Visiting Artist Workshop: Dance!

Our Colchester school was treated to a special event this Monday: a dance workshop from visiting artist (and longtime friend of ONE Arts) Anna Shogren! It was a beautiful, not-too-hot July morning, and our school gathered outside in the field to dance together in the sunshine and fresh air. While the workshop was intended primarily for preschoolers, many curious toddlers (and even a few infants!) joined in and had a wonderful time!

Anna led the children through a series of warm-up exercises to “wake up” their bodies and promote body awareness. The preschoolers took turns introducing themselves and tried to use their bodies to create the first letter of their names. This activity required a lot of creativity and focus!

Next, Anna played music and facilitated a game of Freeze Dance. The children danced enthusiastically, by themselves and with partners. There was a lot of leaping, spinning, running, and even some cartwheels and tumbling! The children listened carefully and whenever the music stopped, they attentively froze and held whatever position they were in. Anna gradually increased the complexity of the game by adding new instructions: “Dance like you’re moving through peanut butter!” “Dance like you’re inside a bouncy castle!”

Anna then encouraged the children to move like animals, and dance as if they were trying to catch the moon. These exercises led into a read-aloud of the story “The Baboon Who Went to the Moon” by John Bush. The children moved their bodies along with the story as the determined baboon strove to reach the full moon up in the sky.

The workshop ended with more joyful dancing, rhythmic clapping, and lots of laughter. What a beautiful way to start a week! Thank you, Anna!

We strive to integrate art in all its forms into our curriculum at ONE Arts, and plan to host many future visiting artists to share their talents. Are you an artist, dancer, musician, actor? Do you love sewing, cooking, or storytelling? Would you be interested in leading a workshop or performance for our school? Please let us know!

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