In a Waldorf school, students learn through a rich sensory experience that brings visual arts, music, performing arts and movement into everyday lessons including reading, math, and science. In Waldorf schools, great care is taken to integrate movement and the arts into the curriculum in a developmentally appropriate way. We believe that through these experiences, students develop the intellectual curiosity, social sensitivity, and physical stamina to meet their full potentials.
Matthew Thornton joined the RWS faculty in 2017 to build our Movement Arts program. His teaching pedagogy draws from his experience with dance, physical theatre, martial arts, and mind-body work. In his artistic work he desires to establish a base for original and organic expression.
The Movement Arts program consists of imaginative play, games, exercises, and performance training. We approach movement in a holistic manner while exploring dance, theatre, cooperation, sport, and somatic practice. Learning developmental movement patterns, coordination with the breath, and focus on posture and alignment allows all students to grow at their own pace. Students develop healthy social engagement through movement practice while learning from a diversity of cultural perspectives.
Students in grades 3-8 learn aspects of Capoeira, an acrobatic Afro-Brazilian dance form that incorporates partner and group dynamics with instruments and singing. In fifth grade, students are trained to run, wrestle, throw the discus and javelin, and perform the running long jump in preparation for the Greek Pentathlon, where they engage with students from regional Waldorf schools.
Upper grade students learn partnering fundamentals: exchanging roles between leading and following, negotiating non-competitive touch, supporting and being supported, trust and responsibility, body control, and emotional stability. Students across the grades engage in developmentally appropriate games and present and perform their work informally at Friday Gatherings and at assemblies.