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Building Digital Neighborhoods in Dance

iDanceSC looks at the use of videoconferencing in the teaching and learning of dance to students from at-risk, low-performing and rural communities.  Dr. Mila Parrish and a research team of 2 undergraduate students will work with eight k-12 teachers and 125 of their students to explore interdisciplinary dance instruction. In the process iDanceSC will disseminate an awareness of dance as a physical, creative, and expressive art form. By removing geographical obstacles, the interactive instruction exposes students to a world of dance, opening their awareness to include a broader artistic community (Parrish, 2006). Interactive instruction captures the physical expressions of movement allowing students and teachers to interact and perform, sharing their ideas and experiences across the nation.


The curriculum employed in iDanceSC uses interdisciplinary constructs as a vehicle for student inquiry, exploration, and dance making. The framework reflects a conceptual approach to dance education in which the elements of dance, dance inquiry and exploration, dance making, dance sharing, and dance analysis is fostered. The content theme selected by the eight-classroom teachers addresses state and national standards and benchmarks for both dance and the academic units. In each class, students examine an aspect of a curricular theme and explore modes of embodying that theme in and through dance. Each class ends with an informal dance sharing or performance followed by students’ observations and reflections.  It is proposed that videoconferencing will enable student sharing of knowledge, experience, and ideas and thereby expanding student worldview by creating communities and making connections with other students.


This research seeks to provide instruction and access to educational resources for at-risk, low-performing rural students and expand these students’ connection with the outside world by breaking down economic, geographic, and socio-political boundaries.

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