Dance History Alive!
Jacob and Nancy Bloom                    781-648-8230          

Home Dancing in Colonial America Bios Recommendations Colonial Costuming Colonial MusicThoughts on Dance

Teaching dance is a powerful way to introduce history to kids.  Tying dance to curriculum allows them to learn in a very different setting from the traditional classroom, and brings history to life.

Picture of Nancy and JacobOur colonial workshop teaches students what colonial dance was like and why it was important in colonial society. The students learn a variety of historically accurate colonial steps and perform age-appropriate colonial style dances.  We come dressed in 18th-century costumes, and bring along recorded period music, which reduces the expense to your school.  We are located in Eastern Massachusetts and would be happy to come to your school or meeting-place to help introduce your students to this aspect of colonial life.

When the students enter, we explain why they would have wanted to learn to dance if they lived in colonial times, and why their parents would have wanted them to learn to dance.  We teach an easy colonial-era step, and follow this with progressively more difficult steps.  Each student then takes another student as a partner, and learns a dance in colonial style.  The dances we teach have been adapted for 21st century kids from early American dances, require no girl-boy pairing or hand-holding, and allow the kids to enjoy themselves.  The first dance is followed by either another colonial style dance or a colonial singing game.  The workshops take 45-60 minutes each and are done with one class at a time, one after another.  The classroom teachers stay with the class and participate in the dancing.

Our workshop gives students practice in moving to a musical beat, working in a group, and learning and performing sequences of movements.  By the end of  the period, they have learned and performed a variety of steps and a formation dance, and have learned more about colonial society and how children of their age lived during the colonial era.  It is a wonderful sight to see 8 and 9 year olds, with no previous experience, thoroughly enjoying dancing  a “colonial” dance in less than an hour!

We provide teachers with an article about the history of dance, with bibliography, to encourage classroom discussion.

In addition to the workshops for all students, we can teach and rehearse a core group of up to 24 students for a performance.  We can also lead an all-school dance to both allow the students to demonstrate what they learned and involve the entire school in the dancing.

Home Dancing in Colonial America Bios Recommendations Colonial Costuming Colonial Music

Dance History Alive!
Jacob and Nancy Bloom        781-648-8230