What Educators Are Saying

Elizabeth Sechler, Teacher, Partnership School, Lower East Side

During my eight years as an Early Childhood Teacher here, I have seen many programs come and go (. . .). In my opinion, the only program to have produced positive results and created a genuine sense of cooperation in the school has been Mark DeGarmo Dance’s Partnership (. . .).

There are so many ways our children grow and shine with Dance that we don’t see in the regular classroom. Many children who are very reserved and don’t volunteer much feedback in the classroom take leadership roles in dance (. . .). Dance is often for them, as it is for adults, an emotional outlet that many of them do not have access to otherwise (. . .). The reinforcing of these many skills through Dance help us foster an “I can try and do it” attitude in our children (. . .). But the benefits of MDD’s dance program are not only for our students. Over the years I have found that I have become a better teacher as a result of my participation in the Dance Partnership (. . .) [and] I have seen our parents attend sharing classes in greater numbers than at other times they are requested to do so by our school. This involvement with the parents creates a stronger school community that reaches into the students’ homes as well.

Rhonda Levy, Principal, Partnership School, Lower East Side

Our partnership program with Mark DeGarmo Dance is an example of both highest quality sequential skills-based learning in dance and highest quality connections with our curricula in other subject areas. Our partnership provides students with in-depth and sustained experiences in the process of creating and understanding dance as an art form.

What Parents & Students Are Saying

Angela Correa, Parent, PTA President, Partnership School, Lower East Side

MDD’s partnership program with [our school] gives our children an opportunity they do not otherwise have to learn dance (. . .). Dance learning is different from their academics and everyday life. It teaches students to focus and concentrate. It boosts their self-confidence and they look forward to it. Their faces light up when they go to dance. Their hearts are smiling (. . .). The dance program makes our parents proud to hear their children talk and brag about dancing and learning dance from different cultures. Every parent feels good to know that their children are doing something well that they enjoy. Their children are being fulfilled by this extra arts curriculum at our school.

The partnership with MDD also guides our children to think about and plan for their futures. It benefits the children of the community who do not have the opportunities other children have. It helps keep them out of trouble and teaches them how to follow instruction, use their creativity, relax and work with each other.

Jadden P., Student, Grade 3, Lower East Side

What I learned today was if we concentrate we could accomplish stuff and the older you get the more freedom and responsibility you have.

Yowis A., Student, Grade 2, Lower East Side

The first part of the dance was pretending to dig. The characters of the dance are two groups of seeds and two groups of farmers. My favorite part of the dance was when we were seeding the garden. Then the farmers pretended to plant the seeds. Later the farmers switched roles and the seeds pretended to water the farmers.