Teaching is a principled practice. It requires adults to show up, pay attention, remain present, and stay engaged. These behaviors are also at the root of art-making. The pedagogical principles and practices at the root of all Luna’s programs derive from:
Strong, accurate, and detailed observation is essential to teaching and to dance-making. Self-reflection is an aspect of observing one’s work. Children and adults develop the skills of introspection, communication, and feedback.
Inquiry/The Art of the Question
Queries inspire investigation, theory-posing, discovery, invention, and revision in students, teachers, and artists. They provide opportunity to shift perception and perspective. Through a critical lens, they also allow humans to reflect on power and justice.
Luna holds a high standard for inclusivity. All of our programs welcome participation from people with diverse abilities, backgrounds, and experiences. We rely on the Universal Design for Learning guidelines to maintain equity in our teaching practice.
Humans learn in relationship, from and through each other. We facilitate opportunities for students to co-construct knowledge in the studio and for artists and classroom teachers to collaboratively study in our school programs and professional learning. At the root of dance is the body moving through space—children and their families develop empathy and new ways to communicate as they learn to navigate shared space.
Dance can be taught to higher order thinking: analyzing, evaluating, and creating. At Luna, learners explore overlapping concepts through complex and varied means, favoring depth of core ideas over superficial encounters with disparate skills. The rigorous foundation of dance education for both children and adults develops the following knowledge and skills:
- Understanding how the body moves in space, time, and energy
- Playing with concepts to discover new movements or ideas
- Phrasing, sequencing, and composing
- Making choices and performing with commitment
- Responding to the works of others
- Leading and following
- Connecting dance-making to a personal sense of culture, family, identity, and aesthetics
Most states have adopted dance content standards as part of their Visual and Performing Arts framework. Standards-based dance curriculum is about deepening knowledge in all dance content areas, building in complexity from grade to grade. It centers on students creation of dance works, over time, that demonstrate skill in creating, performing, responding, and revising and within historical and cultural contexts.