Integrating Dance & Movement into Elementary Education

Michele de la Reza with workshop participants
As outlined in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Arts and Humanities, dance education is a kinesthetic art form that satisfies the human need to respond to life experiences through movement of the physical being. Educators are charged with the deconstruction and appropriate delivery of how dance will best benefit our classrooms. The question that many of us face is what does the appropriate delivery look like and who can assist us in the process?

Physical education prepares our students for living healthier lives through an active decision-making process. By integrating dance into this decision making process through elementary physical education programs, students create a stable foundation for developmental improvements in critical thinking and analysis, cooperation and teamwork, self expression and self-esteem, problem solving, cultural awareness, and emotional communication.  AEC and Attack Theatre have recognized the growing need to provide school districts with adequate opportunities to integrate dance and movement into their physical education programs.

This collaboration not only addresses these key issues but focuses on a regional initiative to strengthen and enhance
Sarah Tambucci with workshop participants
physical education programs. This workshop has proven to enable physical education teachers to actively engage in strategies that can directly be taken into the classroom, become familiar with regional resources to support their efforts, and assess their own future learning needs.

Under the artistic direction of Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza, Attack Theatre has been making personal, accessible and collaborative dance-based performances with “ninja-like intensity” (Pittsburgh Tribune Review) for more than a decade. They combine modern dance, original live music, multimedia, and interdisciplinary art forms to present work in traditional and nontraditional spaces both nationally and internationally. Attack Theatre also conducts residencies in contemporary dance, creative movement and aesthetic education in universities, primary and secondary schools, arts festivals, and community centers. The company’s outreach programs focus on demystifying the artistic process and building community. For more information on Attack Theatre, visit

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Check our online calendar often for upcoming dance workshops. Questions about this program should be directed to Deborah Pixton at