National Dance Institute (NDI) is Back at Speyer for A Year of Soul!

It’s that time again when our Lower School students get their groove on in the most amazing way. We’re so excited to have Kelly, Lizzie, Tim, Jaimie, and Seiko, our educators from the National Dance Institute (NDI) back for another year of exploring dance and music through the lens of a specific year-long theme. They will be sharing different styles of dance to each grade, providing new challenges in their sequential NDI curriculum, and working with the Lower School teachers to find connections between this year’s theme and grade-specific curriculum. Of course, all of the hard-work will culminate in a fabulous performance next May!

During the year, Kindergarteners will focus on creative expression, personal space and group space, self-control, and basic sequencing, while parentering, storytelling, and more complex sequencing of movement will be highlights for our first graders. 

Our second graders will tackle tap (without shoes), rhythm and footwork, and cumulative sequences, as our third graders will be introduced to ballet, including terminology, historical context, and the rituals of a ballet class. Finally, our fourth graders’ year will be all about choreography, focusing on generating and sequencing original movement, working individually and in small groups, and making spatial decisions. 

But, wait?! What is this year’s theme, you ask? Drumroll, please! This year’s theme is: SOUL MUSIC! From Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin to Earth Wind and Fire, Prince, and Chaka Khan and many more, the theme celebrates the legendary performers and musicians, who merged gospel and rhythm and blues to create soul music, a genre of music that inspired a generation and became the soundtrack of a social revolution. From its roots in the black church to its freshest interpretations in funk, disco, and pop, soul music shows us that no matter where we are, or what our circumstances, we always have the power to look within and find freedom.  

Did you know Speyer and NDI have had a partnership since 2011 – read more about it here!