Last Friday evening was our all-school dance - a truly unique school dance where 11 and 12 year olds dance alongside of 3 and 4 year olds and everyone has a great time! Other than a relative's wedding or a formal dance class, where else can children have this opportunity to come together, take pleasure in music, friends and just enjoy the simple delight of dancing?
While this is a hugely successful fundraiser for our 5th graders as they plan for their 6th grade trip to the Global Citizenship Action Project in New York City next fall, I believe that this is an event where everyone wins. The advantages of exposing children to music and movement are well documented. Many research studies demonstrate that early exposure to music and movement can create lifelong benefits for children. In addition, dancing nurtures creativity, yet it is often overlooked in schools. Maria Montessori understood that we are kinesthetic beings, and movement such as dance can help enhance overall creativity and learning.
But I would add that a school community of joyful children coming together on a Friday night to dance - is simply priceless. So, while we should continue to enjoy music and dancing at home and have a wonderful formal music and movement instruction program through Kelly here at school, it is an added benefit to have an enjoyable informal gathering of friends. At WMS, from the preschoolers joining with their older buddies doing the hokey-pokey to the never-ending limbo contest, a good time was surely had by all.