Traci Soule teaches through "Education for the Arts" in Kalamazoo, MI and her inspiring story of A Chance To Dance

Traci Soule teaches through "Education for the Arts" in Kalamazoo, MI and her inspiring story of A Chance To Dance


Traci Soule teaches through "Education for the Arts" in Kalamazoo, MI. Here's her inspiring story of how she's providing students in her community with "A Chance To Dance."

Each week, I have the pleasure of teaching dance to a second through fifth grade deaf and hard of hearing classroom and a special education high school classroom. Every single week I see improvement in turn-taking, self-control, body awareness, focus, right and left differentiation, expressiveness and musicality. This can be attributed to my training as a Certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Educator.

Rhythm Works Integrative Dance training has put students’ style of learning at the forefront for me as a dance educator. I now incorporate lots of visual aids, more tactile reinforcement, and clear and concise verbal directions. I have also learned that for student success, I need to allow processing time. I have incorporated these teaching techniques in my classes and my students are thoroughly enjoying classes. This enjoyment translates to increased confidence which equates to student success.

Classroom teachers and student interpreters have been singing the praises of these classes. They have seen students more focused and calm after dance class. Students are excited to come to school because the dance class is the start to their day. Teachers love that the class sets the student up for success at the start of their school day.

I reached out to our fellow teachers to see if they were seeing any benefits of the dance class that carried on throughout the day. Here's a response I received from Kara.

"We have noticed some wonderful changes with our students since the start of your program with them. We have seen an improvement with their memory skills and that has carried over into their academic work as well. We have noticed that they are now better able to work as a team, knowing how and when to lead, taking turns, paying attention to each other, and interacting more appropriately. In addition, they are building great language skills through your program as well as learning different ways to express themselves both verbally and non-verbally which is key to their social/emotional health and wellness. Last, but definitely not least, it has given our group of kids a chance to experience success and confidence. They are not only showing increased self-esteem but are also more willing to take risks and try new things. It's given us a chance to have a joyful time together which recharges everyone, adults included, for the hard work that we all need to accomplish each day. Thanks for all you are doing to help our kids!"

I have always believed that dance is for all and Rhythm Works Integrative Dance has given me the perspective and teahing tools needed to facilitate that idea!

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