Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Dance... To Learn

Maria Curiale-West believes dance can be more than just the sum of its movements.

Patrick Sullivan - March 3rd, 2014  

With the right approach, dance can help children learn math and language.

She creates lessons for the Interlochen-based curriculum company Mother Goose Times for pre-schoolers to do just that – learn how to count and read using songs and specific movements.

“I think it’s such an untapped tool for teaching children that age,” Curiale-West said. “It’s just so natural for them to want to move.”

CURRICULUM-MAKER BORN

After graduating from college and dancing professionally for seven years, the native New Yorker met her future husband at a gig in Mackinaw City. His northern Michigan roots helped them choose Traverse City as their new hometown.

She heard about the job at Mother Goose Times, a 30-year-old company that ships research-based preschool curriculae to subscribers in the U.S. and overseas, and found it matched her skills and interests.

Her lessons, which are shipped to subscribers on a monthly basis, incorporate 21 basic moves designed to ignite major muscle groups, balance, and strength.

A new issue of “Dance ‘n Beats,” the book of lessons, is sent out to around 200 daycare centers and parents each month; Curiale-West said she’s gotten great feedback so far.

“We’ve been getting really cute videos from parents and day care centers showing us the kids doing all of the dances,” she said.

DANCES AROUND HER LIVING ROOM

In addition to developing dance curriculae, Curiale-West is in grad school studying elementary education, while teaching two classes a week at Dance Arts Academy.

Curiale-West says she believes dance programs that also teach basic subjects should be incorporated into everyday elementary school instruction.

“People are using it as a dance program,” she said. “They’re not teaching the core subjects, so that’s really where I am going with it.”

Each month, Mother Goose commissions a new set of lessons with 12 original songs. Curiale-West writes the lessons and invents the dances.

“I dance around my living room,” she said. “My husband thinks I’m nuts.”

 
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