South Berwick kids dance into history

Marshwood Education Foundation is thrilled to have awarded a grant to Central School’s music teacher, Kate Smith, to make this wonderful project possible!

South Berwick kids dance into history

By Deb Cram  Oct 25, 201

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Who knew George Washington was a great dancer? Central School students recently learned some history of the first president as well as history of dance from Allison Smith of the Maine Commission on the Arts as she played her accordion and inspired the youngsters in their attempts at line dancing.Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 11.27.15 AM Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 11.26.58 AM Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 11.26.42 AM

Maine is celebrating its bicentennial throughout the year, and this event was part of the celebration.

Allison Smith’s husband, Hunt, plays the fiddle to accompany her and is also a professional teaching artist from the commission. The duo have spent their lives engaged in traditional music and dance, collaborating for the past decade in bringing their love of this art form to schools throughout New England and beyond. The scene on the dance floor is filled with music and the chatter of children as they bump into each other and try to keep up with the rhythm.

The Smiths partnered with Central School music teacher Kate Smith and physical education teacher Kristan Tiede to teach pre-K to third-grade students traditional-style set dances (circles, lines and squares). Traditional-style set dances have been a part of New England tradition since the arrival of the first European settlers and are a living tradition that continues today. As students learn the steps, music and stories behind the dances, the educators say, it helps them understand the historical social value of the dances.

For more photos:

Maine bicentennial brings dance back to South Berwick

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