Creative Dance with Early Years Children Alexandra Koumatou Objective of workshop вЂў To offer some important tools to educators working with early years children as to how to incorporate dance and movement in their classes in order to promote: вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Body, movement and spatial awareness Expressive-motor skills and body posture Self-confidence, positive body-image and self-image Playful interaction and communication, empathy and attunement вЂ“ Expression of self and feelings through body and movement Creative Dance with Early Years Children вЂў Ideas and methods originating in DMT (therapeutic approach) and creative dance/dance expression (pedagogical-creative approach) Why are dance and movement important for early years children? вЂў Movement experiences play a vital role in the growth and development of the young child вЂў Non-verbal interaction and communication as precursor to language and cognitive development вЂў Role of non-verbal communication in bonding and attachment Why are dance and movement important for early years children? вЂў Unity of self (body and mind), movement as mirror of oneвЂ™s identity and personality вЂў Through dance and movement play children can learn having fun! вЂў Dance and Movement can facilitate the creative learning process and has recently been recognized as an important element in the curriculum in schools Pedagogical Attitude вЂў Sensitive-responsive teaching style вЂў Based on childrenвЂ™s interests, abilities and needs вЂў вЂњFollowing the childвЂ™s leadвЂќ, St. Greenspan вЂў Affective co-regulation and empathy вЂў Element of pleasure! (positive experience, success, experiencing oneвЂ™s own potential and oneвЂ™s own life force through dance/movement) Methodology: How? вЂў Dance Movement Therapy (DMT): вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ Kinesthetic empathy, mirroring Working in circle & other forms (relationships) Symbolism, movement metaphor Rhythm Verbalization Use of music, props, dramatic/narrative elements Methodology: How? вЂў Laban Movement Analysis (LMA): вЂ“ вЂњBRESSвЂќ вЂ“ Body (which body part(s) are moving) вЂ“ Relationships (with whom) вЂ“ Effort qualities (how are they moving, movement quality) вЂ“ Space (directions, planes, levels) вЂ“ Shape (body shapes and attitudesвЂ¦) Methodology: How? вЂў Structure of a session: - Welcoming activity (verbal/non-verbal) - Warm-up - Theme Development - Closure (incl. relaxation etc.) - Short discussion вЂў Different aspects or activities can be used for various purposes as part of other sessions/lessons For whom? вЂў Early yearsвЂ™ children attending mainstream schools but also young children attending special or inclusive schools/educational settings (children with typical and atypical development) вЂў Orientation and goals of dance/movement class or activity adjustable to specific childrenвЂ™s needs and abilities (Importance of early intervention for children facing developmental or other challenges) Benefits for children with typical and atypical development вЂў Promoting creativity вЂў Improving concentration and learning skills (i.e. by helping manage feelings that interrupt learning) вЂў Enhancing body, spatial, kinesthetic awareness and self-awareness вЂў Improving self-image, self-esteem and personal autonomy Benefits for children with typical and atypical development вЂў Broadening oneвЂ™s expressive-motor abilities вЂў Developing trusting relationships (kinesthetic empathy, care for each other) and social skills вЂў Expressing and giving form to oneвЂ™s own feelings and thoughts, processing of emotions through creative process and verbalization вЂў Learning and rehearsing new ways of coping вЂў Helping experience links between thoughts, feelings and actions, between body and mind, movement and language (sense of wholeness of self) Some great quotes! вЂў вЂњDance first.Think later. It's the natural order.вЂќ - Samuel Beckett вЂќThe body says what words cannot.вЂќ - Martha Graham вЂњLearning to walk sets you free. Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all: to express with your whole self the person you are.вЂќ - Melissa Hayden Dance on!