At Fremont, Rosina Didyk used traditional folk dancing to teach the students basic dance skills as outlined in state standards. One of the numbers was a traditional dance from the Cook Islands that simulated canoe riding.
The program also allowed for moments of creative improvisation. For instance, Didyk told the students to "shine" during one dance number in the show.
"Shine is when you take your moment to shine — like taking your solo," Didyk said.
Students were allowed to dance their own way, shuffling and stomping, for a moment during a step-dance routine.
"I think that it gives them confidence," said Pat Campagna, whose grandson was in the performance.
"They feel better about themselves."
Arts education helps student development, Freemont Principal Cynthia Livingston said.
"We're so focused on education — anything we can give kids for more well-rounded education … is beneficial," she said.
Such efforts were made possible by about $85,000 that the Glendale Educational Foundation devoted to the Artists in Residence program for this school year, said Susan Hunt, the school district's staff liaison to Music Center.
Next year the foundation will be moving its focus on to secondary schools with science and technology equipment, Hunt said.
While there won't be an Artists in Residence program next year, there will be various orchestra and visual arts programs taking place, said Alice Petrossian, assistant superintendent of elementary education.
The district hopes to consolidate and coordinate arts education in all schools with the hiring of an arts coordinator at the district level, Petrossian said.
The district will use one-time funds from the state to finance those new programs — $360,000 will go to elementary schools and $445,000 will go to middle and high schools — and $400,000 in new, ongoing state funds will also help pay for those new programs.