UM Dance Program Offers Creative Movement Classes for Kids

December 31, 2018

A boy catches air during a University of Montana Dance Program class. (Photo by Kasey Davis)MISSOULA – Every fall and spring, the University of Montana Dance Program offers children’s dance classes for kids ages 3½ to 10.

The classes take place on UM’s main campus in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. Spring Session begins Jan. 17 and ends April 11, with March 22 off for Spring Break.

The classes run Thursdays and are broken up by age: 3:30 to 4 p.m. (ages 3½-4), 4:15-5 p.m. (ages 5-6) and 5:15-6 p.m. (ages 7-10).

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

“These dance programs serve as an excellent introduction to dance for all children,” said Laurel Sears, a UM adjunct assistant professor of dance. “For the 7- to 10-year-olds, dancers are introduced to dance technique and create their own original choreography.”

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.

“Children – even those who may never have danced formally before – benefit from the course in multiple ways,” Sears said. “Parents tell me all the time how much their kids re-enact what they learned in the class at home.”

For more information or to register, visit http://bit.ly/2An3xRZ.

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