I awoke from a dream earlier this morning in which I was being interviewed about dance movement therapy pioneer Norma Canner's influence on me. In the dream I was talking about feeling validated within the dance therapy training program for expressing myself gesturally with my hands. In the dream, while I began expressing myself with my hands, I moved easily to expressing myself with my whole body.
I awoke thinking about how the monoculture I grew up and was educated within did not validate my values as expressed through movement. I was so relieved to find the profession of dance movement therapy and to find like-hearted-minded-embodied-ensouled people who also value the importance of self-expression. As long as our educational system continues neglecting education about the value of our whole selves and our emotional connection to one another, we will continue to have shootings because some child is bullied and made to feel marginal. In fact, I would imagine that the majority of the people within the U.S. are marginalized due to the undervaluing of movement, dance, emotional expression and cultural richness.
So, imagine my surprise when I just received the link to this program. I was moved to tears watching this video of children getting to learn through the strength of their learning styles, rather than having to adapt from a young age to more singular and restrictive methods of teaching.
"A unique approach grounded in academic rigor and high expectations infused with dance has shown incredible results for Gabriella Charter School, which was honored with the Hart Vision Award for Charter School of the Year. Gabriella Charter School is located in Los Angeles, California."
Karyn Edison, Director of Dancing Arts Center and the Massachusetts Dance Festival is calling for a similar academic program in Massachusetts for K-8 kids with kinesthetic learning styles. What a phenomenal idea.
Norma Canner's early dance teacher was Barbara Mettler, who encouraged Norma to go out and teach dance when she moved to Ohio, I think. Mettler's curriculum for Creative Dance is accessible to people of all ages and abilities and builds upon our natural movement language.
Veteran teachers Mary Ann Brehm and Nancy Lob will be teaching in Newton, Massachusetts this summer.
Mettler Studios' Summer Dance Improvisation
Teacher Training Workshop
August 6-10, 2012
This is a course for anyone who:
- loves to move freely, paying attention to the sensations of their movement
- enjoys dancing with in groups
- wants to be able to share/teach improvisation or creative dance
No previous experience necessary
- Movement exploration based on Mettler's core principles of dance
- Progressions for developing craftsmanship in individual and group dance improvisation
- Discussions on how to present Mettler-based material to any group
For more information contact Mary Ann Brehm firstname.lastname@example.org, 814-670-9214.
The more ways that we can bring dance to children, and to people of all ages for that matter, the healthier our society will be.