OAKMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — Friday mornings at Oakman Elementary School look a little different these days. Instead of sleepy eyes flipping through a textbook, these students kick off the morning dancing.

The Walker County 5th-grade students are participating in a new course that focuses on dance and movement. It’s a partnership between the Athletic Arts Center and the Walker County Board of Education as part of a new program aimed to educate students on movement, dance and the arts.

“They learn about the dance standards, they learn about dance as an art form and also how dance relates to everything else that they are doing,” Maria Ross Campsey, Owner of Athletic Arts Center, said. “So really trying to keep it integrated in the things they are already working on and give them a sense of what it’s like to think like an artist.”

The curriculum was created by Athletic Arts Center Owner and Teaching Artist Maria Ross Campsey. It’s a nine-week program that teaches students how to think like an artist.

“Using creative movement to express things is dance as well. So to really open their eyes to dance and to be a movement creator even without technical knowledge in a specific genre I think is really important for them,” Campsey said.

The class is taught during Amanda Kennedy’s Science and Social Studies class. She said it’s great to see them apply this new skill to what they are learning in her class.

“Being able to see all the students get involved. Because you know a lot of things this student may not be able to do something but they’ve all been able to participate in this,” Kennedy said. “They really enjoy getting up, moving and incorporating that into their daily lessons.”