Monday, March 15, 2010

Free Dance is Freeing

I believe a person receives a gift every time they dance; the gift of body ownership and a sense of control.  Children do not get to make many choices in their day.  They don't choose when to wake up, what they are going to eat, what they will be doing at school, and what time they go to bed.  Adults might not get to make as many choices as they would like either!  But when you dance you are the one in charge!

You can choose to wiggle your hips, swing your arms and tap your toes.  You get to find your own rhythm, create your own pathways through the space and choose your own steps. You can raise your arms up to the sky or reach them down to the ground.  The possibilities are endless; the choice is for each dancer to make.

"Free dance" is an important part of any dance experience.  This is a time when you decide and find out how you like to move.  What feels right for your body, what feels natural and safe?  It is important to remember that giving children the time to explore and move freely is essential to developing a sense of self.  It can promote body awareness, self expression and self confidence.

Our Favorite Thing
I like to make a circle with my class and have one child at a time go in to the center and dance.  I call this time "Our Favorite Thing."  Each child shares their favorite way of moving.  We clap along and practice being good audience members.  If a child is shy, he or she can invite another friend to dance.  This is their special time to shine.   

In a day filled with so many unknowns that you can not predict, so many rules and schedules it is great to let loose and explore what is yours alone; your body.  Find at least one moment a day to dance freely, without rules, with the children in your life.  It will do your body and your children's bodies good!!

Have fun moving any way you like with the children in your life!



  1. Stacey! I hope I can meet you someday because I am thinking we are a lot alike! I center almost my whole creative dance class around this idea of "exploring the way you move" I also do the circle thing. I teach them solos, duets, and trios this way! xo

  2. Yeah- I do think we are very similiar. I love reading your blog because sometimes I feel you are writing directly to me. Silly huh? We will have to meet one day -I am sure we could share lots of stories!

    The truth is when I was 5 I took a creative movement class. I don't remember anything from the class but doing our favorite thing at the end in a circle. I remember being so excited and enjoying expressing myself through MY movements. When I started to teach I new this was a must.

    The teacher impacted me and my teaching and I don't even remember her name. I do remember the feeling of being free and dancing.

    Here is a shout out to all the teachers that impact students by giving them the opportunity to express themselves through dance!