During my time as an elementary education major at Loyola University Chicago, I was offered a position as a K-2nd grade dance instructor at McCutcheon Elementary. After some students expressed disinterest in dance, I turned to culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP), a term that is coined by pedagogical scholar Gloria Ladson-Billings, to engage, educate, and inspire my students. I explain the criticality of practicing introspection on one's biases that may unconsciously hinder a student's academic growth. Further, one must brainstorm on how to insert education into the context of students' cultures. In the article, I ruminate how, through CRP, cultural competency, academic excellence, and social justice can be incorporated into dance instruction. I also reflect on how the beliefs of culturally relevant teachers, such as views on knowledge, community, and social relations, apply to myself and my dance class. I discuss the cultural value of music, the power of student choice and leadership, and how they lead to students' progressed interest in dance. I elaborate on a defining moment in my dance class in which CRP positively altered student engagement. I also explain my plans for utilizing CRP in my future academic elementary classroom and dance classes with the hope of not only cultivating student creativity and critical thinking but also shaping students to become progressive waymakers for the future.



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