Our ballroom dance instructional program meets both the Missouri Show Me Standards and various National Standards. (see below) The column to the right has additional information that may be needed for grant applications. The dance Instructors' qualifications are listed below that.
MISSOURI "SHOW ME" STANDARDS
You can find information on the official Missouri Show Me standards for "Dance" on this webpage - http://dese.mo.gov/standards/finearts.html
The Show Me Standards are listed here in Italics with "how our program meets those standards" in blue.
You can find the National Standards Guide from the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), 3rd Edition in the following PDF file.
Under "Dance" our structional program meets standards 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, and 12.7 necessary in a lead and follow dance.
Under "Music" our program at least partially meets standards 13.1 and 13.6 as the students are taught how the dancing relates to music of various cultures.
Under "Behavioral Studies" are program meets standards 1.6 and 1.9.
Under "Geography" our program somewhat relates to standard 4.3
Under "Life Skills" our program meets standards 7.2 as ballroom dancing is often a social or group activity; 7.3 as it requires active listening in order to learn in a group from the instructors; 7.4 as eye contact and body position is used in leading and following; 7.6, the leading and following necessary to execute the dance requires the concentration of mental and physical energies; and 7.7 regarding personal decisions, which are necessary in a lead and follow partnership dance.
MORE NATIONAL STANDARDS
"Consortium of National Arts Education Associations" can be found on the following page.
Our program meets the following standards.
1. Content Standard: Identifying and demonstrating movement elements and skills in performing dance
2. Content Standard: Understanding the choreographic principles, processes, and structures
4. Content Standard: Applying and demonstrating critical and creative thinking skills in dance
5. Content Standard: Demonstrating and understanding dance in various cultures and historical periods.
7. Content Standard: Making connections between dance and other disciplines (such as music and math - dancing in time with music requires some basic understanding of how math and music are related)
CONNECTING BALLROOM DANCE TO THE ARTS
For Grade School and High School Students
By Dr. Will Adams
For many generations until the mid-20th Century, younger
teenagers learned to dance from the older ones. Nearly everyone wanted to be ready for the high school proms.
In 1960, Chubby Checker introduced “The Twist,” which started a new dance craze. For the first time in that Century, partners were separated. No longer did the guy lead and the gal follow. Rather, each stood apart from the other and twisted away. Other dance fads followed in which partners (if any) danced apart. In 1975 Van McCoy wrote “The Hustle,” and in 1977 John Travolta starred in “Saturday Night Fever.” He line-danced to the Bee Gees’ song, “Stayin’ Alive,” and Disco Dancing was in full swing. While couples’ dancing has survived, both traditional and modern (such as West Coast Swing and Night Club Two Step), couples’ teen dancing has been rare.
Thus, introducing grade and high school students to the ballroom faces both generational and cultural barriers.
Fortunately recent developments have opened the door to interesting these students in couples’ dancing. In 2005 the movie, “Mad Hot Ballroom,” documented the required dance program in New York City schools. The advent of TV shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and similar ones have made couples’ dancing “cool” again. Now how to interest students?
Making the Music Relevant. Much of the music to which the more traditional ballroom dances are performed comes from the mid- to late-20thCentury. For today’s school
children, that’s “grandma’s music,” and those are “grandparents’ dances.”
For dance to be relevant to students age 10-18, it helps if the music to which they learn to dance is something they know and like. Fortunately, much of today’s pop music has a beat that fits one or more of the ballroom dances. How do older dance instructors find such music? The answer: Ask the kids!
In our college course, we recently asked our students to send us two songs that they like. If they sent us title, artist, and a link to each song on line, we gave them 5 bonus points on a written exam they would soon take. We were inundated! And it was fairly easy to identify a ballroom dance (or two or three) that fit the beat of each song.
Choosing the Dances. Fox Trots are rare among the top 40, and waltzes and tangos virtually nonexistent. But Merengues, Bachatas, Swing (especially triple swing), Salsas and Cha Chas are plentiful. So the initial dance lessons go best if these dances are taught to music familiar to the students. When we have done this in high schools and then attended a prom, islands of students could be seen trying out the couples’ dance steps among the sea of those free styling or, in some cases (blush), “grinding.”
This introduces a second reason for this approach. Teachers and Principals discourage or ban the “grinding” craze (ask your Principal!). But it’s difficult to enforce a ban if the students know nothing else to do. So lessons in the dances mentioned above fill that need also.
Music Education. Teaching dances that fit the music students like is a door opener. It helps get them started learning couples’ dances. Such training has many desirable side effects: Self esteem from their achievements, socialization as they interact appropriately with members of the opposite gender, courtesy as they learn to invite someone to dance and to say “thank you” afterwards.
But it is not the function of education to reinforce the narrow horizons that students bring in at the outset. Education should broaden those horizons. So if dance lessons continue long enough, instructors can introduce Tango, Waltz, Fox Trot, and other dances. As students learn to appreciate these dances, they also learn to recognize and, hopefully, appreciate the music to which they are performed.
Thus ballroom dance instruction becomes an instrument to broaden students’ knowledge and appreciation of a wide array of the arts.
GRANT APPLICATION INFORMATION
There are several sources for grants that could assist in funding a ballroom dance program for your school. One possibility would be the Missouri Arts Council.
In addition to information about the artistic standards, you may be asked the following questions on grant applications. (answers are in blue)
1. "How will your project be evaluated?"
We measure results by observation as well as feed back from both students and teachers. In addition we may offer testing or and many schools have participated in a research surveys.
2. "Who makes the artistic decisions for the program"
"Culture through Ballroom Dance," who supplies the teaching artists.
(the two primary dance instructors are Dr. Will Adams and Paula Marie Daub)
3. "Why does the community need this project"
In addition to enriching the community by expanding the art of ballroom dancing to the younger generation, the children also learn valuable social skills helpful in relating to society in general.
4. Missouri Arts Council grants require there to be a performance for an exposure group.
Each May the Kansas City Missouri School District student ballroom dancers give a public on stage performance as part of the district's All City Performing Arts Festival. See the "News and Events" page on this site.
Other exposure groups that would qualify would be parents and others attending a school carnival, or other events sponsored by the school. Senior Citizen centers are another good place to take the students for a public performance as the seniors make great audiences.
5. How do we measure results?
Instructors, as well as classroom teachers, observe that each student is getting the steps. We leave no student behind. We also just results by student feedback and sometimes research surveys. In addition, students have the opportunity to perform before a public audience and we just results by the audience response. If further measures are requested, a formal dance test can be given.
Qualifications of Dance Instructors
Dr Adams and Paula Marie Daub have been the Kansas City Missouri School District's primary ballroom dance instructors since the Winter Semester of 2006. They have also been teaching ballroom dance for PE credit at William Jewell College for many years.
Dr. Will Adams
Has been teaching dance since 1974 for area colleges and school districts. Holds bronze and silver medals and dance certificates from Brigham Young University dance workshops.
Paula Marie Daub
Has been teaching ballroom since 1992 for area colleges, school districts, and other venues. Received much of her training from Walter's Dance Center in Kansas City Kansas, as well as from other nationally prominent dance instructors. Holds several dance trophies and awards.
Other available instructors are owners of recognized Kansas City Ballroom Dance Studios experienced in teaching, ballroom dance competitions and events.
If you need assistance in answering any questions on grant applications, please feel free to contact our primary dance instructors, Dr. Will Adams and Paula Marie Daub (see our contact us page), both are also officers and board members of "Culture through Ballroom Dance."