Dance is an excellent medium for developing physical literacy along with personal expression. Unfortunately, not every child gets the opportunity to explore dance as a physical activity. Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) has worked to address this problem by creating the Sharing Dance choreographies and promoting Sharing Dance Day each year since 2014.
Now NBS Sharing Dance has gone one step further: teachers and community leaders can now access NBS Sharing Dance Kids resources online through the new Sharing Dance REACH learning platform.
Sharing Dance Kids is a set of free resources designed for classroom teachers and community leaders who want to introduce more kids to the physical, emotional, and social benefits of dance.The resources foster artistic engagement, build self-confidence, and develop physical literacy through downloadable lesson plans, video content, music, and more. Sharing Dance Kids includes:
- Resources for ages 6-12
- Printable activity plans
- Downloadable music and online videos
- Content created in collaboration with indigenous artists
- An online community for instructors to share experiences and recommendations
And the best part for teachers and leaders: No dance experience is necessary to facilitate or participate in the Sharing Dance lessons.
Apart from helping to develop physical literacy, dance encourages kids to communicate their thoughts, emotions, and ideas through movement. Dance helps kids:
- Explore ideas through the creative process
- Use movement to tell stories
- Build self-confidence and a personal identity
- Collaborate and work with a group
- Learn and practice the elements of dance
- Integrate cross-curricular learning
The Sharing Dance classroom resources can also serve as a kinesthetic tool for exploring subjects such as language, science, geography, and more. All Sharing Dance classroom materials are designed to meet the needs of dance curricula across all provinces and territories, so the resources are national in scope and content.
Sharing Dance Day
NBS Sharing Dance Day is a fun, physical, and artistic way to cap off a classroom unit based on the Sharing Dance resources. Every year, NBS commissions an original Canadian choreography for Sharing Dance Day, and different participating schools and communities across Canada perform the choreography in schools, community centres, and public spaces on a chosen day in May or June.
NBS has regular updates on their Sharing Dance Day webpage. Again, the resources are free, and the equipment and space requirements to perform the choreography are minimal. NBS also provides support to individuals and communities across the country as they learn and perform the choreography.
If you are a classroom teacher or a community leader with an interest in promoting dance, and you are looking for resources, be sure to check out the new Sharing Dance REACH online resources.