30 seconds with … Skyline students rehearse new dances in the commons

World Humanities teacher Ashley Ducker says the ultimate goal is for students to learn to think like a choreographer.

Ashley Ducker teaches her world humanities students the salsa in the Skyline commons.

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Over the past two weeks, Skyline students in Ashley Ducker’s world humanities class have been learning about storytelling through dance. Students learn various folk, dance-drama, classical, ritual, and modern dances from around the world.¬†

“With each dance, the students learn the origins, change over time, and the overarching storyline for each dance,” said Ducker.  “While they do learn the formalized steps, the ultimate goal is for students to learn to think like a choreographer.

“I love having the opportunity to present such a diverse curriculum; whether we are studying architecture, art, music, or dance, the goal is for each one of my students to have seen themselves in the curriculum while also experiencing the epiphany of another.  Learning dance helps build confidence, foster creativity, and encourage collaboration. 

Ducker first held class in the commons years ago because the class needed space, but discovered the added benefit over the years was the model that these dancers set for any student walking by. 

“As you saw in the salsa lesson, boys danced with boys and girls danced with girls undeterred by gender stereotypes,” she said.  “It is with trust and cooperation that these students embrace the learning and each other.”  

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