Kristen is an experienced movement educator and an accomplished dance artist. Her tried and true approach to childhood dance education, cultivated through 7 years of intensive teaching experience on Salt Spring Island, creates welcoming, productive class environments where students explore fundamental dance concepts as a framework for discovering their own unique ways of moving. In Kristen's classes, students build core dance skills (technique, improvisation and dance-creation skills), in an environment that fosters creativity, critical thinking, self-confidence and healthy body image. Kristen loves connecting dance concepts to broader curriculum material and welcomes the opportunity to work collaboratively with classroom teachers to design a dance residency that fits their needs.
Kristen teaches dance but she also teaches self-confidence. She makes it fun while at the same time pushing children to stretch their abilities and grow in their dance. I am an educator. I taught children for decades and was also a principal at the Elementary school level for many years. One thing that taught me to do was spot a good teacher. Kristen Lewis is a good teacher and she radiates a joy and passion for dance that her students delight in. Keeping a group of young children on task is a challenge but Kristen has the experience and the techniques to not only keep all of her students working and learning but also to make sure that she addresses each individual child's needs. She is kind and thoughtful and I know that the two little girls in my life love going to dance class because Kristen is their teacher. Rinkeke Jonker, Retired Educator and Elementary School Principal
The Brain Dance is an engaging eight-part sequence based on the movement patterns a child naturally goes through in the first year of life. Practising the Brain Dance on a regular basis integrates body and brain functions, creating a state of learning-readiness. Kristen can lead Brain Dance classes for all grade levels, in a time-frame that works for the school's needs. Over the course of the residency, students are empowered to lead sections of the Brain Dance on their own, and teachers gain the skills to implement the Brain Dance into regular classroom activities after Kristen leaves.
An interactive dance workshop for middle school and high school students, using creative dance to explore the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the values that inform it: autonomy, respect for diversity, the inviolability of personal space, the limits of state authority. Students work to create a performance-ready dance piece informed by students' emerging relationship to the Charter.
Working intensively with a group of students, a class or several classes over a period of a few days or weeks (min. 8 sessions), Kristen will mentor students in the creation of their own dances to perform at a special school event (school assemblies, holiday concerts, graduation celebrations). The focus will be on creative-process: learning about dance as an artform, and exploring core dance concepts and choreographic skills in a respectful, empowering environment where the contributions of all students are valued. Subject matter can be chosen in consultation with the teacher, school and students. Indoor performances or outdoor, place-based performances are possible.