Local dance company teaches physics through dance at Berkman and Wells Branch

Students at the Berkman and Wells Branch Arts Integration Academies are learning physics through a unique dance partnership with the Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble Company (AMDE).

Dancing into Motion, led by AMDC, is a workshop for kindergarten through fifth-grade students that teaches the concepts of physics, specifically the laws of motion, through dance. Students at both Berkman and Wells Branch had the opportunity to see physics in action with scientist Colby Snyder, co-creator Allisyn Paino-Martin of Ballet Austin and the dancers of AMDC telling the story of motion.

Matt Schuppert, Berkman arts integration coordinator, said that the program was engaging and met high-level academic standards.

“The delivery of instruction fit in perfectly with the arts integration model we use at Berkman AIA,” Schuppert said. “The program addressed K-5 Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) science requirements and it allowed students to make great connections between previously learned science content through dance. The program was engaging and was unique in that it allowed students to be active participants creating a much more accessible format for all students.”

The workshop was 50 minutes long and provided hands-on participation from the students as well as the opportunity to ask questions.

Berkman Principal Kathy Cawthron said she hopes to build many more partnerships like this one as Berkman and Wells Branch continue on their journey as arts integration academies.