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Who's Dancin' Now?
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Who's Dancin' Now?

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Photo of Minds In Motion It takes the active involvement of the community to make arts education a part of every child's life. Parents, teachers, artists, school administrators, arts organizations, businesses, local civic and cultural leaders and centers, and last but not least, students, all play significant roles in nurturing and sustaining arts education. Recognizing that each community's needs and resources are unique, there is no established formula for arts integration; but in general, the major ingredients always include community support, funding, and artistry. Listed below are a few suggestions that you might find useful in starting the process:

  • Locate members of your community who similarly value arts education by attending a meeting of your local arts council, visiting our state bulletin boards, or talking with art or music teachers in schools or with education directors at local art museums, dance companies, orchestras, theatres, and other cultural institutions.

  • Share your ideas with others who may be unfamiliar with the importance and benefits of arts learning. Organize a screening of the film, WHO'S DANCIN' NOW?, at your next PTA meeting, church group, or social gathering to help demonstrate the effects of early dance exposure on children (Purchase the video). Facilitate a discussion afterward about the need for and possible impact of a similar arts experience within your own community.

  • Learn about the latest research in the field of arts education- which you also can use to substantiate your "pitch" to others- by reaching out to the department of arts and humanities of your local university or college, reading studies posted on the Internet, such as "Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning" , or accessing valuable educational resources found on our site.

  • Garner the support of businesses, community leaders, cultural institutions, and arts councils that can help in various ways, for example, by funding in-school or afterschool arts education programs, donating their space as venues for student performances or exhibitions, or publicizing the efforts of your arts education initiative.

  • Solicit the support of school leaders to help make the arts an integral component of the school day. Boards of education, superintendents, principals, and district-wide arts coordinators can work together to adopt policies that value the arts as equal to other subjects, to allocate fiscal resources toward the development of arts education programs and facilities, and to identify artists in your area who might be interested in training to become arts educators.

  • Locate professional development opportunities -- specific for teachers and artists -- that can provide you with the training and confidence you need to start a program on your own. Once community support and funding are established, you may be eligible for workshops offered by the National Dance Institute (NDI), the arts organization featured in WHO'S DANCIN' NOW?. To learn more about their Teacher Training programs, Residency Programs and Master Classes, visit the NDI Web site. You also can read about the experience of a dancer who began an NDI-inspired program from scratch. For further information about professional development for teachers and artists, please visit the educational resources found on this site.

    E-Mail the Producer If you found this information useful in starting your own program, we would like to hear your story.

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