In 2016, Design Dance completed its’ 4th year of Cultural Dance residencies at New Field Elementary. Through the Creative Schools Grant, each year Design Dance teaching artists and staff work with the K-3 classrooms at New Field Elementary to teach students traditional folk dances from the various countries they are studying in their Social Studies classrooms. Students learn

  • The history of dance and movement in the culture

  • Tie their dances into traditional folklore

  • Incorporate elements of storytelling and pantomime

  • Present a final performance complete with costumes and live music for families, classmates and the community to attend



In a school in which 95% of students are classified as low income and over 60% as English Language Learners, our cultural dance residency helps bridge the gap between language and give students a creative outlet, they otherwise may not have the opportunity to experience. Over the course of this residency, students saw:

  • An increase in teamwork and communication skills through the use of partner dances and exercises

  • Courage and connection through large-group dance phrases

  • Creativity through improvisational exercises and solo opportunities

“To have Design Dance come in and work so well with our teachers, and make the teachers feel comfortable and the students pick up on that, the students are comfortable, and they're really doing something we don't think we can do in house. And it's worked together seamlessly with what we do do in the building and so it's been a great, great partnership"--Cathleen Andes, Arts Liaison New Field Elementary