Talk about movement and learning with Kate Kuper

I have been wanting to start a blog ever since Kerry Bevens (NY) started writing and asking me specific questions about her teaching.

Seems like lots of us need to stay in touch and share our ideas about teach and learning.

Since I  train present and future teachers — from pre-school on up — and I also continue to work with children, there’s lots to talk about.

In this blog, I’ll be sharing things I’m observing and thinking about in our field.

I encourage you to respond with your comments and observations.

Together, we can continue to improve as teachers and learners.

By the way, when I say ‘we’ in my posts, I’m talking about the students that work with me in my Creative Dance for Children program at the University of Illinois.

Let’s get started!


Kids really enjoy resting.  I mean constructive resting.  Letting your bones and muscles just GO.
We adjust and lengthening the sacrum by holding at the ankles and releasing the lower body.  Then we walk up the body to the wrists, holding and lengthening through the arms to release the scapula (shoulderblades).  Finally, we walk around to the head side.  Looking down the length of the body, we align nose to sternum to pubic arch and we lengthen the cranium at the base of the occipital lobe (back of the head).

To the children, we say: “Fake sleep, like you pretend when you want to be carried to bed.”

Music is gentle.  I use Brain Bop tracks #13 and #14, or lullaby music.  Also Eric Chappelle’s CD Contrast and Continuum Vol IV # 17.  Actually, there’s lots of nice gentle wordless stuff out there.

As to when we rest….we do it after leaping across the floor and before our final creating activity.  It takes max. 3 minutes.


May 14, 2011. Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance.


  1. Kerry replied:

    Great blog Kate! Congratulations!! I think I need to add more “rest time” to my classes. I also think that many teachers feel that we must be “on our feet moving” to make it dance, but learning to rest is so important. I certainly have to remind myself of this! I also like your legthening ideas for students. This is great information!!

  2. Andrea replied:

    Love this, Kate. I still use EVERYTHING you taught me at U of I. This stuff works and it has made a huge difference in my dance program. Thank you!

  3. Jennifer McGowan replied:

    What a wonderful idea to give the opportunity for creative dance teachers to share ideas and experiences. This is an area I wish to improve upon and incorporate into my classes. I love including relaxation and often will use visualizations, simple story meditations, balloon breathing, and yoga to conclude class or sometimes after an energetic activity to allow the dancers a moment to rest. However, more often than not we are so involved in our movements that we run out of time so the relaxation activity is either rushed or there is no time at all. I am making an effort to make sure there is always time for this important piece of dance class. Thank-you for sharing and beginning this communicating resource. 🙂

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