How DEL and Barry Blumenfeld have helped families learn and stay active during the pandemic

DEL teaches on TV on THIRTEEN’s Let’s Learn Program

In the early months of the pandemic, educators and families were shifting to virtual schooling and facing a shortage of in-home devices for engaging with school curriculum. WNET asked various arts partners to provide content and curriculum that could supplement at-home learning,  considering more children had access to television. 

The first “Let’s Learn” programs ran through Spring and Summer 2020, and Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) enlisted facilitator Barry Blumenfeld to create a series of dance lessons based on the New York City Department of Education’s curriculum plan in social studies. 

Barry is a natural on camera, and a talented video editor and animator. 

“So much of teaching, especially in dance, means using the energy in the room, so I approached each Let’s Learn segment with the aim to use the medium the best I could,” Barry shared with us. “Making something using the DEL model and making it as visually entertaining as possible… It’s a lot of fun making them!” 

Let’s Learn will air two new segments with Barry this Spring at 9am on WLIW21 and 11am on WNET/THIRTEEN. On April 29, Barry Blumenfeld and Fnu Baigali teach students a reindeer dance. On May 3, Barry and Godfrey Muwulya teach a dance from Uganda.

New segments will include friends and fellow artists sharing and honoring different cultural dances from around the world, including Puerto Rico, Mongolia, and Uganda. Each segment is in alignment with DEL’s priority to embrace anti-racism in our pedagogy and approach. 

We’re thrilled to share these videos with dance educators as a reminder that we can make a dance about anything:

  1. Look for your theme
  2. Create a simple structure
  3. Get your students moving
  4. Work with DEL for resources on how to go even deeper

No matter the topic, you can bring dance into your curriculum. 

From Barry: “That’s the DEL message, and that’s the whole point.” 

Fun fact: Barry’s 11 year old son made some of the graphics in the next series! Let’s Learn is an educational public television series that airs weekdays at 11am on THIRTEEN. supplements at-home learning for children ages 3 to 8. Let’s Learn helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. One-hour programs feature instruction by educators and virtual field trips.