Students at Robert L. Stevenson Elementary School in Burbank celebrated the end of the fall semester dance program with performances of “Dancing Through The Winter Holidays” throughout the day on Wednesday, December 19.
All 628 Stevenson students in grades Kindergarten through fifth grade participate in weekly in-school dance classes taught by teaching professionals from Sophie Olson Dance Explosion (S.O.D.E.) for 12 weeks, according to Families For Stevenson Booster Association President Neela Woodard. Stepping Stones, the special education class, receives an additional six weeks of instruction.
The S.O.D.E. School of Performing Arts dance instructors are paid for by FFS and spend the entire day at Stevenson every Wednesday and Friday, teaching every class on campus. S.O.D.E. also provides teaching professionals for dance instruction at several schools in the Los Angeles and Glendale Unified School Districts.
Stevenson students performed group dances celebrating the holidays including Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Diwali and Chinese New Year.
“S.O.D.E. has brought such wonderful things to our school year after year through their enthusiasm, curriculum and the professionalism and warmth of their staff,” commented Woodard. “Our children look forward to seeing them again each year.”
“Families for Stevenson Booster Association strongly believes that arts education is fundamental to a child’s development,” Woodard added. “Research has consistently shown that students who have access to a quality arts program in school show enhanced problem solving skills, improved academic performance, better focus, creative thinking and a sense of accountability.”
“FFS specifically supports dance for all grade-levels because dance allows children to embody the full physical, mental and personal expression of their creativity. Creating dance with others inherently builds relationships and tolerance, and strengthens community.”
“Similarly, FFS supports California’s standards-based dance curriculum which prioritizes children learning all dance content, and centers on students creating dance over time, increasingly grade to grade, and demonstrating skills in creating, performing, responding and revising dance.”
FFS is a parent-led and parent-funded school booster association that provides a variety of educational and enrichment support to the students at Stevenson Elementary.
“We are so lucky at Stevenson to have parents that support the arts and that we are able to provide not only dance to all students, but a unique in-school arts curriculum for every grade level, including music, film, drumming, visual arts and musical scoring of stories,” Woodard also said.