February 1, 2010




















Imbolc, or St. Brigid's Day – Ireland, Montserrat, Celtic/Gaelic cultures


Imbolc is one of the four most important festivals of
the Celtic year, and so is still celebrated by many Irish and others from Gaelic cultures.

The Christian version of the festiv
al is called St. Brigid's Day. St. Brigid is Ireland's secondary saint (after Saint Patrick); she is associated with the Celtic goddess Brigid, who was responsible for poetry, healing, and smithcraft.

Under ei
ther name, the festival is celebrated on various dates, according to different calendars, and is sometimes tied to specific agricultural or local signs of spring such as the first dandelions to push up through the snow, or the birth of lambs. The most common date of celebration is the first of February.
There are also many different sorts of rituals used to welcome the signs of spring. One important theme is fire, and people light candles (some Christians call the festival Candlemas), shoot off fireworks, have torchlight processions, or create bonfires. Above is a hare-shaped fire for Imbolc. Whatever its form, fire represents the returning of the sun and warmth over the coming months.

Another common theme is weather prediction. If the day of Imbolc is clear and sunny, it is said that winter will continue quite a while longer, but if the
day is cloudy and gray, winter is presumed to be almost over. Also, people look for snakes or badgers to come out from their winter dens—if the creatures emerge, winter is almost over. These traditions may have inspired North America's Groundhog Day (which is tomorrow!).

A colorful folk tradition involves St. Brigid's Eve (January 31) as well as St. Brigid's Day. The girls of the village
make a corn dolly to represent St. Brigid, and decorate it with shells and ribbons.

Many of us might picture a corn dolly being a human-shaped corn husk doll, but a corn dolly refers to a type of straw work that isn't necessarily corn (corn means “grain” in this usage) and isn't necessarily human-shaped (many look like wreaths, tiny sheaths, or Brigid's crosses, pictured at right).

The village girls also make a bed for the dolly to lie on, and they stay up all nigh
t and host a late visit by all the young men of the community. The next day, the girls carry the corn dolly through the village, from house to house. Adult women welcome the procession with gifts of coins or snacks.

Ma
ke candles. There are easy instructions to be found on the internet, such as these.
Make a braided straw decoration, similar to St. Brigid's corn dollies, using straw or raffia from a craft store. Tape down three pieces of raffia, and braid them. Make several braids to tie together with other pieces of raffia or to braid together into one thick plait.

Here are some pictures of corn dollies.
Maddy from Wales sells beautiful handmade corn dollies! Enjoy taking a peek!

Cook special St. Brigid's Day foods.
Recipes for a potato/cabbage dish, potato “cakes,” Brigid's Bread,
and more can be found here. Even more Irish food recipes are here.

Where is Montserrat? And why do people there celebrate St. Brigid's Day?


Although Christopher Columbus “discovered” this Caribbean island on his
second voyage for Spain in 1493 (much to the surprise of the Arawak and Carib Indians who lived there!), England and then Great Britain controlled it since 1632. A group of Irish people suffering from anti-Catholic violence and indentured servitude settled the island in that year, and soon began to import African slaves.

Like other nearby islands, Montserrat relied for years on sugar and cotton plantatio
ns and manufacture of rum. Eventually slavery was outlawed and sugar prices fell. However, rather than watching the island go down to grinding poverty, a philanthropist named Joseph Sturge bought failed sugar plantations, planted limes, and sold small lime farms to the people of Montserrat.

More than a century later, another man helped bring some prosperity to Montserrat: the Beatles' producer George Martin opened a recording studio and attracted top musical talent to the island. Of course, there was tourist trade by then as well.


However, Montserrat was devastated in the 1980s and 90s by a double blow—the devastating power of Hurricane Hugo, in 1989, and the even more shocking 1995 eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano, which had been dormant all throughout recorded history. This volcano thankfully did not "wake up" with a massive eruption, but it still managed to make most of the island uninhabitable (at least for many years) and destroyed the capital city, Plymouth, pictured at right. Plymouth was buried under 39 feet (12 meters) of mud. By 1997, continued eruptions had killed 19 people and burned much of what had not yet been covered in ash.

Today much of the island is green; a new airport, docking facility, and capital city are being built in the north, out of the volcano's reach; and some of the people who had left the island during its double-decades of double-destruction have now returned.

According to Wikipedia, a lot of the people who live on the island are descendants of Irish, of Africans, and of mixed Irish and African. Aside from Ireland, Montserrat is the only place in the world that celebrates Saint Patrick's Day as a full public holiday.

January 31, 2010

First U.S. Satellite! — 1958

On this date in 1958, Explorer 1 was launched, becoming the first satellite launched by the United States.


The Soviet Union's successful launch of Sputnik 1 in October of 1957 shocked Americans, and the U.S. was in a hurry to match the feat. The Jupiter C rocked had already been developed, and Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was directed to design and build the “payload” (the instruments or equipment) to be carried into Earth orbit by that rocket.


JPL completed the assigned jo
b in less than three months!

The main instrument aboard Explorer 1 was a cosmic ray detector. The experiment on this satellite and another one launched two months later led to the discovery of the belts of charged particles trapped by Earth's magnetic field, called the Van Allen Belts after the experiment's designer.

Explorer 1 made its last transmission back to Earth in May of the year it was launched, but it continued to circle the globe more than 58,000 times before orbital decay caused it to burn up in the atmosphere in 1970.


Orbital Decay (or should our satellites be brushing longer and flossing more?)

When a satellite is in a low orbit around Earth, it may be slowed by “drag” from the Earth's atmosphere. This sets up a positive feedback loop:


The increased “drag” or friction from the atmosphere causes the satellite to reduce in speed.
Decreased speed causes the satellite to fall to a lower altitude above Earth.
A lower altitude means that the atmosphere the satellite encounters is denser (more molecules of gases per cubic foot).
The denser atmosphere causes even more friction.
Which causes even less speed.
Which causes an even greater fall in altitude.
Which means that the satellite is orbiting in even denser atmosphere.
And so on.
And so forth.
Eventually, the orbit is so low and the atmosphere so thick, the satellite encounters a lot of friction and burns up.

Orbital decay can affect, not only satellites, but also space stations, space shuttles, and even the Hubble telescope. The International Space Station regularly needs orbital boosts to fight against orbital decay.

Most satellites orbit our globe high enough that they encounter no atmospheric drag and therefore no orbital decay due to friction.


Instruments on Mars


JPL has had a lot of opportunity to design experiments for a variety of space exploration vehicles. We just got some news about one of JPL's programs, the Mars Rover Program.

The bad news is that Spirit, one of the two rovers currently on Mars, is still stuc
k after almost year, and the scientists are going to stop in their attempts to dislodge it, for now. They are preparing the rover to face and hopefully survive the oncoming Martian winter, and if it does survive, they plan to do as much science as possible from its stationary position once spring arrives in that corner of Mars.

The good news is, Spirit and the Mars Rover Program have already been incredibly successful! As astronomer Phil Plait explains at his excellent blog “Bad Astronomy,”


Spirit and Opportunity “had a planned operational lifetime of 90 days. “That was in January 2004. “In other words, Spirit has been on Mars for over 2200 days, and even counting when it first got stuck, it still ran well for more than 20 times its nominal lifespan. Cars these days have a standard warranty for 7 years; how’d you like yours to run for 140 years?

So for me, while this news is not great, it has to be put in context: Spirit is one of the most successful NASA missions of all time. And its sister, Opportunity, is still running like a champ. I hope I’ll be doing as well when I’m 1400 years old.

Experiments on Earth

  • Here's another NASA site. This one focuses on Mars, with games and other activities. Very fun!

January 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Thomas Rolfe

Thomas Rolfe was born on this day in 1615 to a very famous mother: Pocahontas.


(At left is a portrait that is supposed to be a picture of Pocahontas and Thomas.)

At the time
of her son's birth, Pocahontas was called Rebecca Rolfe, because she had converted to Christianity, taken an English “first” name, and married Englishman John Rolfe. Even Pocahontas wasn't her "real" name—it was a childhood nickname that meant something like “rambunctious.” Her formal names were Matoaka and Amonute.

Pocahontas's father, Wahunsunacawh, was chief of the Powhatan Indians that lived in what is now Virginia near England's fi
rst successful colony, Jamestown.

Pocahontas is most famous for saving the life of colonist John Smith. But the incident may never have happened (we only know about it from Smith's retelling many years later), and even if it did happen, most references to the incident in popular culture are mythologized. For example, there is no evidence that Smith and Pocahontas fell in love—indeed, Smith wrote that she was only “tenne” years old when she saved his life.

Whatever happened (or did not happen) in the Pocahontas-John Smith encounter, it is clear that this Powhatan princess befriended the English settlers in Jamestown and eventually, as mentioned, married one of them. In 1616 John Rolfe took his wife and son to London, where Pocahontas met King James and other society folk, interacted
with John Smith (who had returned to England in 1609 after being injured in the New World), and sadly died at age 21, probably of a disease, just as the family was getting ready to return back to North America.

Pocahontas's son Thomas grew up in England, and he married and had a daughter. Through this daughter, Anne Rolfe, Pocahontas and Thomas have descendants who live in England. In 1635 Thomas returned to the New World. There he remarried and had a second daughter, Jane Rolfe. Through this daughter, Pocahontas and Thomas have had many descendants in America, including TWO former first ladies, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson and Nancy Reagan.


National Geographic Kids has an interactive adventure about John Smith and Jamestown with lots of info and several mini-games.

Look at four very different portraits of Pocahontas at the Henrico County, VA, website. (Henrico County has a picture of Pocahontas on its flag and seal.)

Many people are most aware of Pocahontas because of the Disney animated movie. Of course, no one expects a Disney movie to be accurate history, but people who don't know better probably think that at least some of the broad strokes of the tale are true. However, they aren't.

I ran across several items on the Internet in which Indians complained about the inaccuracy and mythology of the Disney version of the Pocahontas story. Here's one,
and here is another.

January 29, 2010


Happy Birthday, Lawrence Hargrave

Born in England in 1850, Hargrave immigrated with his family to Australia. A teen when he arrived “down under,” Hargrave eagerly
accepted positions on ships and thus helped explore Australia and nearby places.

He failed the test required to graduate from his school and instead became an engineering apprentice; as an engineer he continued to go on explo
ratory expeditions. Later he settled in Sydney and became an assistant astronomical observer at the Sydney Observatory.

When Hargrave's father died and Hargrave came into his inheritance, he resigned from the observatory position and gave the rest of his life to research work. He invented many devices but never applied for a patent on any of them. He did not need the money, but he also very much believed in the idea of scientists publishing their work for all humankind to elaborate on and benefit from.

Hargrave particularly worked on flying machines and made major contributions in knowledge about flight stability and the shape of wings and propeller blades. He also worked on the rotary engine, and his ideas were used by many early aircraft until around 1920.


Hargrave is most associated with box kites; this invention was used to experiment with lift and drag (he himself went on flights, lifted by his kites), and box kites were later used for weather measurements and were used as the basis for gliders and airplanes.

Hargrave was a very good experimenter and made beautiful models. He certainly contributed to the sum of human knowledge (his main goal) but was more widely respected for his contributions after his death than during his life.


Words of Wisdom

Hargrave said, “The flying machine of the future will not be born fully fledged and capable of a flight for 1000 miles or so. Like everything else it must be evolved gradually. The first difficulty is to get a thing that will fly at all. When this is made, a full description should be published as an aid to others.”

Wisdom Without Words


Hargrave was once asked to give a lecture, and he admitted that teaching and lecturing were not in his skill set. Indeed, he was known as a man of few words.

Still, Hargrave was too modest—he showed himself very capable of teaching when he spent afternoons working with kids to build and fly box kites. He also donated all of his models to museums, explaining that they were “knowledge without words.”


Celebrate Hargrave


  • Fly a kite.
Maybe even a box kite! Blue Sky Lark has a website with a picture of Hargrave's original design (box kites are also called “cellular kites”) and many other forms elaborated from his ideas.
  • Build a model. Local hobby shops and toy stores usually sell a variety of models to put together and paint. Or go online for help, such as this model airplane site.

January 28, 2010

First ski tow in the U.S.—1934

On this date in 193
4, owners of the White Cupboard Inn in Woodstock, Vermont, installed the first ski tow in the United States.

A simple loop of rope driven by the rear wheel of a Ford Model A, the ski tow made i
t much easier for people to ski, as they didn't have to walk up a hill in order to have the fun of skiing down it! And the invention was so easy, it was soon copied all over; by 1940, there were more than 100 tow ropes in use in North America.

Actually, copying a simple but clever invention is just what the White Cupboard people, Bob and Betty Royce, did—they copied the idea from a ski run in Quebec, Canada (installed in 1933). The actual inventor of the ski tow—way back in 1908—was Germany's Robert Winterhalder.


(Don't you just love that name for the inventor of something that people HOLD onto in the WINTER?)


Nowadays, most ski slopes have some sort of ski lift—often a chair lift—that actually lifts skiers off the slope, rather than a ski tow that just pulls them up the hill. Rope tows are still somewhat common in some areas, however, especially on the gentle “bunny slopes” that children and learners use.

Did you know...?

Some ski slopes have a conveyor-belt sort of device called a “magic carpet” (pictured at right). These are usually used only on the gentlest of bunny slopes, since they are too slippery to use on steeper slopes.

The Winter Olympics start soon – on February 12th.
They are being held in
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


There are 10 Olympic sports that involve skis.

Some are alpine skiing, some are nordic skiing, and some are freestyle skiing.

Can you figure out the ten kinds, using the clues below?

1. SKI ___ U ___ ___
Clue: a nordic event that involves a tak
e-off ramp.

2. D ___ W ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
Clue: an alpine event that
is super-fast!

3. S ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
Clue: an alpine event that requires zig-zagging


4. B ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ O ___
Clue: there are rifles in this nordic event!


5. A ___ ___ ___ ___ L ___
Clue: a freestyle event with some diving moves


6. C ___ M B ___ ___ ___ ___
Clue: two nordic events in one


7. SKI C ___ ___ ___ ___
Clue: down a CRAZY hill with bumps and twists

(This freestyle event is like a motorcycle race.)


8. C ___ ___ ___ S - ___ ___ ___ T R ___
Clue: a nordic event with looooong
distances

9. M ___ ___ ___ L ___
Clue: a bumpy freestyle event


10. S ___ P ___ ___ - G
Clue: an alpine event that is an extreme version of #3





ANSW
ERS: 1. ski jump 2. downhill 3. slalom 4. biathlon 5. aerials 6. combined 7. ski cross 8. cross-country 9. moguls 10. super-G



Visit the
Olympic Games Website
or the Vancouver Games Website.
You could bookmark the sites for use during the Olympics!


Play Olympic Video Games!

There is ski jumping, giant slalom, short-track skating, and snowboard cross to choose from.


Color some Olympic Posters.
Scroll down to reach the Winter Games.


Where do ski words come from?

Alpine skiing.... comes from the name of a m
ountain range. (Which?)

Nordic skiing....comes from the name of a country. (Which?)


Slalom...comes from Norwegian words for “slope” and “track.”


Mogul...comes from the Norwegian word for “heap” or “mound.”


Ski...comes from the Norwegian word for “stick of wood.”


Where do you think the sport of skiing started?

That's right, in Norway. There is evidence of skis that can be dated back to 4,500 to 5,000 years ago!


Attaching long planks of wood (with upturned tips) to shoes or boots was meant to be a way to travel over the snow—a quicker and less tiring way than snowshoes. However, people soon realized the recreational use of skis as well. People who skied for sports often did so in the Alps, one of the great mountain ranges of Europe, hence the term alpine sport.

Now skis are almost entirely used recreationally. Related sports and transportation devices have borrowed its terminology (from water skis and then jet skis to the steering devices at the front of snowmobiles).

January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to Mozart!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on this day in 1756. This famed composer's full baptismal name was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.

(This is a Latinized ver
sion of his name, with the first two names being his saints' names, as per Catholic tradition. The German version of Wolgangus is, of course, Wolfgang, and Mozart also went by an Italian version of the name, Wolfgango, while living in Italy. Theophilus means “lover of God”; Amadeus is a familiar form of the name, and Mozart sometimes used German or Italian translations, Gottlieb, Amadeo, or Amade.)


Mozart was born in Salzburg. At the time, that was part of the Holy Roman Empire, but now it is part of Austria. He spent most of his adult life in Vienna, which was not only the capital of the empire but also the cultural center for arts, science, music, and fine cuisine. (Vienna is now the capital of Austria.)



Mozart was a child prodigy who played both keyboard and violin, and even began composing music at age five! He was also very prolific, which means that he wrote a lot of music, composing over 600 works including symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He remains one of the most popular and influential composers of all times.


Play Mozart's Musical Dice Game!


In 1787, Mozart wrote the measures and instructions for a musical dice game, and Sunsite's “Mozart's Musikalisches Wurfelspiel” website has the measures as played on keyboard ready for you to mix up and enjoy. There are 176 minuet measures and 96 trio measures, plus a table of rules, and the computer rolls virtual dice to come up with random numbers to use in the game. All you have to do is press a key called “Make Music”! (There is also a button to "Generate the Score" of the random-measure music.)


Learn more about Mozart's life at the Studio-Mozart website. (Choose your preferred language at the bottom of the picture of Mozart, on the first page.)

Listen to a show on Mozart's “opera for ordinary people,” The Magic Flute, on the website Classics for Kids.

For really young children, look at the brief Starfall bio of Mozart. Be sure to click the blue arrow to hear the Sonata that Mozart wrote when he was only 8 years old!

Classical Archives is a very complete website, with lots of opportunities to listen to or purchase classical music. Here is the Mozart portion of the website.

Did Mozart write “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”?

No. The tune is a French folk song called “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman.” This tune has been used for several children's songs, including “Twinkle” (words by Jane Taylor) but also including the Alphabet Song and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.”

Mozart's name is associated with “Twinkle” because he wrote a piece called “Twelve Variations on 'Ah vous dirai-je, Maman.'” Listen to his variations here.

January 26, 2010





Today commemorates the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788. Almost 1,500 people were about the 11 ships of the fleet, most of them convicts, and their intent was to claim the land for Great Britain and start a convict settlement in what they called New South Wales.

This national holiday used to be called Foundation Day by some Australians—and Invasion Day by others! Of course, there were already people living in Australia before the First Fleet arrived. Some native Australian people (Australian Aborigines) have complained about celebrating the destruction of their culture by British colonization.

Despite the protests, Australia Day is celebrated all around the country, with parades, speeches, awards, music festivals, aerial displays, fireworks, and races (tall ships, surfers and even ferries race across Sydney Harbor, for example). In 1988, the bicentennial celebration, there was an elaborate reenactment of the First Fleet landing.

Strange and marvelous creatures!
Australia has some of the strangest mammals on the planet! Almost all the native mammals are marsupials, which means that they all have pouches in which mothers carry their young through early babyhood. On most continents there were marsupials and placental mammals, but the placental mammals were more successful and so marsupials died out. (The opossum of South America was the exception.) The placental mammals include just about every mammal you can think of – cats and dogs, cows and horses, giraffes and elephants, and many others. But in Australia, the placentals died out and the marsupials dominated the land, evolving into many different forms.

Other strange Australian critters include monotreme mammals, colorful reptiles, and flamboyant birds. See if you can match the names of Australian animals to their pictures (scroll down for the names):

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12





A. bandicoot

B. dingo

C. echidna

D. emu

E. kangaroo

F. koala

G. kookaburra

H. lyrebird

I. platypus

J. skink

K. thorny devil

L. wombat








ANSWERS: 1. L - wombat -- 2. E - kangaroo -- 3. J - skink -- 4. G - kookaburra -- 5. K - thorny devil -- 6. I - platypus -- 7. D -emu -- 8. C - echidna -- 9. A - bandicoot -- 10. F - koala -- 11. H - lyrebird -- 12. B - dingo

Make an
origami koala.

Make damper or damper dogs. There is a recipe here.

Color some pages (scroll down for Aussie animals!).

Speak Aussie! Did you know that when Aussies get out the barbie, they're not talking about a doll? In Australia, a barbie is a barbecue. Learn lots more Australian lingo here.

Sing the Kookaburra song! And be sure to click the audio file at the bottom to hear a kookaburra laugh!

How 'bout singing “
Waltz
ing Matilda”?


January 25, 2010

Burns Night – Scotland

This is the birthday of the poet Robert Burns, and many people in Scotland and around the world will be holding a Burns Supper to celebrate his life and works. (Actually, a Burns Supper can be held on the anniversary of the poet's death, July 21, or any time during the year. This is the most popular date for the event, however.)

Robert Burns lived from 1759 to 1796. Considered the national poet of Scotland, Burns wrote in the Scots language and in English. Some of his most famous pieces are “Auld Lang Syne” (sung by many worldwide on New Year's Eve), “A Red, Red Rose,” and “Tam o' Shanter.”

There is a standard format for a Burns supper:

  • Guests gather and mix informally.
  • The host gives a welcoming speech, and the event is declared “open.” Then the guests sit and a special grace (originally delivered by Burns) is said:
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.
  • The soup course is served: Scotch broth, potato soup, or Cock-a-Leekie.
  • Everyone stands as the main course, a haggis, is brought in to the accompaniment of bagpipes.
  • The host or another recites Burns' poem “Address to a Haggis.”
It starts like this (with sonsie meaning jolly or cheerful):
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
You know what a haggis is, right? It is a sheep's heart, liver, and lungs minced up with onion, oatmeal, suet, and spices and simmered in broth in the sheep's stomach for three hours. It's supposed to be really delicious...
(I'm not positive that I buy that, though...)
  • After the poem is recited, the haggis is toasted, and everyone sits down and eats. Additions to the haggis (the dark stuff pictured here) on the traditional Burns Supper menu are tatties (mashed potatoes, appearing their normal cream color here), mashed neeps (rutabagas, appearing yellow or pale orange here), and dessert.
  • After supper, people give speeches and toasts. First, everyone toasts the Queen, then guests remember Burns' life or poetry with either humorous or super-serious speeches, and everyone toasts Burns. Next there is often a short speech and toast “to the Lassies”—in other words, to women, followed by a reply to the toast to the Lassies (AKA the Toast to the Laddies).
  • Guests often sing songs written by Burns—or are entertained by singers hired for the event.
  • Closing; the host calls on guests to “give the vote of thanks,” stand, join hands, and sing “Auld Lang Syne.”
Read some of Burns' works, available under “Poems and Songs” here.
Notice that Scots words you may not know are hyperlinked to translations in several languages...Also, there are LOTS of other things to read at that website!

Find a family tartan (or plaid pattern), or explore the many established tartans here. There's even a way to design your own tartan!

Recipes and printables (coloring pages and puzzles) are available here.

More complicated (and cooler) coloring pages, meant for older kids, are available here...again, along with a lot of other neat stuff!

January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Maria Tallchief

The first American prima ballerina was born in Oklahoma on this day in 1925. Her father, a chief in the Osage Nation, and her Scots-Irish mother, named her Elizabeth Marie Tallchief.

Tallchief claims she was shy and docile as a child, but luckily she wasn't too shy to want to be a performer. According to Wikipedia, a career in the arts was a “challenging dream for a Native American child in those days.” Nevertheless, the family moved to Beverly Hills, California, and Tallchief studied ballet under Madame Nijinska. She premiered at the Hollywood Bowl, and at the young age of 17 she moved to New
York City, where she soon became a featured soloist.

Tallchief married choreographer George Balanchine, and her performances in his ballets, especially The Firebird, made her famous worldwide. Tallchief was also the first Sugarplum Fairy in Balanchine's version of The Nutcracker.

Enjoy this slide show about Maria Tallchief.

Do some dancing!

Here are some activities to get you started.

Watch some ballet...

...Using YouTube..This one is Tallchief herself, this is one bit from The Nutcracker, and this is a more modern take on ballet, from Center Stage.



Of course, there are other kinds of dance, too...

You've got to watch this! It's Gene Kelly tap
dancing on roller skates!

Here are a few classic dances: “Singing in the Rain,” Fred Astaire's famous “ceiling dance,” and a scene from American in Paris.


Check out dances from the hit show So You Think You Can Dance.

Here is a modern dance, and here is a hip hop dance.

Rent a dance movie

Find a list of the “Best Dance Movies” here and “Musicals Kids Can Dance To” here.