Spring is in the air! As my second season as a Teaching Artist is winding down, I can’t help but look back at how far we have come. From first class jitters, to giggling over the Heel-Toe Polka, to preparing for our Culminating Events, I’ve had the joy of watching 5th and 8th grade students grow into ladies and gentlemen.
One of the highlights of my 2013 Spring semester was when I was invited to the Valentine’s Day Dance at Pittsburgh Weil, where I work with the 5th grade class. The dance was for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, but the teachers thought it would be a great opportunity for the 5th grade to show what they’ve been learning in Dancing Classrooms. To kick off the dance, the ladies and gentlemen of the 5th grade took over the dance floor and danced the Fox Trot. It was a hit!
As the dance continued, the students listened to their favorite songs and snacked on treats. The next thing I know, a group of students ask if they can dance the Swing and the Merengue. This was their time to have fun with their friends and they were CHOOSING to do the dances they learned in Dancing Classrooms! At that moment, I knew the program had made an impact in their lives.
While the 5th graders were doing their dances, I watched the 3rd and 4th graders growing curious and getting closer to figure out the steps. It wasn’t long before they were doing the Merengue along with the 5th graders! Now a seed has been planted — a happy memory has been made. The 5th graders set a mature, positive example for the underclassmen and now those underclassmen are excited for their chance to participate in Dancing Classrooms.
Years from now, as the students move on in their schooling, graduate, and go to college, it’s my hope that they look back and smile as they remember what they learned in Dancing Classrooms.
Miss Ashley Douglas
Teaching Artist, Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh