Students Learn Continents Through Interpretive Dance

MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. (WOAY) – The West Virginia Dance Company visited a Mercer County elementary school on Monday.

Students at Lashmeet Matoaka Elementary School watched the dance company present a series of dances, collectively titled “Around the Blue Marble.”

The dancers performed different sets representing the continents. Students learned about African culture, European history, American art and more. Teachers said the different approach may reach some students better than traditional teaching methods.

“I just think it’s the movement [that] helps with their sensory system,” said preschool teacher Emily Hodovan. “They just enjoy seeing all that and experimenting with it. They’ve already been talking about how ‘I love when she jumped,’ and ‘I loved when they had the sticks.'”

When they got back to the classroom, students learned more about glass blowing from the dance company’s performance representing North America.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at