Move This World’s unique approach to social emotional learning through movement and creative expression is not simply one aspect of our program; rather, it is the very foundation upon which we were built. Research shows that social emotional learning in the classroom is beneficial, but the method for teaching these skills will determine how students retain and apply them over a lifetime.
Our story began in 2007 when Sara Potler LaHayne, Founder and CEO of Move This World, traveled to Bogota, Columbia as a Fulbright Scholar. Concepts like empathy and conflict resolution were being taught from textbooks without a process for practical application. They were simply words on a page, and students weren’t engaged.
At recess, however, Sara noticed that students were applying the very social emotional skills that they were struggling to connect with from a textbook. When a boombox started playing reggaeton music, suddenly the students were dancing, engaging with each other, building friendships, and communicating through movement and creative expression. The mood was playful, and the students connected with each other and encouraged one another as they danced.