Mary Ann Lee Workshop

This three hour workshop will focus on integrating dance into the academic curriculum for young children three to seven years of age. Participants will be guided through the materials, strategies, and best practices for integrating dance as an art form with other areas of learning and the use of movement paired with music as a kinesthetic instrument to problem-solve, develop life skills, as well as release emotions and express feelings. Movement skills are developmental tools that can be translated to the performing or classroom setting. 



Moving toward Literacy: Creative Movement as a Learning Tool in the Early Years
Led by: Highly acclaimed dance educator Ashley Boyack 
When: Sunday, October 27, 2019, 10am - 1pm
Where: Canada’s National Ballet School, 400 Jarvis Street
Fee: $75



  • No dance background is required for this workshop
  • Dance teachers interested in continuing professional development
  • Dance Assistants who want additional training for effectively teaching young children
  • Early Childhood Educators and students in education-focused post-secondary programs who want to incorporate Creative Movement in classes or community groups
  • Anyone 16+ who works with children and would like more strategies for successfully engaging children


10am: Observe as Ashley Boyack teaches a class of three year old students. This unique opportunity allows workshop participants to observe the skills and strategies an expert dance educator uses throughout a class. This class features a live musician.

11am-1pm: Discuss Creative Movement for Early learners including rationale, teaching strategies and scenarios. Workshop participants will have time to ask questions and discuss as a group.


  • Knowledge of the basic principles of creative movement
  • Skills to structure and teach a movement to music class
  • Strategies to keep young children focused and engaged
  • Strategies for helping children cope with separation anxiety
  • A certificate that states the participant has successfully completed the workshop

The intellectual, physical, and social skills taught through dance are basic and fundamental to the child’s success to function in other areas... The sit-at-your-seat style of learning, while appropriate for some kinds of education, does not fit all of the needs of the action-oriented child, nor does it lift the spirit and happily involve that total child in learning. The art spirit needs to permeate the education scene. The time is now.

— Dr. Naomi Rowan , after watching a Tanner Dance Arts-in-Education class


Ashley BodackAshley Boyack received her BFA in modern dance from the University of Utah. She began teaching for the University of Utah Tanner Dance Program in 1991. In 2010 she earned a  Masters in Arts and Teaching from the University of Northern Colorado. Then Ashley, her 4 boys and husband, Morgan moved to Lawrence, Kansas. She joined the Lawrence Arts Center, where she served as the Artistic Director of the Youth Dance Theater. She also performed as a guest with the 940 Dance Company, created the preschool dance and modern dance curriculum, co-created the boys sports dance class curriculum, and served as the Lawrence Arts Center Dance Education Specialist. In 2016 she was honored with the Sorenson Legacy award for outstanding teaching in dance education. Ashley currently teaches full time in all areas of the University of Utah Tanner Dance program. She also directs the Adults with Disabilities program and works as the Director of Professional Development.

*Due to an injury, Mary Ann Lee is unable to facilitate this year’s Moving Toward Literacy workshop. We are pleased to welcome highly acclaimed dance educator Ashley Boyack in bringing her wealth of experience and knowledge to this year’s participants.