Monday, March 27, 2017

Rosemerry Hanian On The Development of Talent

In this 1985 installment of the "Talent Bank" column, I spoke with well-known area dance instructor Rosemerry Fuhrmann Hanian of Covington. According to her research and experience, learning how to dance opens up new areas of creativity, as well as improving reading ability. 

Click on the image below to enlarge the text for easier reading.

Thursday, May 9, 1985

Why do some children "catch on" to developing a certain talent and others prefer to do something else? Anything else? What is it that fires the imagination of some children to dedicate themselves to learning some kind of artistic expression, like painting or singing or dancing, while other kids get along without any such longing?

Rosemerry Hanian, creator and instructor of the local Dance Players, thinks she may have stumbled upon the answer, and it has been embodied into a dance per­formance which her dancers will present on Friday, May 17, at her dance studio. The presentation is called "The Dreamkeeper," and it involves the process which touches every human being, that first ex­posure to artistic expression, and how that exposure is responded to. The key factor is making a "dream" come alive in their minds and hearts and keeping that "dream" alive dur­ing the years of study and practice necessary to learn a craft, whether it be painting, singing or dancing.

Mrs. Hanian came back to Cov­ington, her home town, in 1968, star­ting up her "Dance Players" a year later, and each year bringing to young children an awareness of the beauty of dance, giving them a chance to dream their own dream. Each year, she also strives to bring in visiting dance experts, helping her students appreciate the scope of diversity of different types of dance.

Quite a few of her students have gone on to more intensive training; Nora Eddy is one good example, now studying modern dance in New York. Mrs. Hanian's field of exper­tise is East Indian dancing and some of that will be demonstrated this May 18 at an 8:00 p.m. performance at her Creative Dance Center.

The remarkable thing about learn­ing to dance, and this is what really excites Rosemerry, is that the exer­cises necessary in learning to dance are also very valuable in developing a child's reading aptitude and learn­ing readiness. Recent studies shown that the exercising of certain motor skills, such as jumping rope (impor­tant in dancing basics), also sharpens a child's ability to read by developing better hand eye coor­dination.

"I taught them the basic motor skills for rhythm and timing in the dance, not knowing it was also helping the rhythm of the eye in reading skills development," she said. "The dance exercises also help in increasing perception and skill in making judgements." She is work­ing with a person at the Headstart center now putting together a pro­gram on how dancing relates to im­proved keeness of mind and com­municating skills.

A standardized examination call­ed the "Santa Clara Reading Test" measures the motor skills necessary to developing good reading aptitude, and these are the very motor skills Rosemerry has been teaching for years in her basic dancing instruc­tion. It was a very pleasant surprise for her to find out that what she had been doing was also helping to ready her students for reading excellence.

As a result, Mrs. Hainan is now developing materials and preparing  workshops to show how dancing and reading are interrelated. The age range involves three to five year olds, pre-schoolers, where hand-eye coordination becomes very impor­tant for learning throughout the rest of their lives.

At that age, kids are very recep­tive to learning, she said, and danc­ing helps them to tap their own creativity and stimulate their own imaginations, improve their balance, better their coordination, and learn to focus their attention for a longer period of time.

"All that is part of the learning readiness," she said. And that learn­ing readiness may be why some children are eager to develop their own talents creatively and other children lack that spark, that dream, to express themselves ar­tistically. The children then grow up to be adults, always longing for a dream, but never really ready to engineer one of their own. Perhaps dancing does provide a key to that mystery.

For more information on Rosemerry Hanian, CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE.


Some of her students

Photos from an August, 1989, dance class for young ladies...