Full story, written by Alexandra McQueen, is available from UNCG News
Yahira Robinson was just 12 years old when she knew – seriously knew – she wanted to be a Spartan.
“I truly believe in dance therapy and the power of kinesthetic movement not only to teach people, but to help people.”
This research inspired Robinson to pursue a second degree in elementary education so she could make a difference in more people’s lives by implementing kinesthetic learning in the traditional classroom, not just in the dance studio.
Her School of Education faculty introduced her to a new form of kinesthetic learning known as integrated dance – teaching traditional subjects like math, science, and reading through dance movements. For example, a lesson on the water cycle could incorporate jumps into the air to exemplify water being evaporated.
“My research on integrated dance was really the turning point for me because I could be in the classroom and still teach dance, while also expanding my reach and impact by teaching math, science, or English at the same time. It was a way to combine my two passions of education and dance to make teaching fun for kids, and it’s accommodating to a lot of different learning styles. I think a lot of times, students can get stuck at their desks, so allowing them to get up, flourish, and learn through movement is really rewarding.”
And Robinson has been able to see the benefits of implementing integrated dance into the classroom first-hand this last semester. In January, she began teaching sixth-grade science full-time at Northern Guilford Middle School.
“It’s been a unique experience to be a student-teacher one day and a full-time teacher the next, but I’ve been so grateful for the opportunity, and it’s truly helped me realize my love for educating and inspiring the next generation.”