Dancing Adds Up to Math

Dancing Adds Up to Math

Posted: September 18, 2013

The Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble will present a series of workshops at SUNY Buffalo State as part of a week-long appearance in Western New York.

The dancing duo, formed in 1987, has been directing and performing work that integrates dance and mathematics. Their work also involves devising activities for students using choreographic and kinesthetic exercises to engage students in serious mathematics inquiry. Their book, Math Dance with Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern coauthored with Scott Kim, has been used by dance and math educators worldwide.

On Wednesday, September 18, Schaffer and Stern will conduct a dance composition workshop as a springboard for choreography for Buffalo State’s dance students. Also beginning on September 18, they will present the first of three choreography workshops. “I will work with Deborah Lipa Ciotta, director of Pleien Dance Company, to develop the dance piece,” said Joy Guarino, associate professor of dance. Guarino hopes to present the piece at the Dance and the Child International (daCi) USA Gathering in Seattle next June.

On Thursday, September 19, Guarino and Dianne McCarthy, associate professor of elementary education and reading, are hosting a three-hour workshop for a select group of faculty and students from Buffalo State and mentoring teachers from area schools. At this workshop, Schaffer and Stern will conduct a professional development workshop showing teachers how to develop lesson plans that use whole-body methods for teaching academic subjects.

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