Folkdance Residency with Ms. Andy Taylor-Blenis
The third graders have been exploring one of enduring dance styles of the early days of our country. Folkdance instructor, Ms. Andy Taylor-Blenis explained to the students that immigrants to the English colonies brought with them dances from their native countries. The contra dance is an early American creation which was influenced by English, Scottish, French, and African dances of the 17th century. It remains popular today. The songs and music tell about everyday life of settlers. Students learned that these dances were a common way of socializing and making new friends.
The students worked with Ms. Taylor-Blenis twice a week for a month. Mr. Materazzo was very pleased with the residency, “Contra dancing is good for physical education because it incorporates a lot of skills such as spatial awareness, pathways, teamwork, respect, social learning and physical exercise and prepares them for our ballroom dance curriculum in fifth grade. I hope to expand the curriculum to other grades and share this learning experience.” Thank you FOH for a very special experience!