USA DANCE ANNOUNCES USA DANCE KIDZ
NURTURING THE NEXT GENERATION OF DANCERS
By Barbara Wally, USA Dance K-12 Development Director
USA Dance’s new dance education program for school-enrolled children -- USA Dance Kidz – is designed to provide instructional and organizational support to local USA Dance Chapters and community volunteers who are interested in nurturing the next generation of ballroom and latin dancers.
The need for dance programs is more prevalent than many communities may realize. Some communities may have no formalized dance instructional resources at all. There are schools without liberal arts funding or had dance eliminated from their programs.
The benefit to many communities who become involved in USA Dance KIDZ is affordability and accessibility to quality resources. USA DANCE KIDZ utilizes local volunteers and professional resources and is readily adaptable to the needs and unique circumstances of each community. USA Dance Kidz will provide essential teacher training, continuing education and course materials, as well as the important planning and promotional support needed to successfully launch and sustain the program.
Dancing doesn’t have to stop when the bell ends each day. Students who have completed in-school dance programs often want to continue learning dance after school. Yet they often can’t find or can’t afford private lessons. While some students may choose to pursue dancesport athlete activities, for others they are just interested in dancing for fun -- the social, physical, and mental benefits can be life changing for them.
Participation in dance programs can help eliminate two major problems facing our youth today - obesity and bullying. Through our chapters and volunteers, the USA Dance Kidz program can be expanded to provide continual positive learning and social interaction through dance.
How can chapters get involved? The local chapter would first contact USA Dance Central Office to express interest and to obtain the introductory materials. Once registered in the program, the chapter would identify potential target schools and recruit volunteer support for the program. Volunteer resources would include chapter members who dance, local dance instructors if available, as well as educators, other students, parents and grandparents and target school staff members. And, as an added benefit, volunteers may find their own dance knowledge and proficiency will improve they complete the training program and as they share their love and talent for dance with others.
Each chapter also will work closely with target schools to schedule times for dance classes and to determine whether the program will be offered as a component of their existing Physical Education or Performing Art programs, or as an extracurricular program before or after the school day. If school facilities are not available, chapters can consider local youth organizations or community centers. They can create both classes and special events such as showcases, demonstrations, special family parties, et al.
USA Dance Kidz educational materials are in development and will include a written syllabus for ballroom and latin dances, a teaching video of the various dances and music selections appropriate for children.
All volunteer dance instructors and coordinators will also participate in a training workshop with a professional dance instructor prior to working with students in the program.
The new USA DANCE KIDZ logo is a trademark of USA Dance, Inc. It will be available for promotional materials and fun items like t-shirts, jackets and other collectibles. USA DANCE KIDS now has a Facebook page – join to share information with volunteers around the country.
# # #