Artist Details


Jan Abramovitz, PhD / The Vibrant Classroom

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Dance is the language of movement.

It is a language that our students already have a vocabulary for.

Classroom Creative Movement is designed for the limited spatial constraints of the classroom.

Classroom Creative Movement can be used to teach content and deepen understanding on any academic subject.

Classroom Creative Movement is particularly effective at motivating and engaging kinesthetic learners.

Classroom Creative Movement uses the discipline of dance to teach students to focus and increase attention.

Classroom Creative Movement guides students as they explore connections to their body, self space and stillness.

Classroom Creative Movement immerses students in collaborative and team building activities.

Classroom Creative Movement develops problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Classroom Creative Movement gives students specific tools that they can use to prepare themselves to learn.


Contact: Jan Abramovitz, PhD / The Vibrant Classroom
Phone: (503) 289-7972

Join Dr. Jan “Yon” Abramovitz as he integrates the highlights of his research on kinesthetic learning with classroom tested activities from his twenty five years of teaching. Honored with both the Washington Alliance Dance Division Award as well as the Northwest Region Dance Teacher of the Year, Mr. A. (as his students typically refer to him) has introduced thousands of students and teachers both nationally and internationally to the classroom benefits of dance and movement. Currently a teacher trainer for PSU, OSU and WSU, Dr. Abramovitz offers engaging, fast paced workshops and residencies designed to introduce students and educate teachers on how to use movement as a vehicle for teaching the academic curriculum.

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Examples of programs or work with students:

While the Vibrant Classroom philosophy is to individually design each residency in collaboration with the schools and teachers, following are some examples of residencies from this past year.


Teaching Kids to Focus

One of Dr. Abramovitz's most requested workshop series this past year combined an introduction to brain anatomy (developmentally appropriate for K-5) with hands on activities for using movement to develop focus in the classroom.   Drawing on activities from Brain Gym, Ideokinesis and Dance, Dr. Abramovitz presented a number of techniques to help students increase their attention, listening and comprehension skills. Student sessions were then followed by after school "de-brief" sessions in which  teachers learned how to develop the activities that were modeled earlier in the day.


Safe, Responsible, Respectful - Building School Community with the Movement Arts

This residency was designed for a group of teachers (K-6) who wanted to learn to use the movement arts to improve student motivation and build community at their school. Dr. Abramovitz visited each teacher's classroom once a month for five months modeling classroom movement management and arts integration techniques. After each set of student lessons, Dr. Abramovitz led the teachers in an after-school professional development workshop exploring the movement methods that were used with the students in the classroom. During the interim month between visits, the teachers had the opportunity to design and implement their own classroom movement activities based on the monthly model.


Teaching the Six Writing Traits through Movement

In this residency, Dr. Abramovitz collaborated with a group of third grade teachers to improve their students' skill at rewriting and revision. Prior to Dr. Abramovitz's visit the teachers had each student write a paragraph. Then the students participated in a movement experience devoted to one of the Six Writing Traits. Following the visit, the students rewrote their paragraph with an eye toward the particular writing trait they had just studied. Particular traits that were studied were Ideas and Content, Organization, Voice, and Word Choice.

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Essential elements of art form:

In his work with students, Dr. Abramovitz targets six elements that integrate the qualitative aspects of dance and movement with the dimensions of student understanding. These include:


Focus - Movement and attention share the same neurological pathways.

Collaboration - Working with others is the foundation of the choreographic process.

Metaphor - The symbolic aspects of movement are the key to curricular integration.

Technique - Embodied learning develops coordination, flexibility, sequence, memory, balance, and fitness.

Expression - A student centered approach fosters student voice and agency.

Creativity - Problem solving within choreographic structures and limits helps students learn to make

aesthetic choices and decisions.

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Literacy and other curriculum connections:

As a former classroom teacher, Dr. Abramovitz can tailor Vibrant Classroom workshops to any or all academic curricula. Recent residencies have included: teaching the 6 writing traits through movement, reinforcing vocabulary and spelling, dancing antonyms and synonyms, moving parts of speech, the shape of freedom, and geometry in action.

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Collaborative planning:

All Vibrant Classroom workshops and residencies are co-created in consultation with the schools and teachers. All activities are designed to support the school's vision, classroom goals, and teacher’s specific curricular needs.

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Classroom engagement:

By the time children enter school, they already have a highly developed vocabulary of “pedestrian type” movements such as standing, sitting, walking, even scratching an elbow or raising a hand. The approach Dr. Abramovitz uses therefore, is not so much teaching specific dance steps, but rather channeling this kinesthetic knowledge that children already possess into subject specific outcomes. Not only is this approach to classroom movement fun and engaging, but it is also an excellent tool for classroom management!

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K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Dance, Literary Arts, Theater
Residency, Workshop
Health/PE, Language Arts, Mathematics, Multicultural, Science, Second Languages, Social Studies

100 level: Introduction to Right Brain Instructional Practice


Spring Reflection Colloquium, 2009-10


Spring Reflection Colloquium, 2010-11


200 level: Deepening Right Brain Instructional Practice


Spring Reflection Colloquium, 2011-12


300 level: Assessment of Student Learning in Arts Integration


Spring Reflection Colloquium, 2012-13


Teaching Artist PD 2014-15

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Planning and Reflection Meeting:  $65/hr

Classroom Teaching and Workshops  $85/hr (50 minutes teaching/ 10 minutes travel & set up)

Staff Development Session/Teacher Workshop (90 minutes): $165

Ten week residency with afternoon and evening performance for up to four classes: $3500


All fees are negotiable.

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Kristen Hilligas

Concord Elementary School, 4th
(503) 353-5400

Shelley Toon Hight, Education and Outreach Coordinator

Columbia Center for the Arts
(541) 490-9297

Becca Barlow, Music Teacher

Bridlemile Elementary School
(503) 916-6292

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The Right Brain Initiative is a program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, a 501(c)(3) arts services agency serving Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties, Oregon.