The DEL Summer Institute is just a few weeks away and the WonderDance instructors are thrilled to be the course to kick off the program. Ann Biddle, Deborah Damast, and Jen Katz have been working on WonderDance, a new early childhood dance curriculum, for three years.
I had a chance to speak with Deborah and Jen about what they are planning for their upcoming workshop and the enthusiasm in their voices was palpable. They explained that the beauty of the WonderDance curriculum is that it can be taught in many different environments for any child; it’s completely adaptable. For example, the WonderDance curriculum is currently being taught in the nursery school at the 92nd Street Y, the Harkness Dance Studios, and in public schools to many different ages groups with varying levels of dance exposure. The same lessons and units are being taught across the board, but the teacher modifies the material to be accessible to their classrooms.
If you want to learn about early childhood dance education, WonderDance is the place to go. Unlike most teacher training courses where adults simulate the responses of children, there will be children at the course so participants can observe the curriculum in action! “There is really nothing like seeing children go through this methodology and program,” Damast says, “it really gives an immediate understanding.”
Plus participants will get TONS of material to use in their own classrooms – books, music resources, templates, units, lessons, the core values and philosophy. Not to mention a network of other early childhood dance educators!
When asked what they would like students to take away from the course intellectually, Jen said her wish for the students this summer is that they will leave feeling confident to take the model and adapt it for their own personal needs, have an enriched sense of child development, understand early childhood learning styles, and to understand how the DEL model is utilized for early childhood.