Kids and Educators Team Up To Create Dance Moves for Songs
When we first began to create dance moves for the Rockademix songs last year, I worked closely with a choreographer, an occupational therapist that specializes in child motor development, and the Rockademix kids. In fact, many of the dance moves for our first songs were actually created by kids in the Rockademix program. Our collective task was to develop age-appropriate, engaging, and fun dance moves that were adaptable and useful for students of all ability levels, including students with special needs.
Once we had compiled everyone’s suggestions, comments, and opinions, I filmed the choreographer modeling the moves, and presented the video to the kids. Of course they loved it – right!? WRONG. Half of them changed their minds and wanted to revise the moves again.
Frustrating as this seemed, I knew the end result would be even better, not just for our group, but for other kids and schools that might implement Rockademix in the future. If a 12-year old boy in our Rockademix test class thought a move was not cool, better to change it now. For every kid that spoke up in our group, there could be hundreds of future Rockademix users that could feel the same way. Ultimately, everything has to work for the kids.
For some fresh ideas, we threw another choreographer in the mix. Once she had created some new moves, I sent them and the lyrics back out to the growing Rockademix team that included Ivy Difuntorum (occupational therapist), Rebecca Villa (COTA), and Lynne Dudas (a special education and general education teacher as well as a supervising teacher for CSUSM). All three specialists reviewed the moves and recommended the same thing: simplify!
To follow up on their input, I met with choreographer Denise McConnell – it was amazing! Denise and I hashed out a new set of moves based on previous feedback from the kids and input received from Ivy, Lynne, and Rebecca.
While I would have loved to have the entire team in the room together, our session proved hugely effective. Thanks to the expertise of so many talented individuals, Rockademix will truly be a program from which all children can benefit and feel included..