As I watch the final four dance in “So You Think You Can Dance” television show tonight, I am in awe of the dancers’ techniques, emotions, and ability to connect with the audience when they dance. I think about The Parish School students and how many of them possess such qualities. In music, I have dance activities during each music session where students are given the opportunity to move, have a break from sitting, and express themselves.
I store choir risers in my room and in each class, students find their way to stand, jump, and dance on them. It is favorably used as a mini platform and dance stage because of its slightly two tiered high levels off the ground. When they are standing on the riser, students are so proud that they are up there and show off a few dance moves. They feel like a star and want teachers and peers to watch them. Through dancing, students are expressing themselves, being vulnerable in front of their peers, and connecting with the music. Many of them feel the music and dance with purpose and are so uninhibited.
In these past few weeks, we have discovered our favorite dance songs: “Who Let the Dogs Out,” “Boom Boom Pow,” “I Gotta Feeling,” and “Dynamite” in that order. The dancing brings the group together and a sense of unity while giving a physical and mental relaxation to the individual. While it provides fun entertainment for each other, dancing is also great exercise. So many times students give it their all and are literally falling to the ground after the song is over. In some classes, we dance two songs back to back because our bodies need to move.
A simple platform or a prop can change the way a student looks at dance. The risers lift up the students and gives them the confidence to show the rhythm in their hearts.