Over the past two weeks I have continued to volunteer with NCAIA as well as researching topics such as social emotional learning. Ms. McDonald encouraged me to conduct some more research on the benefits of social emotional learning through dance. I had researched this topic a bit last semester, but it was interesting to learn more about the variety of ways social emotional learning and dance can benefit children who have difficulty communicating or getting along with their peers. For example, I found that SEL is extremely helpful for children who are uncomfortable or have difficulty communicating verbally. My younger brother used to be very averse to speaking to classmates, teachers, and strangers during his earlier years, so it was interesting to learn about methods that are now being implemented to help other kids who struggle with the same difficulties. I also read an article written by a teacher who talked about how she noticed her students were able to get along better and feel more empowered after incorporating SEL and dance into her curriculum.
This weekend, instead of having our usual class at City Ballet, we went to the North Carolina Museum of Art to film the final choreography projects the kids had been working on for the past month. The first half of the day was spent rehearsing the two dances my group had choreographed and polishing formations. I also helped my kids prep for an interview they were going to do talking about their choreographic process and explaining the inspiration for their pieces. We were able to film each group’s individual pieces inside the museum in front of a large and beautiful art piece, which stylistically looked stunning. We then filmed a piece that the whole class had learned together outside and took some informal footage of myself and the other teachers interacting with the kids and letting them improvise as well. I am really excited to see how the film turns out!