Preschool Teacher Teaches Dance

A Preschool Teacher at Randolph is Bringing Dance into the Classroom
Posted on 08/26/2021

A Randolph Elementary teacher is bringing dance into the classroom.

 

 Ms. Alexandra Mason, known as Ms. Lexi to her students, is a former ballerina turned preschool teacher who is bringing her love of dance into the classroom. 

 

 Ms. Mason was on track to become a professional ballerina when an accident took her out of it for over a year. She grew up dancing for the Kansas City Ballet and performed in their Nutcracker for many years. Unfortunately, her junior year of high school she suffered a severe spinal cord injury and was forced to reevaluate her future. 

After her injury, she was still determined to be involved in dance and planned to major in it. She began studying dance at university and quickly decided it wasn’t what she wanted to do. Instead she became inspired to work with young children. Her mother had been an early childhood special education teacher, she had grown up with friends who have special needs, and she had worked with the Down Syndrome Guild in Kansas City. So, after some thought, Ms. Mason decided to become a special education preschool teacher and is now in her second year at Randolph Elementary teaching as part of TPS’s Preschool Intervention Program (PIP).

Though her career plans shifted, her love of dance has persisted and she has found a way to combine the two. Ms. Mason devotes time to teaching her students dance, yoga, and other movement activities every day. Not only is dancing and moving around fun for her preschoolers, it also has a variety of benefits including helping her students release energy, teaching them to focus, and practicing and learning gross motor skills. 

Movement activities, yoga and ballet especially, can help change a student’s mood and alter the class atmosphere. For instance, on a day that the class is feeling especially rowdy or energetic, yoga can help them focus and calm them down. On other days, dance can wake them up and give them the energy they need to engage in class. 

These activities also help young children learn gross motor skills and strengthen their core muscles. During these activities her students are asked to replicate her actions, forcing them to learn to control their body and movements while also teaching them to follow directions. These activities also help strengthen their core muscles which, according to Ms. Mason, improves their posture and teaches them to sit properly. 

Though teaching a child how to sit seems odd, it is important that little kids learn how to sit properly in order to avoid negative outcomes. Continuously sitting in  improper positions, such as the W-position, can cause a variety of issues including difficulty sitting still, trouble with reading and writing, poor coordination, and problems focusing.

Ms. Mason has found a way to combine her two passions, dance and teaching kids with special needs, in a way that truly benefits and prepares her students for the future. Plus, it's just plain fun. 


For more information on W-sitting, visit https://www.arnoldpalmerhospital.com/content-hub/why-w-sitting-might-be-a-cause-for-concern


You can also check out this infographic: https://www.nspt4kids.com/w-sitting-infographic/

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