majors bring in the parents to watch their final class so they can see all the different moves the children have learned throughout the two months.

Martinez said the program with the hope the children’s creative and intellectual capacity are expanded through engaging in physical activity, as well as building their self-confidence but sparking a desire to dance through teaching basic dance techniques and fundamentals.

It is done each semester and is open to the children of the Huntsville community. It runs from Sept. 15 to Nov. 17.

For more information on future classes, contact the dance department at 936-294-3342.

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