Tim Van Egmond
About Tim Van Egmond
Tim Van Egmond remembers going to square dances with his parents when he was 5 years old, playing in the bleachers until he could join in on a dance that theyâ€™d do for kids. It must have had a big influence on him, because when he discovered traditional dance and singing games in his early twenties he felt like heâ€™d come home. He went on to become a talented and energetic dance caller and musician, with over 30 years of experience. Heâ€™s taken a special interest in singing games and dances for children and families. Early on, he learned and collected singing games in Dance Weeks at Pinewoods Dance Camp near Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts and at Augusta Heritage Arts Workshop in Elkins, West Virginia, as well as attending special workshops and Folk Festivals. For many years, he's included singing games in school residencies under VSA Massachusetts, working as a teaching artist in special needs and inclusion settings. Heâ€™s been in demand to lead dances for families and children at many schools and community series, from the hills of West Virginia to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Tim says "My role as a teaching artist is to help students explore and express their own creative potential while sparking their learning and development, and in the process pass on the joy and excitement in my art form. Singing games are powerful in engaging young children and helping them acquire preliteracy and language skills - by building phonological awareness with rhyming words, and through learning and using new vocabulary. The movement activities in my program encourage social and emotional development by fostering cooperation and community. It's been a great privilege in my work with students to see them 'light up' with new understandings."