Hi I’m Hassan,
One of our parents here at New Horizons Montessori in Skillman recently mentioned that her child was taking dance lessons at CaRu Entertainment in Pennington. I’m always interested in what our students are involved with, so I made it a point to contact Emily Czerniakowski, who is the co-founder and managing director of the dance program. I wanted to know what age children were attending and what they got from attending classes. Here’s what I found out.
(Emily) “Our classes start with children as young as three or four years old and the classes are structured around creative movement. We don’t start teaching formal dance training to the youngest children because they’re not ready for it. By working with free movement dance, which is a form of modern dance, we expose young children to expressing themselves to music. They begin to feel the beat and learn how to organize their movements and feel comfortable moving with musicality in a group.”
(Hassan) “Yes, the group. That is something we at New Horizons are also interested in. We are always working to involve our children in supportive group participation. Our youngest children are just learning how to interact as a group, which means consideration for other group members.”
(Emily) “That’s exactly what I’m pointing to. Expressive body motion can feel intimidating in front of a group of peers. Our Creative Movement classes are designed to allow each child to work at a movement one at a time using music. We go around the studio allowing each child to perform a motion alone while the rest of the class watches. It teaches confidence to the performer as each child takes their independent turn, and it teaches class room etiquette to the children who are watching. They learn to support each other.”
(Hassan) “That’s a nice approach. We use modeling as part of our method and the primary model is the teacher, but the childrens’ interactions with each other are also important. They allow each other to feel comfortable participating with the group. They learn respect for others in our classrooms.”
(Emily) “We are shooting for that same outcome. Creative Movement is also about physical activity involving agility and balance in relationship with the other class members. The demands of working with music and motion quietly instills discipline and respect into the children. We’ve learned that these skills are complimentary with athletics and the confidence, discipline and respect carry over into many other areas of the childrens’ lives. We hear from some of the mothers that they carry into their home life.”
(Hassan) “Thanks Emily, the parent I spoke with seemed pleased with what her child was getting at CaRu Entertainment. We’re always interested in finding out what our students are doing outside of New Horizons Montessori and hope they are doing activities that compliment what we are working to achieve. It seems like we compliment each other.”