“Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.” -Robert McKee

Why are stories important in childhood? I bet everyone of us can think of a handful of powerful stories that were read to us, or that we read by ourselves, in our childhoods- stories that made us think, that made us dream, and that made us believe in a world outside of what we knew. For me, it was the chapter books of Roald Dahl that really stand out- when my mother read Matilda and the BFG, I began to love language in a way I never had before. My brother and sister (and often my friends) would take certain chapters or certain characters and we would create “performances” for people to watch!

What really solidified the love of storytelling for me was actually getting to act out stories I wrote or read. Taking my own words, or the words of an author, and connecting it to music and movement-this felt powerful. Doing this with other children was like making another world, and getting to be and play in my made-up world felt so freeing, even if just for a few minutes.

This summer at Lupine Lane, I will be facilitating a week long Storytelling, Folktale & Dance Camp, where we will work together to create a folktale story of our own (inspired by folktales from around the world), set it to music, and come up with a collaborative movement piece that ties it together. We’ll end the week with a performance for the parents, and we’ll use face paint to help us get into character. We’ll also create large-scale painted paper animals as we work on our animal characters. Going deep into the entire process of art, storytelling and performance as a group, is an experience that I believe that all children should have!

Every year that I have taught, I have incorporated this kind of storytelling and dance work into the children’s classroom experience, and the reason is because of the powerful sense of community that is fostered by dancing together and writing together. I have also seen the effects on children’s academic growth: their math and reading/writing skills increase as their comfort level with each other and with themselves grows. This article here is a great reference point for anyone needing deeper insight into this. The article points out that when children dance together and create stories together, they are moving together in “empathy and synchrony.” Friendship, kindness, and compassion towards others grows, as we create a cohesive story and movement together as a group.

If you would like your child to participate in this creative and one of a kind experience, from July 29-August 2, take a look at the link below! 


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