A very special thank you to Sanna Longden for contributing this article
Hello Teacher Friends,
Many of you have heard me say that, even though I am a dance educator, I really teach (here come all my “C’s”) civility, cooperation, community, creativity, consideration, communication, cultures, and character development.
Recently, a new set of “C’s” has come into our lives—the Common Core Curriculum (CCC)—and I’d like to suggest that my world dance CDs will help you to connect to this current criterion. And (moving on from the “C’s”), so will my DVDs.
You’ll find many useful, educational, and enjoyable cultural dances and music games on my entire FolkStyle Productions series of five CDs and seven DVDs. However, here are some specific curriculum connections you can help your students make with my two CD-DVD set, Dances of the Seven Continents.
The title itself leads to Geography: There are actually only six continents—one big land mass is officially named Eurasia. Have the students find out why, and then locate their dances on the world map. Another idea is to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with “Waves of Tory” and find out where Tory is, and how the dance simulates these well-known waves.
You can support World Language with dance titles and songs in Armenian, Bulgarian, Caribbean, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian, Spanish, Tahitian, Taiwanese, and Tibetan. Children from these countries would be thrilled to help with their languages.
For Science, the “Penguin Dance” could elicit much information about these amusing birds, as well as about snow, ice, and the Southern Hemisphere. Traditional dances from U.S. History are “Goin’ Down to Cairo,” “Here Comes Sally,” the “Yakima Round Dance” and “Haliwa-Saponi Canoe Dance,” and, of course, “Swing Dancing.” There are even ways to do Math with meters, measures, phrases, and formations.
There’s lots more, especially the most important one, the Humane Curriculum—teamwork with “Mexican Clap Game,” “Thady You Gander,” and others, and humor in “Gustav’s Skøal,” “Ox Dansen,” and “Ach Jah.” I hope you and your students will enjoy using these CDs and DVDs.
About Sanna Longden
Sanna Longden is a well-known, long-time world dance educator. Her series of instructional DVDs and CDs are sold worldwide. Co-author with Phyllis S. Weikart of Cultures and Styling in Folk Dance (High/Scope Press, 1998), and with Wendy Taucher of Making Music with Movement and Dance (Pearson Education, 2006), Sanna is also a clinician and contributing author to the Silver Burdett/Pearson Making Music textbooks.