Our afternoon program is like a big play date and children often ask to stay even when their parents can pick them up at 1pm! And those who do use our afternoon program frequently beg to stay longer when their parents arrive.

The afternoon begins at 1:15 with stories followed by an hour of quiet rest time. After rest time, children may create with our art and recycled materials, read in the library, work on puzzles and games or play in the open space and tree house. Once everyone has awakened and had a snack, there is playtime in the outdoor playscape.

In addition, we offer Drama and World Dance classes from 1:30-2:30. These classes are held weekly for six eight-week sessions with a goal of every interested child being able to participate in at least one session of each during the year. An additional fee is charged for drama and world dance.

Drama with Sonya Shaw

The Drama curriculum is designed to provide opportunities for each student to develop creativity, cooperation, problem solving and critical thinking skills. By taking creative risks in a supportive environment, they will build self confidence. All activities are geared toward the preschool mindset. It is intended that their experience be a joyful one—possibly one that sparks a lifelong curiosity and passion for drama... Well, maybe not one with too much drama!

Sonya has been working with children for 11+ years in multi-disciplined performing arts classes. Currently she works in children's theatre as both a director and choreographer. For 7 years she performed as a vocalist/lyricist in the band Maximum Coherence, during which appeared live on radio and television, recorded 3 albums, and performed at fun venues such as the SXSW Festival in Austin, TX; Favorite roles include playing Victoria in Women and Wallace at Denver Civic Theatre and Mrs. Peachum in The Beggars Opera. Other favorites are appearing in the operas, Ballad of Baby Doe and Marriage of Figaro. After a brief stint as Props Mistress for the Colorado Lyric Festival she developed utter respect and appreciation for the unsung heroes of theatre—the stage crew! Sonya earned a Bachelors of Music in Voice Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Studies include classical voice; acting; technical and performance theatre; ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance; piano; creative writing.

Certification: Instruction of Dance and Gymnastics from Dance Associates in Austin, Texas

World Dance with Marissa Baratian

The World Dance program integrates dance skills development, self-expression through movement, dancing in community, and increased global awareness. Marissa teaches through a combination of directed instruction and encouragement of freestyle expression. Through developing and strengthening movement skills children build a foundation for their own expression of dance. Dancing also supports physical development, brain development, and spatial awareness. Wow! It really does all that AND its fun!

When we dance together we build community through having fun together, nonverbal communication, and learning how to move in the same space and in relationship to each other. Children become each other's teachers as we collaborate in the dance.

Since 2007, Marissa has been bringing the flavor of her rich travel experiences to World Dance. Having twice spent a month studying traditional dance in Guinea West Africa and 20 years in Seattle classes, this is by far her area of specialization. An avid traveler, Marissa has also journeyed to Greece, Turkey, Ireland, Bali Indonesia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Hawaii — often studying dance where she ventures. Marissa is a student of cultural dances and is deeply grateful to her many teachers. She highly encourages all her students to learn more about these dances from experts, especially ones from the dance's heritage. See Honoring Cultures.

As a dance instructor for young children, Marissa passionately believes in giving children exposure to a greater awareness of their global community through sharing dances from around the world. She has studied many dance forms since she was a child including Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Breakdancing and as an adult Modern, West African, Polynesian, Cuban, Brazilian and Bollywood. Marissa has taught children's ballet, tap, jazz, and creative dance. She currently teaches World Dance classes for preschool-2nd grade.

Marissa has studied Creative Dance and Brain Dance with Anne Green Gilbert and Terry Goetz and Creative Movement with Eric Johnson. She has been a member of Dance Educators Association of Washington and National Dance Educators Organization and values attending conferences for continuing education.

Marissa received a BS in Family Community Services from Michigan State University in 1992. She has worked with children in various settings for the past 28 years, and is especially grateful for her experience gained as a preschool teacher from 1997-2014 at New Discovery School in Seattle.