In-School Exploration,  Teaching Artist Residency

Provider: Sarasota Contemporary Dance

Contact: Melissa Coleman Sperber

Starting cost per student: $12

Additional Info: $350 per session: Ex. $1,400 4 day session, $2,800 8 day session (max)

Max. Capacity: 24

Transportation Needed?  No

Who Arranges Transportation?

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  No


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This exploration teaches students to understand and appreciate world cultures.  They accomplish this through listening, speaking, reading, writing, and moving to music from other parts of North America and/or from other continents.

The teacher chooses the theme/lesson plan from his/her curriculum (for example, the Southeastern United States during Reconstruction or Ancient Egypt) and pre-plans with the teaching artist to enhance the studies during a preliminary planning meeting.

Students work with the teacher to learn about the subject through texts and classroom discussions.  Then, they work with the teaching artist to learn dance(s) from the culture being studied and explore the lesson through movement, music, and creativity.  They can research the subject further and write introductions or narrations to the dance(s) as part of the project.

The teaching artist prefers to work with two different classes, in 45-minute lessons, one after the other, each time she visits the school.  Each class’s residency can consist of only one lesson that concentrates on process or up to eight lessons to produce a culminating performance.


Additional Information:

This session of arts integration provides a modality that is capable of engaging every type of learner. “Researchers found that when students received arts-integrated lessons compared to more traditional teaching practices, they improved their ability to assess their learning, and reported that the arts integrated instruction created greater intrinsic motivation [which] turned what students perceived to be barriers into opportunities to be solved, and motivated students to continue learning” (DeMoss, K. & Morris, T. 2002). Sarasota Contemporary Dance teaching artists have extensive training and experience with arts integration and are able to adapt lessons and methods to meet the needs of each individualized session/school. Moving with music allows students to attach a kinesthetic memory to what they have studied and greatly increases the chance for retention of the information. In this session, students will relate to history, geography, and humanities through dance and music, also creating a foundation for future studies. Teaching Artists will utilize a creative word wall within the lessons to deepen understanding and provide a visual toolbox. In addition, all sessions provide a learning experience, which also exercises social skills such as teamwork/partnering, leadership, problem solving, and youth voice.

Additional Social Studies standards (in addition to the one listed) will be determined at the pre-planning meeting between the teacher and the teaching artist.

Evaluation Methods:

Students will be pre and post tested on vocabulary words and themes developed for each exploration, related to the specified topic the teacher wishes his/her students to explore. Daily “checks for understanding” will be completed in which students answer questions for sticker rewards (grades 3-5).  Additional post exploration learning activities include a student performance of the material learned. The performance will be co-created by the students and Fuzion teaching artists.


DA.3.C.1.1, SS.3..G.4.4, DA.4.C.2.2, MU.5.S.2.1, LAFS.6.RI.3.7, DA.68.C.1.1, MU.68.C.3.1, DA.68.S.2.5, DA.68.H.1.1, DA.68.H.2.2, DA.68.F.1.3, SS.8.G.2.1

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