A Choreographer’s Approach to Positive Learning and
Creative Movement for Young Children,

by Rebecca Kelly, c. 1995

DANCING WITH DELIGHT is a 78-page manual by Rebecca Kelly, co-founder of KIDS CO-MOTION, with a foreword by child psychiatrist Dr. David Brashear, of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia PA. It mixes commentary with anecdotal material, providing an insightful and pragmatic guide for anyone desiring to teach early childhood creative movement.

Conveniently arranged by easy to look up topics DANCING WITH DELIGHT is a handy reference for any teacher of young children. Using the laboratory of the dance program, Kelly discusses early learning in the years beyond infancy and before school. She reveals the experiences of families, both good and bad, funny and surprising, and from which a parent or adult will certainly recognize the child under one's own care.

From "crossing the threshold" of the first class, the subjects of making transitions, gaining self-control, dealing with jealousy, aggression, the issues of controlling "Mom," focus skills, setting limits, being friendly, are discussed. A guide called "When Will my Child Leap?" provides information about when you can expect your child to accomplish physical milestones such as the somersault or clapping or skipping. A valuable early childhood suggested reading list is included.

Kelly takes the reader through the pleasures and challenges of introducing a child to one of its first social groups. She includes examples of adapting to "classroom" challenges, coping with shyness, what constitutes pressure to a parent in class, and deals with biting, hair-pulling, weaning. She describes how the dance class goes beyond vocabulary building. It engages children in physical math, in singing and talking, adapting to a classroom environment. She discusses how to choose an enrichment class suited to your child's temperament.

In this book you will meet the child who loves words, the child who loves movements, the child who is enraptured by symbols, the child who loves other kids, the child who loves the teacher. And you will meet the child who can't come in the door, the child who doesn't participate, the child who must do it in "his/ her unique way." The parent or accompanying adult is guided to notice and rejoice in all the clues to learning in their young child's experiences.

REBECCA KELLY was born in Princeton, NJ, the daughter of a career diplomat, Rebecca Kelly was raised in London, Khartoum, Sudan, Brussels, and Wash, DC. Her formative dance training was at the Washington School of Ballet. She holds a BA from Bryn Mawr in History of Oriental Religion. With a repertory of over 60 modern and ballet works, Kelly's choreography has been commissioned by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, The Carlisle Project, Ballet Pacifica, Festival of the Lakes, the Neuberger Museum, and Boston Ballet II. She is Artistic Director of Rebecca Kelly Ballet, founded in 1979, featuring contemporary classical dancers and ballets performed both on and off pointe, always exploring the fullest range of movement. The Company has appeared on television on the CBS Early Show, MountainLakes PBS, and USIA ArtsAmerica. RKB was profiled in Pointe Magazine. She also choreographs for fashion and youth projects.

DANCING WITH DELIGHT is available in paperback exclusively by order through Rebecca Kelly Ballet, 579 Broadway, 4B, New York, NY 10012. The manual costs $40, plus $5 shipping and handling.

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