This Academic Point focuses on Episcopal's dance offerings and brings forth how dance– one of Episcopal’s art offerings—has stimulated Thesis Research plans of Madeleine Cope, a junior. Almost too quietly, Episcopal has established a first-class dance curriculum in the Arts Department. Led today by Ms. Christine Chrest, the curriculum, which crosses divisional lines, is increasingly popular.
Episcopal students have been recognized by the National Honor Society for Dance ArtsTM for their outstanding artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement:
On a related front, the following students are working toward an Academic Distinction in Performing Arts (focusing on Dance) here at Episcopal, dedicating themselves to an even deeper appreciation of dance as an art and academic form click to refer to the Distinctions Blog for details.
Madeleine sensed a connection between her development as a dancer and as a critical thinker. Her thesis research inquiries have centered around this intersection, and she has been studying how movement and learning are intertwined and connected. So far, she is understanding the benefits of dance and kinesthetic learning in K-12 settings, as it provides more stimuli to create memories and promotes higher retention rates and focus.
She has begun to study the “flow state,” focus and attention, “whole-brain approach,” learning-by-doing, dance as nonverbal communication and “Math in your Feet” (a tap dance program that teaches math). Madeleine also plans to create a prototype system that integrates dance education and content-learning and would be implemented in a traditional school setting.
Students making these sorts of connections as Madeleine has come upon confirm for me (and for teachers at Episcopal) the efficacy of our Mission & Ministry setting up our four pillars—spirituality, academics, arts, and physical education—for worthwhile student exploration and development. Do you think, just maybe, that Madeleine will remain a life-long learner?
As I finalize this Academic Point, I am filled with gratitude and appreciation, with poignancy for the bright and motivated students who strive with their parents, mentors and teachers to “seize the day”!