'Dancing through the Pages'
More than 30 children in grades K-3 from the Bridgewater community participated in a dance program at Bridgewater State University this year which recently concluded with a performance at Burnell Hall.
The program, titled "Dancing Through the Pages," teaches the children how to read a book and then interpret the movements that a given character within the story might make.
Under the direction of Danielle A. Bazinet, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Movement Arts, Health Promotion, and Leisure Studies and the Department of Theater and Dance, the program combines dance and literature. "Any time there is an opportunity to integrate the arts into other subjects such as literacy, children grasp a better understanding of both subjects and have fun in the process," she said. "It was also a great teaching experience for my students, as each week they successfully planned and taught their classes to a wonderful group of children."
BSU students Kate Caldwell, a senior from Woburn, and Chris Siciliano, a senior from Norwalk, Conn., have been working with Ms. Bazinet throughout the five-week program. They seemed to enjoy it as much as the young dancers. "It's been fun for the children and educational as well," said Ms. Caldwell. "We've used elements of well-known children's literature, such as the writings of Dr. Seuss, and used dance to interpret scenes from the book."
Mr. Siciliano sees the combination of reading and creative movement of special benefit to the participants. "At a very young age the children have a chance to explore two key areas of artistic expression and they enjoy every aspect of it," he said.
Due to the success of the program, Ms. Bazinet said she hopes to continue next fall. The program was funded by the Mel and Paula Shea Endowment and Charitable Trust, which was established by Mr. Shea in honor of his late wife's devotion to the education of children. (Story and photos by David K. Wilson, '71, Office of University Advancement)