Connecting Gross-motor Movement, Dance, and Mathematics in the Elementary Curriculum

Virginia Usnick and Marilyn Sue Ford
Renaissance Banff: Mathematics, Music, Art, Culture (2005)
Pages 521–522


A group of teachers in a week-long workshop designed to help them connect mathematics and art was asked to name three artists. No teacher named Baryshnikov, Tallchief, or Astaire. In fact, no dancers were mentioned at all. The most commonly identified artist was Van Gogh, followed closely by Monet. In a distance third was Picasso with Escher in fourth. Frank Lloyd Wright’s name appeared twice and Mozart, Joplin, McCartney, and Homer each appeared once. Homer was the only literary artist listed. One teacher mentioned her aunt who, she stated, “dabbles” in painting. Of the 20 individual artists named, 75% were best known as painters; few would be considered contemporary artists. It seems, at least for the majority of this group of teachers, that “art” refers to something visual, static, and possibly permanent; and that an “artist” may be someone already deceased. The possibility that art was visual but fluid and ephemeral did not arise and the idea that an artist might be contemporary or even a peer rarely occurred.