Our company has worked with organisations such as Arts Council England, Creative Partnerships, Nottinghamshire County Council and various Education Authorities to research and deliver the dancing maths program to over 10,000 children so far. Dance Equation Director - Rebecca Hart has spent several years developing creative practice that brings the maths curriculum alive through dance, drama and rhythm.
The benefits for children...
As part of the initial action research, an independent evaluation consultant - Lizzie Haines, collated evidence that looked at the benefits for children. There is a strong link between dance and maths, both relying on elements such as pattern and rhythm. It appears that using bodies to explore mathematical concepts helps children learn in various ways:
- children experience the concepts with their whole bodies and imaginations, without language, which gives them another level of understanding
- dance allows experimentation and play with concepts which helps to fix them for children
- physically experiencing the concepts without the intervention of language enables the ideas to be implanted more fully without lengthy verbal explanation.
- children work together on the dance work, allowing them to collaboratively learn concepts that they may have struggled with alone and contribute to problem solving and creativity.
- the body can be seen as a tool that concretises the mathematical concept and allows children to dispense with language or pen and paper as tools for learning. For some children this may be their best way of learning. For others it may confirm the learning they do in the classroom.
- finally, dance sessions with Dance Equation are seen as hugely enjoyable for all children involved: they are a great incentive for children to learn the concepts that they will need to participate in them”