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St. Paul


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Block, Dani Friedman

Email: danielle.friedman@spps.org

Phone: 651-293-8690

Mrs. Block

 I’m Mrs. Dani Friedman Block (she/her/hers), the dance specialist at Global Arts Plus, working with grades 5-8. I am so excited to be starting my 12th year here at GAP!

 I grew up in South Dakota, and moved to Minnesota to attend college at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Here I met the professor that inspired me to become a dance educator! I love to dance and have performed with groups around Mankato and the Twin Cities.

 In dance, we will be working with The Elements of Dance: Body, Action, Space, Time, and Energy, or B.A.S.T.E. Students will use these elements not only to create dance, but also to discuss and respond to it. Students of all grade levels will collaborate together to create and perform their dances.

In Middle School, students will have the opportunity to learn different dance styles such as Modern, Jazz, Tap, and Afro-Caribbean.  They will also get the opportunities to view local dance companies in action. This year Middle school students may also be working with guest artist from the Dance Without Barriers program through the Cowels Center.


Let’s make it a GREAT year!

Mrs. Block


Please reach out with any questions: danielle.friedman@spps.org




(Words taken and edited from http://www.runbare.com/10-reasons-to-go-barefoot)

Increased muscle toneBarefoot walking helps give you abs of steel.  When you’re not supported by your shoes, you have to do the work of balancing yourself. This comes directly from engaging your core muscles (abs and back) and creating a wall of strength in your midsection. Legs will gain better tone and balance as well as symmetrical strength since they’re forced to do the job of supporting you, rather than your shoes.

Better posture. The stronger your feet and core, the taller and lighter you will stand. When you go barefoot, you naturally start to stand and walk more like a dancer, tall and light, elongating the entire body and straightening the spine. Look like a Julliard scholar without the torture of becoming one!

Stronger feet. Why would you want stronger feet? There are lots of reasons. Want to grow arches where you once had none? Want to reduce bunions and straighten out your toes? Want feet that no longer ache at the end of the day, but feel like they could go on effortlessly step after step? Gradually working into barefoot running (or walking) helps strengthen every muscle of your feet and lower legs.  Through this natural process your foot transforms into the healthiest, pain-free version of itself.

Better balance. No matter how fit we are, we’re all concerned about tripping, falling or twisting an ankle.  When we’re barefoot or in more minimalist shoes, we feel the ground better, giving our brains more information to prevent falls and better handle challenges coming our way. The feet can now communicate better with the brain, helping the entire balance mechanism of the body (vestibular system).