Mission & History

What is Notes in Motion?
Notes in Motion is a dance theatre company made up of Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, producing original dance theatre performances and Notes in Motion Outreach Dance Theatre, presenting in-school and community arts-in-education programs.


Notes in Motion Outreach Dance Theatre offers a wide array of residency, professional development, interactive performance, and after-school programs that teach dance skills, choreography, improvisation, inter-disciplinary study, and arts appreciation. These programs are united by our singular approach to arts education, The Movement Exchange Method, in which students take on leadership roles in their own learning, have creative input in the design of the curriculum, participate in critical discussions of the work of their peers, and develop collaborative skills. Programs foster self-discovery, risk-taking, and making connections between different topics, themes, and areas of learning. We aim to provide access to the art form of dance to inspire the next generation of dance appreciators.


Since 2000, Notes in Motion Outreach Dance Theatre has brought arts programs to over 50 schools and over 15,000 students in New York City. We have programs in all 5 boroughs and reach diverse student populations from PreK-12. We are a vendor of the NYC Department of Education and all our programs reflect the learning standards as outlined in their Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts. We create long-lasting arts partnerships with schools and inspire the greater community of that school with the beauty, magic, and vitality of dance. We do not offer any cookie-cutter programs. Each program is custom-tailored to the specific needs and population of each school partner. We work collaboratively with classroom teachers at every stage from program planning, implementation, performance/community sharing, assessment, and evaluation. Our Teaching Artists guide students through a unique creative process, creating connections with other academic subjects and fostering active learning—students are creators, improvisors, and collaborators. We have an Education Ensemble of 32 experienced Teaching Artists with advanced degrees and extensive performance and choreography backgrounds in several dance styles and techniques. Press includes a profile in Dance Teacher Magazine of Artistic Director Amanda Selwyn’s workshop at the NYC Arts-in-Education Roundtable’s 2011 Face to Face Conference and a profile in NYFA’s Current: A Magazine for Artists.

Program Goals

Dance Education – Provide high quality dance instruction that teaches creative movement fundamentals, promotes self-expression and self-esteem, and builds collaborative learning skills.
Collaboration – Design curriculum in conjunction with teachers and administrators that best fits the needs of each grade level and class group. Prepare teachers to be active residency participants.
Integration – Link residency curriculum to themes and topics in academic subjects. Share creative teaching tools, classroom rituals, and follow-up activities with classroom teachers.
Community Building – Create opportunities for parents, guardians, and community members to engage with student arts learning thereby activating the life of the school.

Student Learning Objectives by Grade Level

K-2: levels, pathways, body shapes, rhythm
3-5: weight shifts, dynamics, body control, basic partnering
6-8: alignment, strength, flexibility, balance, dyamics, spatial orientations
9-12: musical phrasing, dynamic control, sequencing, understanding complex rhythms

K-2: expressing feelings/abstract concepts, working alone, collaborating with peers
3-5: finding solutions to movement problems; improvising as a group
6-8: initiating ideas, turning gestures into movement, varying dynamics and speed
9-12: developing original improv structures, exploring group dynamics, partnering

K-2: choosing a beginning, middle, end; recalling, repeating, practicing sequences
3-5: employing structures (AB, ABA); creating as a group
6-8: articulating a theme, showing leaderships skills, experimenting with space and time
9-12: rehearsing and evaluating independently, developing material from improvisation

K-2: show expressiveness and joy; understand appropriate performer & audience behavior
3-5: dance with focus and intent; dance with self-awareness and awareness of the group
6-8: dance with rhythmic accuracy and musical feeling, perform improvisations
9-12: dance with unique personal style, exhibit a high level of awareness and achievement

K-2: name activities, parts of the body, choreographic ideas, and personal observations
3-5: use contrasting action & descriptive words, connect dance learning to academic areas
6-8: identify various choreographic devises (canon, retrograde), name muscles and bones
9-12: teach a dance to younger students, utilize refined observation and evaluation skills

Current Program Partners
Manhattan: PS 63 STAR Academy, Amistad Dual Language School, East Village Community School, Murry Bergtraum High School, The Neighborhood School
Brookyln: PS 312, PS/IS 323
Bronx: PS 78, PS 112, One World Middle School
Queens: PS 82, Child Center of NY @ PS 89

Past Program Partners
Manhattan: PS 41, PS 87, PS 721, Goddard Riverside After-School Center, The Brearley School, The Philip Coltoff Center
Brooklyn: PS 247, PS 92, PS 93, PS 67, Academy for Young Writers
Queens: PS 7, PS 60, PS 81, PS 89, PS 107, PS 127, PS 171, PS 214, PS 237,MS 355, Collaborative Arts Middle School
Bronx: The Bronx Charter School for the Arts
Long Island: Hebrew Academy for the Five Towns and the Rockaways
Staten Island: PS 13

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