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Help us launch our free public programs, teach children about animals (prehistoric and present), AND reach our STRETCH GOAL!
Help us launch our free public programs, teach children about animals (prehistoric and present), AND reach our STRETCH GOAL!
43 backers pledged $2,272 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$2,272

43

THANK YOU, THANK YOU! to all our backers. It is so wonderful to meet our goal on our first Kickstarter. We feel very honored to have you and to know that you believe in what we're doing: giving children an inner sense of the natural world--and bringing fun and dance into the process.

And since there's still time in our campaign, we're going to aim for a STRETCH GOAL of $2500. We set a goal that was the minimum it took to complete our project, but there were other costs we didn't include --migration books for the children to consult, photographic and film documentation of the choreography, and even a special dancing mat we'd like to make with the compass directions and rivers and mountains on it. Help us make our new goal--and we'll be posting more about it in an update soon!

Our Story: Learning doesn't have to be motionless studying behind a desk. Learning can be dance. It can be hearing stories of animal migrations and then becoming the animal to understand its physiology and behavior patterns. At the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, we're raising funds to research, choreograph, and lead and present dances that relate to the North American zoology and paleontology that Lewis and Clark were sent to study.  Our participants will range from preschool to high school, and we will have supporting materials and activities to give the dances appropriate context. 

First in February at the 2015 Kid*Vention in Charlottesville (an annual celebration of science), we'll be running a Migration Station to teach the dances and stories of the following animals: the buffalo (American bison), the monarch butterfly, the salmon, the shad, the whale, and the pelican. Participants will also paint paper medallions of one of the animals to wear during their dance. 

Kid*Vention Poster
Kid*Vention Poster

Then, for Earth Day on April 19, also in Downtown Charlottesville, we'll be adding animals from back in time: the mammoth, the ground sloth, the camelops, the glyptodont, the American lion, and the dire wolf. Through dance we'll be teaching about the fossil record, Thomas Jefferson's particular interest in the ground sloth and the mammoth, and about geological epochs such as the Pleistocene. The event will be free and open to the public.

We have an established history of teaching about animals by working with movement and masks. We are expanding our established programs to inspire children  in their study of science.

At the 2014 Butterfly Festival at the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center, dancing the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly

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 Here is a video made out of Eadweard Muynbridge photographs that are being hand-cranked (thus, the sound). We have used Muynbridge photographs to study animal movement for our choreography, He was a 19th Century photographer who specialized in animal and human motion studies.

Risks and challenges

The events where we are presenting have been consistently held each year, and we have backup inside spaces in case of rain. Our main challenge is training enough people to teach the dances in case one of our principal educators can't make it to one of the events. Writing a detailed lesson plan is part of our research goals.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    We're offering a special backer reward for Valentine's Day! If you pledge five dollars or more, we will send an email of animal art that we made at the Center and a thank you for being our Valentine message to the person of your choice--or to you to forward. See our choices in one of our updates:buffalo, deer, and owl. The reward will arrive only if we are completely funded on February 16. You can send them the Valentine's message that will let them know about your gift, and then they'll get our animal thank you after February 16.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A printable digital photo of one of the animal medallions created for the dances

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Our new $15 reward for our Stretch Goal is an emailed instruction sheet for how to dance the animal of your choice: buffalo, Monarch butterfly, or salmon. Start learning our animal moves!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A printable digital photo of your choice of animal medallion, and a thank you listing in our Earth Day brochure.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    In April we're offering an hour-long workshop for two on animal dancing on the terrace and fields of the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center in Charlottesville, VIrginia Come yourself and bring a child or adult...or send two people of your choice (children must be accompanied by an adult). Dance and make an animal medallion!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A digital copy of our lesson plan for teaching the animal dances, a printable digital photo of an animal of your choice, and a thank you in our Earth Day brochure.

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    4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A digital copy of our lesson plan for teaching the animal dances, printable digital photos of two animal medallions of your choice, and a thank you in our Earth Day brochure.

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    3 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A digital copy of our lesson plan for teaching the animal dances, two original animal medallions of your choice, a thank you in our Earth Day brochure, and a photo of your children doing the dances if they attend one or more of the events.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    An invitation to the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center for a special dance event, a photo of your children doing the dances if they attend one or more of the events, a digital copy of our lesson plan for teaching the animal dances, two original animal medallions of your choice, and a thank you in our Earth Day brochure.

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Funding period

- (16 days)