Our In-School Programs recognize the importance of creative learning and its ability to bring dynamism to the learning process. These programs focus on helping children uncover their hidden talents, find their voice, and build strength and confidence.
Our programs provide an arts education that specifically involves dance and assists in the development of specific skills like physical coordination, interpersonal communication, rhythm and related math skills, and multicultural awareness. The physical exercises involved in dance stimulate mental alertness, attention to detail, and memorization skills. Through dance, students learn important skills, like how to pick up new ideas quickly, to pay attention to small details, and to focus on the task at hand. Most importantly, students learn to respect each other and work together as a community that honors each participant.
Research confirms that students with high levels of arts engagement from kindergarten through elementary school show higher test scores than students with lower levels of arts engagement over the same period.
These special programs also provide a learning environment that is particularly supportive of children with kinetic and auditory learning styles—a segment of the student population that is often harder to serve.
Cultural Traditions: The Music and Dance of Africa
This residency program uses African dance and drumming as a vehicle to explore the concepts of folklore and storytelling. As students dance and drum their stories, they take part in a rich, cultural experience that promotes knowledge and understanding of the context of the arts in history. Youth also connect to the greater human experience and develop and express their personal sense of identity.
Introduction to Dance
This program introduces young people to the experience of dance to build confidence and assist in the development of physical coordination, communication, rhythm and math skills, and multicultural awareness. Workshop styles include Contemporary/ Improvisation, Hip-Hop, and African dance, bringing artistry, energy, and variety to the school day.
Math and Drumming
This program, for third graders studying multiplication, integrates music instruction into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Drumming creates a direct connection between rhythm and math; through drumming, children literally feel the concept of math. Rhythms begin simply and grow more complex, demonstrating a connection to numbers. The program helps youth with memory, understanding, and repetition.
Storytelling through Rhythm and Dance
Students will experience stories through dance and percussion, and through the use of multicultural folkloric resources. As students dance and drum traditional stories, they take part in a rich cultural experience that promotes knowledge and understanding of cultures different from their own.
Stockbridge Munsee Mohican
In partnership with the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans, now based in Wisconsin, we offer an interactive presentation about the Mohican Nation’s culture and history. Values of protecting the earth, being a part of nature, and the tradition of storytelling, dance, and music are shared and students are encouraged to share how these are important in their life.
Dance for the Special Child
With deep respect for the journey of the child whose perceptions and abilities are undeveloped and getting in their way, we offer group classes that develop skills in communication, behavioral skills management, and social/emotional interactions. This work supports the development of muscle strength, trunk stability, balance, breath, and impulse control. Classes will explore body parts, spatial relationships, and basic dance elements relating to time, rhythm, flow, and breath.
Soul Steps Residency
In partnership with NYC-based step company, Soul Steps Inc., we plan to bring them to the Berkshires for a residency once a year. Students will learn about the history and significance of step, learn the fundamentals of stepping, and be empowered to use their voices and make loud and strong rhythms together.
Schools We Have Served
SBRSD Enrichment Camps
Muddy Brook Elementary School
Pittsfield Public Schools:
Capeless Elementary School
Egremont Elementary School
Crosby Elementary School
Williams Elementary School
Stearns Elementary School
Morningside Elementary School
Reid Middle School
Eagle Academy Middle and High School
Pittsfield High School
New Marlborough Central Elementary School
Undermountain Regional Elementary School
Berkshire Arts & Technology (BART)
Child Care of the Berkshires in North Adams
Nessacus Middle School
Morris Elementary School
To learn more and set up a program for your school, contact us.
Our In-School Programs have received generous funding from:
- Berkshire Hills Fund for Excellence
- The Cultural Investment Portfolio of the Massachusetts Cultural Council
- The Eagle and Janet’s Funds of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
- Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Arts Build Rapid Response, Community Innovation, and Arts Build Community Grants
- Lee Fund for Educational Enrichment
- Lenox Educational Enrichment Fund (LEEF)
- Williamstown Elementary School Enrichment Fund (WESE)
- The Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation
as well as from the following Local Cultural Councils, which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency (www.massculturalcouncil.org):
Alford-Egremont Cultural Council, Great Barrington Cultural Council, Monterey Cultural Council, Mount Washington Cultural Council, New Marlborough Cultural Council, Northern Berkshire Cultural Council, and Sheffield Cultural Council.