Dear Together in Dance Supporters:

My name is Laurie Basloe, and I am a 5th grade classroom teacher in a Brooklyn public school.  After a short professional dance career and 10 years of teaching 4th and 5th grade in NYC public schools, I feel confident and justified in saying that Together in Dance is THE BEST all around arts and education program!  I’ve seen first hand the wonders of music and dance in the classroom, but Together in Dance is more than just a class where you sing some songs and dance along. It’s an experience, an opportunity, the start, for some, of dreams of bright lights and the big city, and a connection to the arts that for many kids seems surreal until suddenly they are a part of it all.

That’s the beauty of Together in Dance. It caters to ALL children! Whether they are a child who learns best kinesthetically, visually, or through sound, students come alive in this class. It is thrilling to watch them grow, learn, and find, for many, a new love for the arts.

Not only does this program get kids excited about song and dance, but it also incorporates our social studies curriculum. Together in Dance supplements my Immigration study each year, but it could probably single handedly cover almost everything the children need to know for the unit. The program does an amazing job getting children to think about the time period, the daily life, and the feelings that people were experiencing during the early 20th century. One of the days I love is when the students write the lyrics for the finale song. They have no choice but to create a verse that represent the struggles of immigrants coming to America.

After only 7 or 8 weeks, the teaching artists of Together and Dance have had the students transcribe two songs, choreograph the steps to both their individual dance and the finale, create a verse, and then put it all together. That’s not it though! They discuss clothing of the time period and students gather costumes and props that help bring it all together. When show day arrives, the excitement in the air is contagious and the performance the kids put on is one they will never forget!

Together in Dance is a special program that inspires not only students, but also their parents, the teachers, and the entire school community.

Please help Together in Dance tonight so that my students nd can continue to engage in the arts for many many years to come!!!!                       

Thank you,

Laurie Basloe, 5th grade teacher

 

 

Dear Friends of Together in Dance:  

I am writing to tell you how Together in Dance has impacted students in my classrooms through the years. My name is Mecca Culbert, and I am a 2nd grade classroom teacher in a Brooklyn public school.  

Kinesthetic learning is an important portal to curriculum for so many students. Together in Dance has opened that door for the students in every grade I’ve taught – second through fifth. 

My second graders are often self-conscious at first, but after a few sessions, they’re all moving gracefully and joyfully through our classroom, using all of the dance “ingredients” that have been explored with them. 

With Together in Dance, my second graders interpret poetry through movement. It’s always inspiring to watch them as they work in small groups, choreographing their stanzas. I witness the best of collaborative learning as students support, teach, and applaud each other. 

And after the dance cycle is over, I continue to use what the class has learned. When my wiggly second-graders need a movement break, I can project the warm-up routine they learned during the residency and we can all “dance” along, or I can have my class interpret music as they move creatively, energetically, and gracefully through our classroom.

Thank you for supporting Together in Dance,

Mecca Culbert, 2nd grade teacher