Visiting Programs

Ashley dancing with young movers at The Eric Carle Museum

Let The Center Dance Studio come to YOU! 

The Center’s unique, literacy-based movement curriculum is a wonderful complement to any early childhood program.

Drawing from academic/professional backgrounds in literature, dance and education, sisters Ashley and Caroline Carlisle offer a curriculum that encourages young children to flex their muscles and stretch their imaginations by enacting stories through movement. Blending spoken narrative and music, “Movement Stories” guide young dancers through the pages of picture books, inviting them to explore, experiment, reflect and respond.

Movement Stories are based on thoughtfully selected picture books representing a diversity of themes, experiences and perspectives. Each Movement Story narrative adapts, extends upon, or reimagines aspects of the original work, sometimes moving the plot forward, sometimes pulling a minor character into the spotlight, sometimes simply borrowing a story’s central theme. They provide gentle guided inquiry and instruction, while holding space for exploration, innovation and play. Informed by the scope and sequence outlined in the NYC Department of Education’s Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance, our Movement Stories support the development of critical motor skills; promote kinesthetic awareness; provide opportunities for social-emotional learning, and nurture a deep appreciation for literature. 

“Your program fosters empathy!” parents have observed. It does! By stepping into the shoes of picture book characters, children tap into new emotional landscapes and embody diverse experiences.

“This is exactly the kind of gross motor play I prescribe for my patients,” a school-based occupational therapist recently told us. Indeed, our program is designed to promote core strength, coordination and mobility. Influenced by the work of seminal dance educators, our curriculum brings children through a sequence of foundational movement patterns that integrate the mind and body, promoting focus and emotional regulation. 

“My shy child blossoms in these classes!” we often hear. Or, “I’ve never seen my daughter so engaged.” Yes – we see this, too! Our program appeals to children of all temperaments, physical abilities and learning styles.

Our programming is is perfect for:

  • Preschools and elementary schools
  • Libraries 
  • Family centers 
  • Museums
  • Outdoor festivals and farmers markets
  • Summer camps

The Center Dance: where we’re not just spinning; we’re spinning stories! 

Please email Ashley and Caddy at, or call 413-687-7953 to book your visit!