DANCE IN PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULA
Dancing is a form of art that allows many children to express themselves through body motion while developing many skills. Children throughout the world have been dancing since the day they began walking. When a child to take their first steps and puts together the simplest combination of movements, that would be considered as dancing. Music also plays a major role in the development of children understanding dance, because it is can be used as an accompaniment, and can help children get a better feel for the rhythm in dances. Over the past century educators have come to the conclusion that dance serves as a form of art, and should be taught in public schools and colleges to help the growth in children of all ages both physically, mentally, and academically.
The development in dance in education, during the 19th century in the United States, was linked to the sudden increase of elementary schools, secondary programs, colleges, as well as the establishment of private dance academies throughout the nation. Dance had always been thought as being just a form of socializing and not as a form of art. Private academies introduced dance as an art form before public schools. The private academies felt that through dance children would benefit greater academically, and physically, than those children who did not have the luxury of taking dance. Enrollment increased in private academies, while throughout the United States the enrollment in public schools steadily decreased. This was when educators decided to begin including dance in public school curricula.
Kraus (1969) found that " a major influence in helping to bring dance into public schools and colleges was the work of the French dramatic teacher, Francois Delsante " (p.127). By the beginning of the 20th century, dance had become accepted by public schools throughout the United States and was now a required class. The only negative part about dance being taught in...
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