Article

Young Children and Movement: The Power of Creative Dance

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Abstract

Children move the instant they are born and the moment they wake up every morning. Moving is one of the first and most important ways infants and toddlers explore and learn about the world, and this process continues as they grow and develop. Research shows that movement and exercise can spark the growth of new brain cells and facilitate learning (Ratey, 2008). Why, then, is creative movement not an integral part of every early childhood curriculum? The author's theory is twofold. First, teachers and society at large are less familiar with dance than with the other performing arts. Second, because some teachers may not have experience with dance, they may be uncomfortable offering creative movement. They may think that bringing dance into the classroom will result in children moving randomly and without noticing the other children. However, one of the gifts of guided creative movement is that it helps children learn to control their bodies and develop awareness of moving in a space with other children. In this article, the author defines and describes the benefits of creative movement.

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... In the literature, dance, creative dance, and creative movement are often used interchangeably (Dow, 2010;Lobo & Winsler, 2006;Oshuns, 1977;Von Rossberg-Gempton, Dickinson, & Poole, 1999). However, for the purposes of this study, dance and creative dance are defined as the art of formalized, instructional, and structured forms of movement (Oshuns, 1997). ...
... In contrast, creative movement is defined as non-competitive, spontaneous yet guided, movements of the body that enable children to express emotions, tell stories, and build relationships (Greer-Paglia, 2006). Creative movement is an art-form whose medium is the body used for natural movement (Kaufmann & Ellis, 2007) and creative expression (Bannon, 1994;Cheung, 2010;Dow, 2010;Oshuns, 1977). Creative movement can be children's interpretation of their ideas and feelings about any situation in their lives (Chueng, 2010), or a response to a story, song, or poem (Dow, 2010;Lobo & Winsler, 2006). ...
... Creative movement is an art-form whose medium is the body used for natural movement (Kaufmann & Ellis, 2007) and creative expression (Bannon, 1994;Cheung, 2010;Dow, 2010;Oshuns, 1977). Creative movement can be children's interpretation of their ideas and feelings about any situation in their lives (Chueng, 2010), or a response to a story, song, or poem (Dow, 2010;Lobo & Winsler, 2006). Elements of imitation (Greer-Paglia, 2006) and improvisation (Theodorakou & Zervas, 2003) combine to create a unique movement experience Gilbert, 1992;Greer-Paglia, 2006). ...
... The current paper describes a curriculum-integrated dance programme that was implemented across four primary schools in Auckland (New Zealand) to investigate the integration of dance education into the New Zealand primary school curriculum. Creative movement-a form of movement using the body as a learning tool-formed an integral part of the dance programme as it has the potential to enhance student 1 3 learning (Dow 2010;Leandro et al. 2018). Note that previous researchers have used the terms "dance education" and "creative movement" interchangeably; a similar approach has been applied to the present paper (Dow 2010;Leandro et al. 2018). ...
... Creative movement-a form of movement using the body as a learning tool-formed an integral part of the dance programme as it has the potential to enhance student 1 3 learning (Dow 2010;Leandro et al. 2018). Note that previous researchers have used the terms "dance education" and "creative movement" interchangeably; a similar approach has been applied to the present paper (Dow 2010;Leandro et al. 2018). ...
... Research in dance education has suggested that dance and creative movement may be effective in teaching curricular subjects such as geometry, literature or science, as children may develop a deeper understanding of the theory and application of abstract concepts (Gross 2011;Koff and Warner 2001;Moore and Linder 2012;Richard 2013). Embedding creative movement with dance-based teaching can potentially ignite cognitive learning in children, since physical movement deepens neural connections (Dow 2010;Richard 2013;Simpson Steele et al. 2016). Dow uses the term "vehicle" to describe dance as an effective teaching tool and affirms the pedagogical benefits of creative movement as a specific dance activity that fosters integrated learning (Dow 2010). ...
Article
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This paper explains the design, development and delivery of a curriculum-integrated dance programme across four primary schools in Auckland, New Zealand. Four teachers and their respective classes (101 children in total) were part of the programme. Each class participated in 18 dance sessions at their schools during school hours. The dance educator delivered the dance programme and collaborated with each class teacher for planning and implementation. Various topics related to science, mathematics, English and Māori culture were covered in accordance with the term focus of each class teacher. The core values from the New Zealand primary school curriculum and New Zealand arts curriculum were embedded in the dance programme. The applicability, transferability (to other participant groups), challenges (such as time and venue) and evaluation design associated with the dance programme are discussed. Teachers’ reflections are embedded with researcher observations as they describe the significance of the dance programme.
... Dance is a creative activity that affects many aspects of childhood development, including physical, social, and emotional well-being (Dow 2010). Physically, dance can improve muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and joint flexibility (Ward 2008). ...
... Socially, dance teaches children how to follow instruction, cooperate with others, and develop friendships (Oliver and Hearn 2008). Emotional well-being is affected by the opportunity for nonverbal self-expression (Dow 2010) and increased self-confidence as the result of learning and mastering new skills (Oliver and Hearn 2008). Dance also fosters cognitive development when children are allowed to move according to their own creativity (Giguere 2011). ...
... Dance also fosters cognitive development when children are allowed to move according to their own creativity (Giguere 2011). Researchers contend that dance, unlike some other forms of physical activity, is suitable for children and young adults with additional needs because it can be modified to accommodate for all ability levels (Grumich 2008;Ward 2008;Dow 2010;Anjula and Redding 2013). ...
Article
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There are many benefits to dance, both for typically developing individuals and for individuals with additional needs. The purpose of this narrative case study was to analyse a dance program for children and young adults with additional needs from the perspective of the program creator and primary dance instructor. Data collection occurred at two points in time, roughly one and a half years apart. Four forms of data collection were used at both points, including background questionnaires, in-depth semi-structured interviews, member checks, and field notes. A document analysis was also included at the second point in time. The analysis revealed information about program development, philosophy, participants, instructors, volunteers, and benefits. This narrative was also used to create a model for other educators who wish to create an inclusive dance program for individuals with additional needs.
... Lobo et al. describes creative dance as the synergetic relationship of physical movement which expresses feelings and creative ideas (25). A report by Dow explains that terms describing creative movements are comparable with the terms describing creative dance (8). Creative movement consists of four basic elements of variation: 1) body parts and their range of movement, 2) space, 3) time, and 4) energy. ...
... they learn to improve their control of body movement (8). Creative dance can also use these movement elements, but are done rhythmically to music or a beat. ...
... Examples of basic elements and activities of creative movement(8). Marching while bending one knee and keeping the other leg straight • Rising on tiptoes • Lying on back with feet in the air ...
... In recent decades, researchers begun to study those effects empirically, often referring to dance as an art sport, thus highlighting its potential of both emotional and physical involvement. Dance provides the opportunity of exploring all body possibilities, hence learning to use it creatively, unconventionally, and globally [54]. Regardless of the specific style, dance practice positively affects motor performance, coordination, flexibility, static and dynamic balance [32,35]. ...
... In addition, given its peculiarities of partnered dance, dancesport is particularly suited to blind subjects because it is strongly based on the sense of touch and close physical contact between dancers. Moreover, the presence of a partner is considered a motivating factor for practice adherence [3,54]. It has also been demonstrated that multisensory training, combining haptic and audio features, might support and enhance perceptual functions, learning process, cognitive mapping, and exploration of the unknown space in blind subjects [30,31,57]. ...
Article
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Sport practice has the widely demonstrated potential of promoting well-being and physical/mental health, especially in disabled individuals. Nowadays, visually impaired people can participate in several sports commonly adapted and played substituting visual input with auditory or tactile ones. By integrating movement and music, dance can simultaneously promote physical and emotional involvement and enhances vicarious sense recruitment. On these premises, we performed a survey to assess the psychological well-being (PWB) and quality of life (QoL) in visually impaired athletes, comparing dancesport vs other sound input-based sports. Twenty-one visually impaired dancers and twenty-seven visually impaired athletes practicing adapted baseball, showdown, blind futsal, or blind tennis completed a structured self-report survey including the Italian version of PWB-18 scale and the Short Form-12 (SF-12) questionnaire. Dancers reported significantly higher scores in PWB-18 autonomy, environmental mastery, and self-acceptance along with a higher PWB total score than the other athlete group. Similarly, the SF-12 questionnaire results demonstrated significantly higher scores in both physical and mental QoL of visually impaired dancers compared with other athletes. In conclusion, our findings suggest that, given its peculiarities, the practice of dancesport may have a stronger positive impact on PWB and QoL of visually impaired individuals than other sound input-based sports.
... Goldsmith et al. (2016) highlighted the connection between the visual-spatial thinking required in drawing and that required in geometric reasoning. Dow (2010) discussed the potential for dance to promote understanding of direction and position because of its focus on elements of movement, space, time, and energy, and its frequent inclusion of prompts such as "March backwards!" or "Leap over the ribbon!" Also, music has been linked to advantages in spatial-temporal and other mathematical skills, including for economically disadvantaged children (Hetland & Winner, 2001;Rauscher, 2003;Rauscher & Hinton, 2011). ...
Article
The present study examined the impact of intensive arts integration on school readiness for economically disadvantaged children attending Head Start preschool. Participants were 265 children, ages 3-5 years. Of these, 197 attended a fully arts-integrated Head Start, where children received daily music, dance, and visual arts classes in addition to homeroom, and 68 attended a matched comparison program that did not include arts classes. The Bracken Basic Concepts Scale, Third Edition- Receptive (BBCS-3:R) was used to measure children's school readiness at the start and end of a year of preschool attendance. According to a repeated-measures multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), children at the arts-integrated Head Start showed greater gains in school readiness compared to their peers at the comparison program. Univariate tests revealed that attendance at the arts-integrated preschool was associated with greater gains on a general school readiness composite as well as in specific concept areas of texture/material and self/social awareness. Findings suggest that the arts can add value to Head Start preschool. Implications concern the arts as a vehicle for equalizing educational opportunities for young, economically disadvantaged children.
... Other than that, creative movement also is a dance art that uses the natural movement of a human body (Kaufmann & Ellis, 2007) and expresses creativity (Bannon, 1994;Cheung, 2010;Dow, 2010;Oshuns, 1977). Through creative movement, children are free to express their feelings and emotions and their personality according to their own style. ...
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This research explains the justification of the content of creative movement module with the elements of drama (PeTif-Ma) for preschool children. PeTif-Ma module is developed based on the ASSURE Model teaching design that focused on the creative movement skills and drama elements that helps children interact better verbally. This research is a quantitative research that uses the survey method to gain the experts opinion through questionnaire. The findings of the research had shown that the PeTif-Ma Module has got a high validation on the content. Hence, the PeTif-Ma Module can be a complete teaching guidance for the preschool teachers to run the creative movement activities and drama in a simple manner, precisely and effectively in according to the National Preschool Curriculum Standard. In addition, this module completes a few other modules to make the preschool curriculum become more advance and varies.
... On pozitivno utječe na fizički, emocionalni, socijalni i kognitivni razvoj pojedinca zbog čega je izvrsna aktivnost za dječju dob. 5 Pokret je autentičan izraz djeteta koji se najviše očituje kada je dijete slobodno i nesputano, ono tijelom često i lako izražava svoje osjećaje, iskustva, različite ideje i doživljaje. 6 Umjetnost, a posebice pokret, njeguje razvoj djece tako da im omogućava fizičko, tj. ...
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Jedan od načina poticanja kreativnosti djece rane školske dobi jest putem pokreta i plesa, čime se zadovoljava njihova prirodna potreba za kretanjem i potiče izražavanje na drugačiji način. Pri tome se ističe kreativni ples, kao vrsta plesa koja potiče cjelovit razvoj djeteta. Imajući u vidu prednosti kreativnoga pokreta i plesa, provedeno je akcijsko istraživanje radi poticanja učenika na kretanje i kreativno izražavanje pokretom te poticanje učenika na međusobnu suradnju. Istraživanje je provedeno s 23 učenika prvoga razreda osnovne škole tijekom svibnja i lipnja 2019. godine. Rezultati istraživanja pokazali su napredak učenika u kreativnom izražavanju pokretom. Znanja koja su stekli rabili su na naučene te na samostalno osmišljene načine, istražujući mogućnosti pokreta koje im pružaju tijelo, prostor, vrijeme i energija. Istraživanje je pokazalo da su kreativan pokret i ples jedan od načina poticanja kreativnosti djeteta u školskom kontekstu, čemu je više pažnje potrebno usmjeriti u procesu suvremenog odgoja i obrazovanja.
... All 4 Kids © utilizes dance as the primary activity because, during the preschool years, music and dance is acceptable for any gender and is enjoyable for children, their teachers and their families [43]. Dance focuses on overall fundamental skills (as opposed to primarily object manipulation) that helps children, especially girls, expand their motor repertoire early in life [44][45][46]. ...
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This pragmatic, real world study examined the effects of the All 4 Kids© intervention on preschoolers’ mastery of movement skills and determined whether the instruction had greater impact than natural development. Methods included a quasi-experimental intervention-comparison subsample of 379 children (COMPARISON) and a pretest-posttest design with convenience scale-up sampling of 2817 preschoolers (SCALE-UP). Children receiving education and dance instruction 3 times/week for 8 weeks were assessed using the Preschool Movement Assessment to evaluate skills pre and post intervention. Using repeated measures ANOVA, McNemar and Wilcoxon signed ranks tests, preschooler’s participation in the intervention resulted in greater improvement in 12 movement skills (F = 83.451, df = 1, p < 0.001, η p 2 = 0.555), balance (p = 0.028), hopping (t = −3.545, df = 112, p = 0.001) and crossing the midline (p < 0.001) than natural development (COMPARISON). In the SCALE-UP study, children significantly improved in all measures based on post-intervention scores. Significant differences were observed between Hispanic and non-Hispanic children for the 12-skills (b = −0.758, se = 0.161, p < 0.001) using hierarchical linear models; boys’ and girls’ scores were not differentially impacted by the intervention. Therefore, implementation of interventions focused on fundamental movement skill development have the potential to remediate secular motor skill decline in young children.
... When children are supported in terms of creative motor movement, they develop socialemotional and problem-solving skills (Wang, 2003;Lorenzo-Lasa et al., 2007), and they are encouraged to participate in collaboration and teamwork (Cheung, 2010;Muhamad, Razali & Raja Adnan, 2017); this support contributes to their ability to make their own decisions and to be brave enough to take risks (Wang, 2003;Dow, 2010). To the extent that modern educators focus only on children's academic achievement, they may decrease emphasis on supporting creativity. ...
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This study investigated factors that are associated with the creative motor skills of young children. We recruited through random sampling 233 typically developing children attending preschool or kindergarten in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. We administered a "General Information Form" to gather the children's demographic characteristics and the "Thinking Creatively in Action and Movement Test" to evaluate the children's creative motor skills level. We analyzed the children and familys' demographic characteristics with frequency and percentage values, and we analyzed the TCAM with multiple linear regression analysis to determine whether independent variables predicted creativity on the TCAM. Our results showed that, among the sub-dimensions of the TCAM, the mother's age and profession best predicted the sub-dimension of fluency and the mother's profession best predicted the sub-dimension of novelty. Regarding, the sub-dimension of children's creative motor-imagination, neither the children's gender or age, the parents' age, education or occupation were significant predictors.
... There is a decrease in performance in the skills of children's movement of present generation compared to previous generations [5]. Poor motor development and gross motor performance are also characterized by children's overweight [6]. ...
Chapter
This chapter explores the use of creative movement to extend meaning to inquiry-based science investigations. This process embraces the addition of A to STEM to realize the impact of STEAM. The chapter builds on the import of scientific and physical literacy, interdisciplinary learning, and the power of kinesthetic engagement. Students become active collaborative agents within a dynamic model using creative movement to bring meaning to the science of simple machines. The authors utilize working words into movement strategy to help students use their past experiences and motor memory to explore, interpret, and engage with as they seek understanding of simple machines. A Midwest urban elementary school provides the context for a unit plan culminating in a dance performance. The foundational ideas presented within this unit can be enacted within any classroom by creative movement (physical education or dance) specialists, science specialists, or classroom generalists. It follows with a presentation of science content on simple machines exploring the disciplinary core idea of force and motion.
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This study was carried out to investigate the relationship between the motor creativity skills and peer play behaviors of preschool children and the factors affecting this relationship according to various demographic features. A total of 202 children attending kindergartens or preschools affiliated to the Directorate of National Education in the Afyonkarahisar province in the 2018–2019 school year participated in the study. For the purpose of collecting data, a General Information Form, the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale (Parental Form) and the Creative Movement Thinking Test in Action and Movement were used. The Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to determine the relationship between the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale Parent Form and the Creative Thinking Test scores. The results of the study showed that there was a significant difference in the play disruption sub-dimension of the peer play behaviors of boys and girls in favor of boys and that there was no significant difference in the mean scores of motor creativity. There was a significant difference in favor of the children of parents who had one child in the play disconnection sub-dimension regarding peer play behaviors. It was also determined that there was a significant difference in the fluency and originality sub-dimensions regarding the motor creativity mean scores of children who had siblings. It was observed that there was a significant difference in the play interaction sub-dimension in the positive direction and for the play disconnection sub-dimension in the negative direction for children whose parents played with them for 3 hours or more, while no significant relationship was evident in the motor creativity mean scores. A negative relationship was determined between the play interaction and imagination sub-dimensions, while a positive correlation was found between the play disruption or disconnection and imagination sub-dimensions.
Book
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The book introduces recent international research on the connections between the arts, culture, health and well-being. The introduction explains some key concepts such as cultural rights and cultural well-being. Five chapters focus on the well-being impacts of participation in the arts in relation to five target groups: young people, immigrants, people in late adulthood, disabled people, and mental health recoverees.
Chapter
This chapter explores the use of creative movement to extend meaning to inquiry-based science investigations. This process embraces the addition of A to STEM to realize the impact of STEAM. The chapter builds on the import of scientific and physical literacy, interdisciplinary learning, and the power of kinesthetic engagement. Students become active collaborative agents within a dynamic model using creative movement to bring meaning to the science of simple machines. We utilize a Working Words into Movement strategy to help students use their past experiences and motor memory to explore, interpret, and engage with as they seek understanding of simple machines. A Midwest urban elementary school provides the context for a unit plan culminating in a dance performance. The foundational ideas presented within this unit can be enacted within any classroom by creative movement (physical education or dance) specialists, science specialists, or classroom generalists. It follows with a presentation of science content on simple machines exploring the disciplinary core idea of force and motion.
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