• Some of the links in this article are affiliate links of which Dance Exploration and Dance to Learn® receives a small commission from sales of certain items. Sales from affiliate links help us fund our Scholarship Program.
  • Dance Exploration follows the Dance to Learn® Curriculum to teach dance principles following a conceptual and play-based learning structure. Following 5 Methods of Dance™ Education, Dance Exploration’s Dance to Discover™ Method is designed to incorporate a new monthly theme as dancers explore their dance education through out the school year. The month of April explores the theme, “April Showers,” which not only brings May flowers; but also creates rainbows. During the Preschool Program Class Flow, dancers participate in a Story Dance Pathway™ each class, designed to teach the sequencing of common events which lead to an end result. This month, April, we explore how common weather patterns can form and create the phenomenon known as the rainbow.  

    It takes sunshine and rain to make a rainbow. There would be no rainbows without sunshine and rain.

  • Cloud Pliés

  • The first part of our Story Dance Pathway™ includes Cloud Pliés. We can’t have a rainstorm with a clear sky! So clouds form overhead and fill with rain water. At Dance Exploration we use a lot of props in our Preschool Dance Classes as a way to stimulate the senses. Sensory Development is the process which children learn to taste, smell, touch, hear, see, and move! When we add different props we are stimulating the senses of touch and sight! Our clouds are plush toys (like these) that are light weight and fluffy like a real cloud would be. We discuss how light and airy a cloud is and compare it to the plush toy which is also light and airy to the touch. When a cloud fills with rain water it becomes heavy and eventually opens to let all the rain come pouring down. By adding movement and the pathways to dance we are also stimulating their movement senses and proprioception (also known as body position senses). So hold your clouds above your head, do a Plié as the rain water fills up and spin around as the rain comes down!

    Everyone knows that a rain cloud never eats honey, no, not a nip. I’m just floating around over the ground wondering where I’ll drip.

  • Raindrop Chassés

    Using a tunnel of raindrops (like the ones here) give the dancers a pathway to dance through. This directional activity helps dancers learn the concept of travelling through and in space – a wonderful tool for spatial and locational development. We put on our raindrop fingers and practice our travelling chassés. Using imagery with preschoolers helps them with new concepts, so as we chassé we imagine we are a rainstorm that’s being guided by the wind as we sprinkle the rain below. 

  • Sunshine Port De Bras

    After a heavy rainstorm, and the sun breaks through the clouds, there’s a beautiful light shining across the earth. Sometimes the suns rays burst through the remaining clouds in streams. That’s when we teach our dancers about the sun rays and how we can imitate them using their Sunshine Port De Bras! Holding onto a bright pinwheel (like this) we swap the pinwheel from one hand to the next as the rays shine to the right and left and then all around with our Bourrée Turn! When using the sun, we discuss heights, especially how the sun shines high in the sky and the rays touch low to the ground. You can add some dimension to this concept by added a cambré forward to help the sunshine all around! 

  • Rainbow Twirls

    After the sun shines through the raindrops as a storm comes to a close, we witness one of the amazing phenomena known as a rainbow! Like the end of a storm, our rainbow appears at the end of our Story Dance Pathway™! Dancers get to perform a twirl of many colors as they hold up their rainbow (a hula hoop with colored streamers attached) or hand scarves (like these). Before the twirl, dancers are asked to make a rainbow pose (tendu passé). Rainbows are another great way to teach directional and locational skills to improve spatial awareness. For example, you can ask dancers to hold their rainbows up and over their heads, you could also have them shine their rainbow all around in a circle (rainbow twirl). Rainbows are also a great way to discuss the dancer’s favorite colors! 

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