For the past 6 years, students from Seneca School have worked with NBS’ artistic staff to learn an adapted version of the Sharing Dance routine. Seneca’s students, who have a range of developmental challenges, love the opportunity that the routine gives them to connect with each other through dance, and to express their love of music and movement.
Claire Cram, a special education teacher with the school, introduced the program to her students in 2010. The students had a wonderful experience, and Seneca has been a part of the Sharing Dance community ever since. This year, Grade 8 students from Hollycrest Public School were partnered with the students from Seneca. Working together as a team, they learned the routine, and performed it for their friends and families during an assembly in April. Their performance was a great success, and the students can’t wait to begin learning next year’s routine.
Below, Claire shares her experience with the program, and describes how it benefits her students:
When it was still called International Dance Day and we did flash mobs at different locations around the city, I had the idea of finding out if there was any way the special students that I teach at Seneca School could join in. The idea was supported 100 per cent by NBS and people involved there. And although we have never been able to make it to the official event, we have had a great time staging our own, with the help of other schools and choreographers and dance teachers through NBS.
This year - our 6th year I think! - was no different. With Ashleigh Powell's amazing help, we choreographed a fun routine that allowed the Grade 8 students from Hollycrest Public School and their teacher Diane Taylor to participate with us. We invited our dance partners to visit a bunch of times, practiced and shared ideas, and came up with this fun, adapted routine. By integrating the dance into our monthly assembly we definitely got to share it with all of our friends at Seneca School. We will get to perform it again at an integrated student conference coming up next month at Hollycrest School, called Art Alive!
Claire Cram, Special Education Teacher for Seneca School