The gymnasium at Verne W. Critz Elementary School in the South Country Central School District abounded with energy and the sound of popular music as students learned the fundamentals of hip hop, jazz and modern dance with Stephanie Vertichio of Stage Door School of Dance. For two weeks, the students participated in the physical education program unit with much success and enthusiasm.
Physical education teachers William Champlin and Donielle Brower explained that the dance unit was funded through a South Country Educational Foundation grant to pay for two alternate physical education programs. For one week, the students learned dance moves, while Mike Hesselbirg from Mike Hesselbirg’s Taekwondo and Karate for Kids taught a martial arts unit during the second week.
Mr. Champlin noted that both units taught balance and coordination, spatial awareness, movement and listening skills. “These two units don’t just focus on physical education,” Mr. Champlin said. “They focus on emotional and social skills as well. Every child can dance.”
Photo courtesy of the South Country Central School District