The Early Childhood & Lower School Dance and Movement program at St. Mary’s benefits our girls as students, athletes, artists, and as teammates.
Though ballet is meant to look effortless and graceful, a ballerina actually exerts a great deal of energy, and benefits the student through increased focus, fostering good posture, coordination and balance. Dance also helps girls learn the importance of self-control and discipline as well as the teamwork; they must work as a team to present a successful performance to an audience.
Dance also offers a unique opportunity for self-expression and a valuable outlet for their creativity. Working with their facial expression as well as their body movements, they can begin to appreciate the nuances of dramatic performance at a very young age.
Our number one goal as dance instructors is to instill a life-long love of the art into our students. While many of them won’t end up dancing professionally, our hope is that they will learn to appreciate dance more fully, having studied and performed it as young girls. Following a recent visiting performance by the Isadora Duncan Dance Company, one of our 2nd graders told the dancers: “I just wanted you to know that when you were dancing, I was feeling everything you were feeling.” That insight – from a seven-year-old! – summarizes the kind of understanding we hope our girls will carry with them for the rest of their lives.