Read More…Dance Educator To Dance Educator,

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I love children, and dance is my passion. These days, children are bombarded by negative influences almost everywhere they look. They are fed an unending stream of doom, gloom, impending disaster, sad events, and warnings that are often exaggerated for dramatic effect, persuasion, manipulation, or to bring awareness to a particular tragic event.

These accentuated negatives are infused in video games, television shows, movies, music, news, social media and even choreography. I understand that many feel justified and may believe they are doing everyone a great service by presenting what they perceive are the dark realities of life. Concentrated focus, however, on such negatives can be detrimental to everyone, especially children. Our mindset is affected by the information we take into our subconscious. When negative information is packaged to elicit an emotional response of sadness, fear, and panic; this can deeply alter our thought processes and decision making. Studies have shown that subjects who are in the throes of negative emotions such as anger, fear, and depression LOSE 30 to 40% of their reasoning ability.

The same negative emotions also affect physical wellness by altering chemistry in our bodies to prepare for flight or fight. What may help us to survive in real danger, can be injurious to health by continuous replication of a traumatic event. Young children have no protective filters to sort fiction from truth. I've been to dance competitions where every dismal, sad event, and disaster known to human kind, was choreographed to equally sad music and performed by very young children who were rewarded for "sharing this important message".

Because this constant "Trauma Drama" through practice and performance can be harmful to the young participants and observers. I am trying to increase awareness among dance professionals as well as offer dance education alternatives.

As previously stated, my mission is to be a positive force and voice through my dance education songs and choreography as well as be an advocate for better music, choreography, and costume choices for children. There are many GOOD Choices for music out there in addition to my Dance Education Songs. Are the awards and trophies worth the risks? If you are concerned the judges only want serious "Trauma Drama", then it is time to educate or replace some of the judges. The judges should be knowledgeable in all areas of dance education including kinesiology, early child development, sound technique, and an awareness of what is appropriate for the psychological, and physical development of the children on stage. A self taught back up dancer for a rock star, no matter how talented as a performer, is NOT a suitable judge for Ballet, Character, Lyrical,Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, or Modern in my opinion.

Just like many of you, I always wanted to dance, choreograph, and teach dance. When I was a professional dancer and choreographer, I dreamed of one day owning my own dance studio. It was during those wonderful years of running a dance studio, that I developed a system of dance education for my youngest students. This system is based on simple songs, designed to instruct, uplift, and encourage. Extensive research on early brain development and receptivity in this age group helped develop the base for my program. Further classroom experience and experimentation with my early preschool classes helped give form and definition to my ideas. I then applied my developing theories to my own students with amazing results. In addition to attainable dance concepts and perhaps of more important and lasting value to overall child development, I included learning skills like "listening", "following directions", and "trying" and social principles like "courtesy" and "kindness".

I found the children absorbed ideas of mutual respect along with how to pay attention, listen ,and try.
I also discovered our little ones could:
Intellectually grasp simple choreographic concepts
Learn specific dance syllabus
Understand some basic theory instrumental to good technique

Imagine how much can be accomplished in a classroom filled with eager young children who have learned to listen, focus, be positive, and respectful to each other. Think of how well prepared these children are when they go on to academic school.
All skills and behaviors are learned through repetition. Singing a song is EASY repetition. More like play, Less like work.
Social skills based on mutual respect are invaluable throughout life.

When the children learn & master their dance education songs and choreography, they can usually perform their dances without the need for a demonstrator on the side or in front of the stage. They can perform TO their audience and let their personalities shine through. They are confident because they KNOW their routines.

And finally, the songs I write are fun. My students weren't just learning something cute to do in the recital; they were learning the rudiments of an art form. With an understanding of some proper technique and theory, they easily and naturally progressed to higher levels as they matured physically. Music and dance are wonderful tools for learning. Child psychologists and educators like Montessori and Piaget believed that a planned developmental program in movement should be part of every child's education. As dance educators, we CAN help children become the best they can be by being that positive light in their precious young lives.

Wishing you only the best,

Pat Fields Kilgore
© 2018 Dance Education Songs
All Rights Reserved
Division of Pat Fields Productions