About this project
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.
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
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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