Chelsea Branch » Ms. Branch's Biography

Ms. Branch's Biography

Chelsea Branch is from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She attended Hope College in Holland, MI and graduated with a BA in Dance Education K-12 and a minor in English Education. Chelsea worked at Hamilton Elementary School as the dance and yoga teacher. During her years at Hamilton, she designed and implemented a PK-8 dance curriculum centered around National Arts Standards that created opportunities for student creativity and voices. Chelsea worked closely with classroom teachers to build arts integrated units in literacy, math, and science. Additionally, she assisted in leading SEL initiatives that greatly improved the climate and culture for students. Mindfulness is a core value in Chelsea‘s work with students and she was trained by Mindful Schools. Chelsea is passionate about sharing yoga and is certified in Yoga Calm, Rainbow Kids Yoga, and became a RYT 200 yoga teacher through Marianne Wells Yoga School in Costa Rica. 

In her free time, Chelsea loves to read fiction and memoirs, cook (although she’s not very skilled yet), and is a professional dancer and choreographer. Chelsea co-owns The Rooted Space, a dance studio in North Center and serves as the Kids' Business Coach for Guppy Tank, a grant and mentorship program for young entrepreneurs.  



Ms. Branch serves as a Kids Business Coach for Guppy Tank, a grant and mentorship program for kid businesses that give back. If your student has a business idea (no matter how small!), reach out to Ms. Branch or complete an online application to Guppy Tank here
Each day we end our dance class in K-2 with the "FUN" dance. It's our time to move and wriggle exactly how we want! This week, we grooved along to an awesome song, "Stand Up, Sit Down" by Patty Shukla. Try it out at home with your kids if you are looking for an energizing pick-me-up!
"From: Saliha • To: Everyone • I really liked how everyone was creative." 
Decatur dancers started our Shout Out graffiti wall today! At the end of each dance class, students can give shout outs to classmates or the whole class to share the compliments they've collected throughout the dance lesson.
Decatur students are already LOVING their new dance studio! This week we are getting to know how to care for our space, bodies, and dance safely. Thank you to everyone in the Decatur community who has made our sprung floors, mirrors, and sound system possible! Hooray to kicking off a new year in our beautiful dance studio and we cannot wait to host you for an in-studio in the future!

Interview with Our New Dance Teacher!

How LUCKY are we that we get to have Mr. Echevarria at our school next fall? The video interview conducted are all questions from our Decatur students. Thanks for submitting your awesome questions to allow us to get to know Mr. Echevarria! I can't wait to see what you create together next year!

Grace B.'s Dance Choreography Reflection During the Pandemic

Dance is communication. It can sometimes be healing, an outburst of emotion, and connection. Sixth graders took the time to choose three words about their time at home during the current pandemic and used dance to communicate their lives at that moment. Please take a minute to watch Grace B.'s choreography to her three words: lonely, hopeful, stressful. I know we can all connect to Grace's words and movement in some way during this time!
This week the sixth graders were reflecting on their learning in dance class throughout the year. Check out this impressive piece by Roy B. who painted someone that we studied in our arts integrated unit with Ballet and Social Studies, Misty Copeland! Amazing work, Roy!! I can't wait to get into the new Decatur Dance studio and hang this wonderful piece!

Newsies Choreography by Fourth Graders!

Fourth Graders have been studying the musical "Newsies" to learn how to use their voice to stand up for what's right. Recently, we have turned our attention to the number "Seize the Day" and the students created their own choreography. Check out these two students who decided to create their project together (remotely). Nice work!!
Decatur's K-3 students went on a virtual field trip to see "Peter and the Wolf." Before attending the ballet production, they learned about production elements and instrumentation with Ms. Schmittle and Ms. Branch. One reflection question was, "If you had the opportunity to design costumes, the lighting, or the sets for “Peter and the Wolf,” which would you choose and why?" Above is one example of a student who would take the opportunity to design costumes and drew out her one of her inspirational designs!
Third graders are diving into Fosse Choreography by learning one of our favorites from his repertoire, "Steam Heat." We have studied his life, his dance skills, and his inventive choreography and now we are going to learn this silly piece for ourselves! Since we aren't all together to use the black hats at Decatur, we all get to use whatever hats we want! Check out our exciting and crazy assortment of "Steam Heat" hats above! :) 

"Brave Ballerina" The Story of Janet Collins Read Aloud

Kindergarteners heard the story of Janet Collins in "Brave Ballerina" this week. Listen to this courageous woman's story about her journey as a dancer here. They used this response sheet to capture their ideas before and after the story was read aloud. I loved reading your thoughts, Kindergarteners!

Decatur students have been dealing with lots of big emotions since we haven't been at school together. The fifth graders have been working on a continuation of our yoga unit from when we were at school, and are reporting that the yoga practices online have been helping them feel calm, stretched out, and ready to face their day. 
Second Grade has started creating their own dance spaces in their homes for e-learning. Last week, students created maps of their space and this week they used three different types of pathways to start their own choreography. Can't wait for the next creative movement class where they will make these maps and pathways come to live through original choreography!!