Documentary PS Dance! proves dance education is about more than movement

Students learn more than movement when studying dance, as evidenced through the documentary PS Dance!

Students learn more than movement when studying dance, as evidenced through the documentary PS Dance!

When one thinks about arts education, what often comes to mind is painting, drawing or music. If a school has enough resources, theater may also be a part of a school's arts education. Dance, however, is often overlooked, as many can't readily see how bending, stretching or twirling across the floor does a whole lot to enrich a child's learning. PS Dance!, a documentary made possible with funding from Jody and John Arnhold, will convert any skeptic to a believer in the value of dance as a vehicle to expanding a child's worldview.

Filmmaker Nel Shelby follows students and teachers in New York City public schools, documenting dance classes and interviewing students and teachers who reveal the power of dance to not only provide children a physical outlet to express themselves, but an experiential way to learn about an array of subjects. One class devises a dance that tells the story of the Underground Railroad, for example. And through it all, you recognize dance education's ability to instill in children a sense of self-confidence and a way to open up to the world.

The documentary is meant not only to entertain and inform, but to raise awareness of the power of dance education, and drive support for it in our public schools. Under the moniker Dance for Every Child, Shelby, the Arnholds, and numerous others involved in the film hope to inspire others to lend their support for this valuable curriculum. For more information and to view the film, visit psdancenyc.com.

ArtsDavid BelskyArts