Type of Resources
This research study exclusively focused on performing arts dance programs in socioeconomically depressed public schools. It is the belief of this researcher that providing dance within a framework of the dance standards affords students with the opportunity to truly experience the art of dance, since they not only received the chance to learn good technique from a highly qualified educator, but they are also provided with choreographic and performance opportunities which allow them to communicate a story, express feelings, or emotions through movement to discover their imaginative abilities. The goal of this study was to examine how dance education impacts students as well as school communities in these socioeconomically depressed public schools. Socioeconomically depressed schools where the researcher taught dance and produced The Nutcracker were invited to participate in the research study. There were thirty-five students, both current and alumni, who participated. Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker, was selected for many reasons as the performance production which was used as a measurement in the evaluation of student’s attitudes and involvement in school and to ascertain community and school faculty involvement. The performance production provides an opportunity for students, their family, and the school community to come together. The Nutcracker ballet and music are strongly associated with the holiday season and a general time of getting together. The wide variety of roles in the ballet allows the choreographer to structure dances so all levels of dancers can shine. The research questions addressed were: Q1 Do public schools in socioeconomically depressed areas with a performing arts dance program advance student engagement in school? Q2 Do public schools in socioeconomically depressed areas with a performing arts dance program advance student creativity, motivation, and involvement in school?