APA’s youngest learners get a move on

APA’s youngest learners get a move on

Moving to the beat, Parrott kindergarten students get weekly creative movement class. Left to right, back row: Emma Jewers, Mackenzie Massey, and Emalyn Bundy.  Front row: Hayden Stroud, Wade Alphin, Harper Soles, and Katie Wilson. Instructors Amy Calhoun (front) and Amanda Oakley Hort (back). 

Matching motions to directions helps young learners focus. Left to right, front: Sherif Iskander, Lawson Stancill, Elijah Sparks, and Amare Mewborn. Back: Kalee Barfield.

Matching motions to directions helps young learners focus. Left to right, front: Sherif Iskander, Lawson Stancill, Elijah Sparks, and Amare Mewborn. Back: Kalee Barfield.


One of the most popular resource classes for Parrott Academy’s transition, kindergarten, and first graders is Creative Movement. Each week, dance teacher Amanda Oakley Hort and theatre teacher Amy Calhoun meet with seven different classes of these youngest students. For thirty minute sessions, students sing, dance, learn the concept of “locomotion,” and even explore basic yoga and ballet moves.  

“We also incorporate creative dramatics,” notes co-teacher Amy Calhoun. “We give them opportunities to move in creative ways. I might say, ‘move to your spot like you’re swimming through a pool full of jello!’ The results are fun and so imaginative.”  

“This class lets youngsters express their energy while exploring learning through a kinesthetic approach,” explains Hort. “Yes, we give them permission to move and wiggle, but at the same time they are learning discipline, coordination, and respect for personal space.” 

An award-winning dance instructor who works with high school dancers at North Carolina’s summer Governor’s School, Hort has recently received certification as a module one Acrobatic Arts Instructor. This training supports and expands her skills in working with young children.  

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