Pasadena Unified Launches TK-1st Grade Theater and Dance Program

Published : Friday, October 6, 2017 | 12:56 PM

Image from PUSD Website

Starting this fall, Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) is offering theater and dance lessons for more than 2,900 students in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten.

The Theater Arts/Dance & Community program was developed by PUSD art education and early childhood education staff in partnership with the Music Center and independent teaching artists. The program is supported by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, in-kind services from the Music Center, and an individual donor through Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF).

“This inventive and developmentally appropriate program builds self-expression and learning skills of our youngest students and prepares them to be the artists, writers, and citizens of tomorrow,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “PUSD’s arts education is thriving, thanks to the innovative long-term partnerships we have cultivated with top-notch arts organizations in Southern California.”

Young students will learn to use voice and sound to engage in dramatic play, and build collaboration and social-emotional skills while expressing ideas and feelings through movement. Each student will participate in the program which has two options: Theater Explorations or Dance & Community.

Professional directors, playwrights, and actors serve as artists-in-residence and will lead students through interactive, physicalized reading of age-appropriate literature while introducing vocabulary and concepts during the Theater Explorations program.

In the Dance & Community residency, professional dancers and choreographers will introduce students to the traditional folk dances from various regions of the world, and focus on the ways that movement can communicate ideas. Through demonstrations, observations, discussion, and dance activities, young students will learn dance skills and related terminology.

“The Music Center is proud to continue its partnership with the Pasadena Unified School District and help expand the district’s programs for its youngest learners,” said Keith Wyffels, Associate Vice President of Education at the Music Center. “The program will give children the opportunity to engage their imaginations, explore their creativity, develop literacy skills, and fully utilize their sense of play – bringing joy to the learning process.”

For more information on PUSD’s vibrant visual and performing arts program that connects TK-12 students with Pasadena’s arts and culture organizations, visit

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