New to Luna?
As the only comprehensive dance education organization on the West Coast, those new to Luna often need help navigating where to start. If you are a parent, teen, teacher (or other practitioner), dance teaching artist, or administrator, the following chart should help you navigate our organization. If you need more help, please call our office.
Luna’s Studio Lab offers a rigorous course of study in composition-based dance learning for children 5-17 years of age. That means as students advance through Creative Dance Improvisation (CDI), Modern Dance Improvisation (MDI) and the 3-level Modern Composition (MDC) series, they develop the skills needed to choreograph well-crafted, original dance works and perform them with skill and confidence. Children ages 5-8 begin with CDI. Dancers age 7-12 start with MDI or a summer dance camp. After 3-6 sessions at any level, they progress with permission of instructor. [Even if students have studied dance elsewhere, we recommend beginning with Improvisation—they will likely advance rapidly.]
Dance in Early Childhood
Luna has been recognized as experts in early childhood education. Our faculty has studied child development, attachment and play theories, early fundamental movement patterns and the work of Reggio-Emilia schools. We offer a full palette of experiences in ECE. For children 0-2.9, we offer Infant, Wadder & Toddler parent-child classes. These classes emphasize relationship-based dance curriculum and practice the developmental patterns critical to early learning. Three & Four year olds are developing autonomy through exploration and play. Our Creative Dance Play classes provide a safe, fun-filled starting place for learning to dance on their own. MPACT provides relationship-strengthening classes and embodied parent-education throughout Oakland. We also offer workshops for early childhood educators, teachers and parents through our Professional Learning department, as well as work with organizations such as Head Start to integrate dance into comprehensive programming.
Learn more about us at our semi-annual FREE Open Houses.
Teens new to Luna begin with Teen/Modern Dance Improvisation or Teen Choreography Workshop (also offered each summer). Even if you have extensive studio dance experience, improvisation and choreography have a distinct skill set that we teach in a progression. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, your teacher will refer to you to Teen/Modern Comp levels one through three, and may recommend one of our Teen workshop intensives.
If you are a classroom teacher, physical education specialist, arts educator or other practitioner seeking to include dance into your curriculum, Luna can help. An excellent, FREE place to begin is attending one of our Lesson Studies scheduled monthly throughout the Academic Year, geared toward specific populations such as K-2nd, ECE, 3rd-5th, Middle School, High School, Creativity & Chaos, Technique & Creativity, Authentic Performance and more. Lesson Studies are “soft” facilitated by dance teaching professionals who have studied extensively with Luna. To dive in more fully, teachers might consider an entry-level workshop such as Developing & Implementing Dance Curricula-A or Dance In Early Childhood. Depending on your position, you might also consider one of our mini-topic workshops: dance for physical education teachers, working with students with special needs and more. Learn more or register. If you already teach dance and are looking for new ideas or support, definitely attend the relevant Lesson Study or use our resource library.
Dance Teaching Artists
A good starting place for dance artists new to teaching is to take Developing & Implementing Dance Curricula-A or visit us during our free consultation hours. For ideas to freshen up your curriculum or to connect with colleagues in the field, come to a Lesson Study Session, visit our teaching tips page. You can also find a daily creative dance idea at TwitterMoves.
Dance teachers seeking certification
As we continuve to advocate for a California teaching credential in Dance, Luna sees the value of providing a certificate of completion to dance teachers completing the full Foundations course of study with observation and teaching requirements. The starting place for this is to take any workshop at Luna, preferably Developing & Implementing Creative Dance Curricula-A, then write a letter of intent to the Director. Find out more about certification here.
School & Community Administrators
If your school or organization would like to build a comprehensive, standards-based dance program (or improve or assess an existing one), we can help. To explore whether our approach feels right for you, consider taking one of our grade level-focused Lesson Study Seminars or visit us during our free consultation hours. You might also encourage a potential dance leader from your organization to apply to our Summer Institute (applications available in late winter.) See our case studies for the various ways we’ve worked with others.