Jubilation Fellow Martita Goshen with students

Martita Goshen

New York NY
Fellowship: 2013

“Dance brings the world together,” says Martita, a classically trained dancer, long time teaching artist, and good will ambassador for joyful movement. “The sound of the wind, the touch of the sun, and the breath of the dancer: that’s how world peace happens.”

Since 1981, focusing on grades K-3, Martita has used creative movement to stimulate “both the imagination and the muscles.” She believes that second and third grade are seminal years to reach kids. “You’re gonna lose a lotta children if you don’t get arts education into them by then,” she says. “I create dance workshops and school residencies that foster an understanding of the sciences; and improve physical strength, self esteem, and ecological literacy.”

A typical class with Martita? “Let’s take a breath,” she says, after moving desks and chairs to create an open space. Then comes sound, “maybe a Tibetan bell,” she says. “When you move, you can be the music. The movement vocabulary is in the music.”

Harmony is her philosophy, one she carries with her into the classroom. Martita teaches children to think about and be aware of three threads of harmony:

  1. Learn to follow your golden thread of ancient wisdom: “We are all connected to nature and nature to us, as in ancient cultures.”
  2. Know your roots: “Be prepared for a renaissance, a daily rebirth, so you can find your inner and outer landscape.”
  3. Work in partnership: “While traveling in pods like dolphins and whales, we have to listen to each other and be sensitive to each other.”

Martita helps kids translate their feelings into dance. Small groups of students choreograph their own pieces and perform them for each other. “To put these songs and dances into the world is pure joy,” she says. “Dance should come from your inside, out. Your feet are extensions of your heart.”

Having spent part of her childhood in the Amazon with the Guarani people, Martita brings their sensitivity to the natural world to urban schools in New York. “That’s how I pay rent to the Earth,” she says. “I give children and their teachers another way to live and deal with our often violent culture. Music and dancing, such rich forms of authentic expression, are vital now, more then ever. We are surrounded by chaos; there is no need for half the drama! But if we are our authentic selves, then we are all connected.”


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