When June Burch Heffernan’s kindergarten-age son began his first physical education unit on dance last year at Franklin Elementary School, his mother was appalled.
The school, like more than two dozen elementary schools across the Madison district, got students to move in part by plugging in “DanceDanceRevolution,” an electronic dance game set to a techno-pop beat, where students stomp on interactive pads and get feedback from a TV screen.
“Dance is a creative, human form. ‘DanceDanceRevolution’ is a video game,” said Burch Heffernan.
“It scores you. You’re facing a screen, not another human. And you’re not getting the inspiration to move from your own brain — it’s telling you via a screen in front of you where to stick your foot.”
So Heffernan, who has a background in theater and serves as the arts and culture chair for the Franklin Parent-Teacher Organization, decided to take action: She called in the ballerinas.