UM Dance Program Offers Creative Movement Classes for Children

August 12, 2019

MISSOULA – Every fall and spring, the University of Montana Dance Program offers creative movement dance classes for children age 3 and a half to 10. Registration is now open for classes this fall.

Creative movement provides opportunities for children to express their inherent creativity through their bodies. Based on the premise that children love to move, the classes capitalize on children’s natural movement forms: jumping, twisting, spinning and leaping. 

The classes take place on UM’s main campus in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center on Thursdays during the fall session, which runs Sept. 5 to Nov 21. Class times are based on age: 3:30-4 p.m. for ages 3 and a half to 4, 4:15-5 p.m. for ages 5 to 6, and 5:15-6 p.m. for ages 7 to 10.

Children also are exposed to the elements of dance and basic movement patterns. The UM Children’s Dance program serves as an excellent introduction to dance for all children. For the 7- to 10-year-olds, dancers are introduced to dance techniques and create their own original choreography.

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

Laurel Sears, an adjunct assistant professor of dance, said children – even those who may never have danced formally before – benefit from the course in multiple ways.

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

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Contact: Laurel Sears, UM adjunct assistant professor of dance, 406-369-2806,