Speaker: Karen McShane-Hellenbrand
My interest and research align together and are examples of arts integration for interdisciplinary curriculum using a thematic umbrella. Dance is embodied as an innovative teaching methodology, as well as a unifying force to raise social awareness and promote social change. This interest has aligned with the mission and goals of the National Water Dance. The Arts Integration methodology and use of an umbrella theme provides coherency and continuity, creating connections across grade levels and across disciplines; use of a theme provides a lens to focus on specific curricular standards, leading to ongoing, in-depth investigations; use of a theme provides relevancy and a focal point from which individuals can synthesize material and draw conclusions; use of a theme creates a link between academic disciplines: people can make connections and engage in critical-thinking skills. Through dance, participants showcase their use of dance as a vehicle to integrate academic standards with arts standards while focusing on water ecology and environmental education. The National Water Dance is a forum to raise awareness and create change. Here is a description of the 2020 event: On April 18, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. EST movers danced for their lives in this nation-wide simultaneous dance event. National Water Dance is an artist-driven collective of dancers, students, educators and community members who create simultaneous performances across the United States including Puerto Rico. Our focus on this election year was climate change. 2020 was a year to get-out-the vote and to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women that right. We will view documentation of student work and National Water Dance Excerpts during the presentation.