Why Dance in School?

Vassar Road Elementary School special.

Our Work in India 

Excerpts from the Calico Ball.


The Vanaver Caravan has been teaching dance and music to students (K-12, and college age) for more than 30 years. We bring movement right into the classroom. We do not simply teach the steps of a dance, we teach the stories behind the dances—linking to history, folklore, social movements, and cultural traditions.

Caravan directors, Bill and Livia Vanaver, have researched and compiled one of the most extensive collections of international and American dance and music in the world. Our international collective of highly professional Teaching Artists are trained with an extensive repertoire of world dances. Many of our dancers are world renowned virtuoso specialists in their own field as well.


School programs can be developed for a specific geographic area a class is studying. Our vast dance repertoire allows your school’s teachers and administrators to choose from a diverse selection of dance styles in order to develop the best program curriculum for your students. We teach all ages, grades, and abilities, and we will tailor our program to the needs and requests of the school.

School programs can be set-up throughout the school year at the request of a parent, teacher, or administrator. We tailor our programming to fit the needs of each school.

Benefits & Offerings

  • Students gain a deep, full-bodied understanding of the cultural traditions, dance styles, music and mythology of the region they study.

  • Studies have shown that moving or dancing throughout the school day increases students' mental stamina, grow in emotional intelligence and maturity, and cooperate within the classroom.

  • We have found that students who take part in our school dance residency programs experience an exponential increased understanding in what we call “The Five C’s”:

  1. Celebration of Diversity

  2. Cultural Awareness

  3. Community Building

  4. Character Growth

  5. Creative Expression

  • The Vanaver Caravan offers the option of facilitating a culminating festival of world dance & music to celebrate student achievements with their classmates, parents, and school community. 

  • The surrounding community is given the opportunity to witness, celebrate, and learn about diverse cultures through riveting performances of global dance and music.

  • TVC can also facilitate professional development courses and debriefing sessions with teachers and administrators.

    • Teachers will be trained in our enlightening, holistic teaching methods, learning specific exercises which foster a more wholesome, enriching, and valuable teacher/student relationship within the classroom.

    • Teachers will gain valuable techniques in classroom management.

    • Our methods of keeping students focused and disciplined are positive and respectful. We allow students the space to grow and truly learn in a “Serious Fun” environment which fosters creative thinking & curiosity.

    • Our techniques have saved student/teacher relationships and have helped create a classroom atmosphere where learning can be fun for everyone, and still be taken seriously. 

    • Teachers will have the opportunity to learn a series of folk dance styles and choreography techniques which can then be applied / linked to a broader curriculum of global / social studies, world history and heritage.

Where We Teach

USA: The CALICO BALL, in collaboration with Pete Seeger, at the Beacon City Schools (26 years Arlington High School, Red Hook Central Schools), Traver Road Elementary School, Katonah Elementary School, New Paltz Central Schools, Hagan Elementary School, Vassar Road School, Rondout Central School District, Hewlett Elementary, Ellenville Central Schools, Kingston City Schools, Onteora Central School District, High Meadow School, Woodstock Day School, Poughkeepsie Day School, Bank Street School for Children in NY, Academy for the Love of Learning, and Redlands Bowl School District in CA.

INDIA: Mahilla Mandall's Indigenous Girl's School, St. Paul's Senior Secondary School, Upli Badi School, and       St. Mary's Senior Secondary School in Udaipur, The Akiyam School in Auroville, and Happy Hours School in Jodhpur.

Browse our extensive dance repertoire

Set up a residency at your school today