Pupils get chance to learn maths through dance

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Áilín Quinlan

Lucky pupils in three West Cork pri­mary schools will this au­tumn get the chance to learn maths — through danc­ing.

Two schools in Kil­coe and Union Hall have al­ready signed up for what is the first ma­jor dance pro­gramme for chil­dren run by Uillinn, the West Cork Arts Cen­tre.

The work­shops, which run through­out Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, are part of the Cen­tre’s Con­tem­po­rary Dance Pro­gramme un­der which the Cre­ative Dance Work­shops for Pri­mary Schools will take place. The classes, which are led by Helga Deasy, dance art­plo­rations ist in res­i­dence at Uillinn West Cork Arts Cen­tre, will ex­plore shape in the form of straight and curved lines.

“This is a re­ally fun way to ex­plore math­e­mat­i­cal and ge­o­met­ri­cal prin­ci­ples through dance,” said Jus­tine Foster, the cen­tre’s com­mu­nity pro­gramme manager.

“This is the first ma­jor dance pro­gramme for school­child­ren run by the Cen­tre — we hope to have fur­ther pro­gramme like this again next year.”

Helga’s ap­proach to dance will en­cour­age the chil­dren to ex­plore shape through straight and curved lines, lev­els, di­rec­tions, spi­ralling and turn­ing ac­tions in the body.

45-minute work­shops, which are aimed at pupils in se­cond, third and fourth class of pri­mary school, have been spe­cially de­vel­oped to link with the Pri­mary School Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Cur­ricu­lum. They will sup­port work within the maths and science cur­ric­ula in their cre­ative exThe of ge­om­e­try and shape in na­ture, move­ment and the body. The chil­dren will be taught dance se­quences and guided to cre­ate their own move­ment through play­ful cre­ative tasks.

“A study by the Arts Council re­cently showed that chil­dren aged nine who fre­quently at­tend arts classes have an im­proved aca­demic self-im­age and con­fi­dence to cope with school­work - and have im­proved their aca­demic per­for­mance by age 13,” Ms Foster said.

Uillinn dance artist in res­i­dence pro­gramme is sup­ported by the Arts Council and Cork County Council. For more contact (028) 22090.

Pic­ture: Clare Keogh

Helga Deasy, dancer in res­i­dence at Uillinn West Cork Arts Cen­tre, who will give the class.

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