Dance Movement and Music Help Students Develop Personal, Environmental Connections

Baltimore Lab School students recently collaborated with dance therapist and architect Martha Raquel Herrera Muñoz and the non-profit PlanetArt Fund in a series of three-day workshops to create ocean awareness. Through dance movement and music, Muñoz, along with BLS faculty members Zac Lawhon and Jackie Lesh, helped students in grades 6-12 explore the concept of connections as elements that characterize the living systems.

Students studied ecology to gain a better understanding of how their decisions and behaviors can connect them with their environment; free body expression showed how conservation, sustainability, and bio-diversity are applicable principles for both the environment and individuals.

The activity raised the consciousness of both students and teachers, and aligned with the school’s outdoor education and adventure-based learning curriculum, which encourages students to explore their world, build their self-esteem, and emerge with a stronger sense of themselves as leaders and environmental stewards.

“We used movement to develop trust, love, and self-appreciation,” says Lesh. “The first step in getting children to love and care for our planet is to help them love and care for themselves. We spent three days in a space without judgment doing exactly that. Our school theatre was transformed into an underwater world where we built trusting and lasting relationships with ourselves, our society, and our planet.”

As a culminating event, students and staff participated in a multisensory experience at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, creating a tribute to oceans through dance, video, narrative performance, and sound art.

Does your school do something similar?

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