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Standards for Dance in Early Childhood

Philosophy Underlying Early Childhood Standards

Standards for Dance in Early Childhood
Dance embodies one of our most primal relationships to the universe. It is pre-verbal, beginning before words can be formed. It is innate in children before they possess command over language and is evoked when thoughts or emotions are too powerful for words to contain.

Children move naturally. They move to achieve mobility, they move to express a thought or feeling, and they move because it is joyful and feels wonderful. When their movement becomes consciously structured and is performed with awareness for its own sake, it becomes dance.

Dance is a natural method for learning and a basic form of cultural expression. Children learn movement patterns as readily as they learn language. Just as all societies create forms of visual representation or organize sounds into music, all cultures organize movement and rhythm into one or more forms of dance. Yet, while our educational systems for early childhood include drawing and singing, they often neglect to include dance. It is essential that education provide our children with the developmental benefits and unique learning opportunities that come from organizing movement into the aesthetic experience of dance.

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