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I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Leisa Herrera (Mz. Doc) and the SoulDeevas in the winter of 2021. It was the middle of the pandemic and my Kindergarten-4th grade students could not sing safely or play instruments in music class. Instead, we were exploring body percussion and hand games as a way to make music safely. I contacted Dr. Herrera to inquire whether she could lead an assembly on the origins of Step Dancing, and teach a bit of stepping to our students. Dr. Herrera was responsive and thoughtful; she prepared a kid-friendly presentation on Step that was interactive for the students and featured videos showing the progression of Step from practices like Juba and Gumboot dancing. 

Dr. Herrera and the SoulDeevas also created a signature step for our students featuring our school name. She prepared different versions of the step for each grade level ensuring every student could feel successful. After the success of the assembly, I invited Dr. Herrera and Coach Hill to return (via zoom) for a more in-depth workshop with our 4th grade students, where they learned another step routine created just for them. The students loved this routine and worked on it every day at recess for a month!

Throughout our work together, Dr. Herrera was a responsive and natural collaborator - she was curious about what our students could already do and happy for suggestions on what might help them be more successful. I would highly recommend working with Dr. Herrera and the SoulDeevas to bring Step Dance into your school or community event.

 

Mary Beth Alexander, Director of Lower School Music

The Nightingale-Bamford School

New York, NY