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  • I really enjoyed doing the circle dances. They are much simpler and more communal than the Baroque dances. They remind me a lot of Jewish folk dances in some ways (a hobby I used to partake in during my 20's). I particularly liked Elizabeth's tips on how to facilitate these dances for young children. I remember some of my most traumatic days in classroom music were when we attempted dancing. They are well worth doing, but require a lot of patience and skill from the teacher (and the kids!). Dancing teaches kids a lot about inter-personal skills and spacial relationships in terms of their own body. More challenging than one would think at the elementary level.
  • The waltz is fun but scary - the many stylistic and socially inflicted guidelines are imposing, even choosing a dance partner is a daunting!  Despite all, the dance itself is elegant, graceful and delightful.  By contrast, the reel has few boundaries, is all inclusive and even more good exercise.  I enjoyed both.

    The in depth look at money from the Revolution made me think about the myriad problems associated with transforming the thirteen colonies into a unified nation.

  • I was very interested in the fact that the Baroque era overlapped with the Colonial/Revolutionary period in America.   As the colonies were founded, European composers like Handel, Purcell, and Telemann were very busy composing.  The Jefferson and Liberty dance was fun to learn and much easier than the Minuet.  The beat pattern of 4/4 as a reel will be much more doable for younger students.  We discussed the introduction of currency state by state and the one question that stood out was how much could that money buy? 


    In America, singing schools were important.  Lyrics were changed from British to American, using the same melodies.  The main composer of choral works was William Billings, known as the father of choral music.  Clothing changed significantly from the more decorative ornate style to more practical working clothes.  The pioneers of the New America tended to farms, hunting, and building.

  •  I really enjoyed the waltz this morning! A long time ago, when I was in college, I took private dance lessons & learned the foxtrot, the waltz, cha cha, rhumba, & tango. It was a blast! I also studied disco & some more modern dance moves. Off & on, from then until now,  I have sporadically used the steps, but mostly not much. So it was good to dust off the steps today! Thanks for the opportunity!!

    When I was in the bush teaching, I taught a lot more dances to my students, like the macarena, Mexican Hat dance, & other reel like dances. Our school always held, "A Native Traditions Week", during which time renown dancers & singers , & dance groups, would come to McGrath & spend time teaching the students Native dancing. I always participated to encourage my shy students.

  • I enjoyed learning the waltz.  I would have to have one of my students count off, but I would love to do this with my students.  I have relatively small classes, so I think I could make it work.  It makes me think of the time that my co- teacher from Venezuela taught our students how to salsa.  It was so much fun!!  It also led to discussions about the popularity of salsa in different countries.  

    I also enjoyed the discussion about the socio-economic connection with the different styles of dances.  Many of the students have seen Titanic and we have been able to compare the differing lifestyles between the lower classes and the upper classes.  This would be another way to introduce the differences between the classes.

  • This was a fun and interesting morning.  Colonial America has always fascinated me anyway, so learning new and engaging ways to open up this time period for my students is exciting.  

    For me the best part of the morning was doing the Jefferson & Liberty dance.  It was a joy to learn and participate in, so I know will be a lot of fun to share with my students.  I'm looking forward to exploring this American era with my class in a participatory and engaging way.

    The diversity of colonial money and problems it created is a great way to illuminate the challenges this new nation faced when it tried to bring together 13 distinct colonies into one nation.   The colonies faced different issues , had different agendas, and had different goals.  So the lessons introduced here are so appropriate and applicable to best practices in my own curriculum.

  • I finally feel like I know what I'm doing in these dances. It's exciting to see how through time these dances are more accessible to the common people. The waltz is something that I think is suitable for all ages and is still relevant today. The Jefferson and Liberty would take more practice, but most ages could handle it. I think I read once about how the Jefferon and other dances were used as political advertisements, but I'd like to know more about that.
  • I really enjoyed the dances for this time period. Even though I probably won't teach the dance part in my class, I can see myself showing clips. I liked seeing the transformation of the music. The fashion you can still see the strong influence of Britain, you start to see the rebelliousness come out in the music and dance. I love the patriotism and learning how our forefathers and people of this time really shaped the US.
    I see myself studying this time period and then doing a calligraphy unit where the students get to design their own currency.
  • I loved talking about the currency, I love currency I wish I could afford to buy more of the first currencies but they are fairly pricy. We looked at details, descriptions, concepts, and ideas from each bill that we saw.
    The dancing has become less proper and more flexible with the variations of the dances. I like the idea that I can break my classes up into smaller sizes and still actively dance while learning at the same time.
  • I enjoyed learning how to actually waltz. Although I am a terrible dancer, at least I'll know how to teach it! I also think that the Liberty circle dance is one that I will put in my bank to teach. It's a lot easier and more manageable than the minuet. Again, I think there is a lot of value in providing the students with different background information to make the dance or music more relevant and meaningful.

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