Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Dance... To Learn
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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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