Founded on the belief that the arts play a vital role in fostering the creativity and self-confidence necessary to become a productive citizen, ArtSparks classrooms encourage children to develop discipline, a standard of excellence, and a belief in themselves that carries over into all aspects of their lives. Through in-school partnerships, residencies, workshops, and public performances, ArtSparks brings joyful dance and music programming to students with exceptionalities and to students who may not have the opportunity to experience the art of dance.
In every ArtSparks class, two teaching artists and a musician joyfully lead participants in an exploration of a core academic subject through a fast-paced dance lesson. The three-artist teaching team ensures that each and every student is given personal attention and thoughtful encouragement to reach their personal best. HOW we deliver the material is the key to our unique programming and trust and engagement are central to our method. Live music is an essential component of an ArtSparks class as it allows for continual, energetic movement and the integration of musical concepts in real time.
ArtSparks classes are most often taught during the school day to place the arts on an equal standing with other academic subjects, however, we also provide after school and summer camp programming.
ArtSparks mission is to provide access to high-quality dance programming; to foster the understanding of dance as an art form; and to challenge students of all ages and abilities to discover new heights of individual excellence through focused attention, creative exploration and a sense of community so that they might joyfully dance their way to becoming a more confident human-being than they were before they stepped onto the dance floor.
Our Core Four
is an ArtSparks pledge throughout our classrooms
"I saw students who were normally shy and reserved become more confident and show leadership qualities."
~Dewitt Elementary teacher
Photo courtesy of Dale Dong
ANDI (Associates of National Dance Institute) organizations are committed to best practices, codified curriculum, and student-centered learning that are based on the award-winning National Dance Institute pedagogy created by legendary New York City Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise. ANDI organizations are held to the highest standards and share a commitment to excellence in all that they do! Read more about NDI's astounding work at nationaldance.org.
“The arts open your heart and mind to possibilities that are limitless. They are pathways that touch upon our brains and emotions and bring sustenance to imagination. Human beings’ greatest form of communication, they walk in tandem with science and play, and best describe what it is to be human.”
Why we do what we do:
Participation in high quality arts education programs improves student imagination, creativity, symbolic understanding, conditional reasoning, critical thinking, and collaborative learning and action. Arts also nurture persistence, resilience, achievement motivation, and engagement.
In the 1999-2000 school year, 20% of public elementary schools reported offering dance instruction as arts education. In the 2009-2010 school year, only 3% of schools offered dance.
88% of Americans believe that the basics in education alone are not adequate for the 21st Century workforce without the ability to be imaginative, creative, and innovative.
1 From a nationwide survey conducted by the Lake Research Partners in December 2007 among likely voters. Arts Education Partnership (January 24, 2008).
2 From compilations of more than 60 peer-reviewed independent studies. Rose, Dale. Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development. Arts Education Partnership. 1999.
3 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1999–2000 and 2009-2010.