5 Things: Every Child Can Dance Edition (Guest Post)

 

When Jenn asked me to contribute to her 5 things column, I was flattered! But then I racked my brain for a long time to think of 5 things I really wanted to write about. Then, one day it came to me, 5 people/organizations who are spreading the love of dance & movement to children. People who are helping grow their community and organizations who accept all children, no matter what. Here are 5 that I think are doing great work!
As a child and still to this day as an adult, science and math are not my friend. I was never good at either and I'm still not. But I believe if I would have had these two wonderful ideas at my school, I would probably be better off. Don't you think?

1) Mobius Moves is a science curriculum taught using creative movement.  The curriculum is created for teachers and districts to help their 3rd-5th grade students achieve national science standards. Founded by Amelia Terrapin

2) Math&Movement™ is a kinesthetic, multi-sensory approach to teaching math that incorporates physical exercise, stretching, cross-body movements, yoga, and visually-pleasing floor mats designed to encourage students to practice math concepts. Founded by Suzy Koontz. 

The next 2 safe spaces are for children with special needs. I have taught a few workshops at Extreme Kids and Crew and it's just a wonderful place to be!

3) Gigi's Playhouse  is a community center for children with down syndrome to meet friends, take classes, and give support to their families. Here's a feature from NBC news, where I first learned about their wonderful work. 

4) Extreme Kids and Crew combats the stress and isolation faced by children with disabilities and their families through play, arts and movement programming, partnerships with cultural and therapeutic institutions, parent meet-ups and more.

The last organization is a bright light. I have attended one of their shows and it is amazing and magical to witness! 

5) House of The Roses Volunteer Dance Company, Inc. (“HOTR”) is a volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization that offers homeless and at-risk children free weekly on-site dance workshops at partner outreach facilities, such as homeless shelters and community centers, throughout New York City, as well as performance opportunities at outside locations. 

There are so many more organizations and people offering up their time and resources to bring dance to kids who need it. I wish I could honor them all. Dance changes lives, I truly believe that! :)

About the Author

 Maria Hanley is an early childhood dance advocate and educator. She teaches at a variety of programs in New York and is the creative driving force behind Maria's Movers, a wonderful blog for encouraging children to be creative and, well, getting them to move! You can also find Maria on Twitter @mariasmovers.



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