Although the semester was cut short, there is still so much to be thankful for. I am disappointed that there was not an opportunity to complete the rest of the workshops our class had prepared, but I am incredibly thankful for such a supportive group of individuals to work alongside, and who were so willing to help me in creating and refining my proposed workshop.

My proposed workshop, Dancing Through the Decades, is one that combines dancing, history, and music. Through this workshop, students will learn about key events from the 1920’s all the way to 2020. Some examples of events to be covered are the stock market crash of the 1920’s, the Civil Rights Movement, and 9/11, along with many more. In addition to learning about the basic facts of each event of the particular decade, there is a song from that decade that is paired with a fitness routine. This way, the students are able to learn about our nation’s history in a fun, engaging way, while exercise and physical fitness are also being promoted.

An example of a slide to be presented about the 1960’s explaining different aspects of the Civil Rights Movement. A portion of the song “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke would accompany this part of the presentation.

By watching and following along to a video, the kids will perform the fitness routine for that particular decade after learning about the event. For example, World War II was happening during the 1940’s. For this decade, the song is “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” This will allow the students to further understand what was happening during the 1940’s while also encouraging them to think about how Americans were keeping their spirits up during a worldwide war was being waged. At the end of the presentation, the students will piece each routine together to perform the dance in its entirety. They will perform this routine, with the help of the presenter and the videos, of course, to reflect on what they have learned during the workshop.

From Irvin Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz” to Kanye West’s “Power,” the workshop encourages students to have pride in America’s history while also being encouraged to think about how music is able to reflect the current events happening around them. Through this proposed workshop, it is my hope that the students will find that exercising can be so much fun, and that history goes far beyond a textbook, reaching into all aspects of our society.