Creative Movement and Arts Integration

Combining cognitive learning, arts education and physical engagement, creative movement harnesses the power of creative and analytical thinking as well as the boundless energy of children in motion.

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This week of creative movement classes dramatically changed my class for the better! I went to the class with a fear that we would be wasting our time, only to discover that we were unlocking many doors to learning as this patient and knowledgeable teacher led us through each session. Now I only wish she could get us started every morning!... I have not encountered many instructors like Loren Freed. She brings the best of skill and dedication to little children along with the attitude that what she is doing is very important and necessary – as it proved to be!
— Shirley Knox, first grade teacher

Stories in Motion

This literacy-based movement program incorporates educational dance to help children make personal connections with literature. Students explore plot, theme and characterization in selected works.   Residencies can be built around a book that a class is reading, or one that they have not read yet. 

Sample Theme for K - 2nd Grade Residency: "Moving Through the Seasons"

Sample texts for this theme and grade level may include the following books.  Please feel free to request other themes or texts. 

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Owl Moon, Jane Yolen

The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

Red Sings From Treetops:  A Year in Colors, Joyce Sidman


Sample Texts for 3rd  - 5th Grade Residency.  Feel free to request a text not listed here. 

Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth George Speare

Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbit

The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DeCamillo

All residency activities are correlated with Tennessee English/Language Arts Standards and Tennessee Dance Curriculum Standards. 

Go here for program information.   

Dancing Through History 

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Social studies oriented programs use a range of themes to give students a focused experience of different periods in American and world history and enable them to engage with important events that helped to shape the world and society. 

Sample programs include:  

The Immigrant Experience  

Northern Migration and the Harlem Renaissance

Westward Expansion:  Conflict and Change

Grades 4 - 5. 

All residency activities are correlated with Tennessee Academic Standards for Social Studies and Tennessee Dance Curriculum Standards.

Go here for program information. 

Earth Dances

An approach to teaching science and environmental education through creative dance.   Activities are based on Project Wet, Project Wild, and Project Learning Tree, and aligned with Tennessee Academic Standards for Science and Tennessee Dance Curriculum Standards.

Sample programs include:

Photo credit: Jay Ramaswamy

Photo credit: Jay Ramaswamy

Dancing the Food Web:  Exploring Predator-Prey Rrelationships

The History of Planet Earth: A Rock Formation is Born

Energy Waves:  Force and Motion in Action

The Secret Lives of Birds: Where and How They Live and Migrate and How Humans Impact Their Habitats

Grades K - 5. 

Go here for program information. 

Dancing Our Stories: Creative Movement and Personal Narrative

Photo credit: Rutherford County Public Library

Photo credit: Rutherford County Public Library

Everyone has a story to tell.   Students will work in pairs, in groups, and individually to create short movement pieces based on their original writing. This process is a powerful way for students to embody their own narratives. 

Programs will be based on students' completed narratives or works in progress. 

Residency activities are aligned with Tennessee English/Language Arts Standards and Tennessee Dance Curriculum Standards. 

Grades 3 - 8. 

Go here for program information. 

Math Moves

Inspire students to think outside the box about math!  Concepts of counting, estimating, scale, shape, spatial thinking, pattern, symmetry, and other math topics form the basis for an engaging and active learning experience.   

"Math Moves" focuses on the perceptual and cognitive skills involved in learning math, rather than on memorizing facts.  Students are given experiences to explore in a directed but open-ended way, followed by reflection (recording, analyzing, discussing).  Get ready for a deep dive into the intersections between math and movement!

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Residencies are custom-designed to incorporate a variety of math-related topics that support the development of specific math skills. Following is a sample of programs.   

Dancing Squares.  Students will work with a partner to explore a variety of patterns in math.  Math concepts: geometry, scale, symmetry.  Dance concepts: Scale, shapes, personal space, nonlocomotor movement.

How Many Ways Are There to Shake Hands?  A fresh approach to an ordinary activity.  Math concepts:  counting, combinations, problem definition.  Dance concepts:  Sequence, dynamics. 

Symmetrical Moves.  Introduction to symmetry, with a focus on rotational symmetry.  This pattern can be found everywhere in natural and manmade environments and is a building block for other symmetries.  Topics: Symmetry, visual thinking. 

Expanding Pathways. Thinking and moving with scale.  Math concepts: scale, shape, estimation. Dance concepts: Scale, shapes, locomotor movement.

String Figures.  Storytelling and dancing with cool geometrical string figures!  Math concepts: symmetry, visual thinking.  Dance concepts: shapes, dancing with props. 

Dance Hands. Hands can make a surprising variety of geometric shapes!  Explore the expressive qualities of this part of our bodies.   Math concepts: geometry, polygons, polyhedra, spatial visualization.  Dance concepts: dance with hands, ensemble, shape, transitions. 

Residency activities are aligned with Tennessee Academic Standards for Mathematics and Tennessee Dance Curriculum Standards. 


Grades K - 8.   

Go here for program information. 



Go here for booking and contact information.