UM Dance Program Offers Creative Movement Classes for Missoula Children

August 14, 2018

MISSOULA – The University of Montana School of Theatre & Dance will hold weekly children’s dance classes beginning Thursday, Sept. 6, in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center.

Creative movement classes provide opportunities for children to express their inherent creativity through their bodies. Based on the premise that children love to move, creative movement capitalizes on a child’s natural movement forms: jumping, twisting, spinning and leaping. Children also are exposed to elements of dance and basic movement patterns.

According to adjunct instructor of dance Laurel Sears, children – even those who may never have formally danced before – benefit from the course in multiple ways.

“Parents tell me all the time how much their kids re-enact what they learned in the class at home,” Sears said. “One student recently themed her whole fifth birthday party around her class.”

UM’s children dance classes, offered to students ages 3 1/2 to 10, serve as an introduction to dance. Additionally, 7- to 10-year-old students will have the opportunity to learn the basics of dance technique and create their own original choreography.

The classes will take place each Thursday of the fall session beginning Sept. 6 and ending Nov. 29, with Nov. 22 off for Thanksgiving. Classes are segmented by age: 3:30 to 4 p.m. for students ages 3 1/2 to 4, 4:15 to 5 p.m. for students ages 5 to 6 and 5:15 to 6 p.m. for students ages 7 to 10.

The class costs $80 per student per semester, plus a $15 administrative fee per student per academic year. There is a 10 percent sibling discount, and a $10 discount to parents/guardians who are UM employees. 

All classes are accompanied by live piano and drums. As a part of the School of Theatre & Dance’s offerings, UM students earn credit for participating as student teachers. With the addition of the student teachers in each class, children get personal attention and the opportunity to learn from various teaching styles.

For more information and to register, visit https://www.umt.edu/umarts/theatredance/childrens/childrensdance/default.php.

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Contact: Laurel Sears, adjunct assistant professor of dance, UM School of Theatre & Dance, 406-369-2806, laurel.sears@umontana.edu.