Developing a Dance and Theater Program for Elementary Students

Rachel WongRachel Wong, a student at Castle High School, researched and developed a dance and musical theater program for elementary students at Kaneohe Elementary School for her senior project. She taught classes with two other instructors three times a week for six weeks.  The young students learned how to sing, dance, and perform which helped them to develop their confidence in communication skills. At the end of the school year, Rachel directed a student showcase in which the youngsters performed to popular songs, such as “Getting to Know You,” “Part of Your World,” and “Play My Music.” Students, who were typically reserved, were inspired to display their talents through the performing arts.

According to Karen Kimura, one of the senior project teachers, “Rachel basically created her own little performing arts class. She did most of the legwork by arranging a class after school at Kaneohe Elementary. The magnitude and scope of what Rachel took on was stellar. She designed this project and chose to do this while maintaining a packed senior year including being the lead in the school spring production. She had the perfect mentor in Allan Lau, one of our teachers and a theater pro.”

By creating this capstone project, Rachel discovered her own passion for teaching musical theater to elementary school children. As a result, she is majoring in both areas at Ithaca College in New York.