The Dancing Moose Difference

Low student to teacher ratios

Credentialed early childhood teachers

Art and science integrated into daily lessons

Hot lunch and snacks prepared from scratch

Extensive garden program

Study of cultures around the world

Rigorous curriculum that incorporates common core objectives

Extensive extra-curricular programs

What makes DMMS different from other preschools, primary schools, and daycares?

Montessori education focuses on the whole child. It involves sound educational practices that build upon a child's knowledge with activities that are interesting and engaging. Children learn to approach learning creatively, observing their surroundings in ways that challenge what others may see as mundane and commonplace. The Dancing Moose Montessori classroom is filled with beautiful materials designed to teach concrete lessons that precede abstract conceptualization. The environment is conducive to freedom and spontaneity because ethics of peace, order, and respect are upheld in the classroom community.

The Whole Child

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The focus on the whole child is a focus on every aspect of the individual-cognitive and physical development, feelings, emotions, and relationships in and outside of school. A

prominent shortcoming of traditional educational programs is that they define the child narrowly-in terms of measurable objectives. They fail to emphasize that learning is more than quantifiable data; it is conceptualizations derived from a child's interacting with his or her environment.

Sound Educational Practices

Sound educational programs move beyond standardized objectives to customized learning that builds upon children's experiences. Sound educational programs support deep and meaningful lessons that build upon one another. These programs recognize that children learn differently and at different paces. They value what Howard Gardner termed multiple intelligences, including aptitudes in music, art, movement, as well as literacy, math, and science. Sound educational programs do not isolate subjects as though they are discreet units that are unrelated; rather, they combine the myriad of subjects that have thematic connections. These programs require small student-to-teacher ratios, which allow for individualized attention. Dancing Moose Montessori School (DMMS) was established to provide a sound education with all the ideals of individualized learning at the most critical period of a child's life-the preschool, Kindergarten, and primary grades.



The name Dancing Moose Montessori School is connected to the founders' philosophical beliefs about curriculum. It emphasizes the creative lens that might be applied to nature. A moose, indigenous to Utah, may be seen simply as a long-legged rather awkward animal. For others, though, this magnificent animal moving swiftly through the wooded mountains might indeed be perceived as a dancing moose. DMMS encourages the creative, free-flowing ideas that individuals bring to the curriculum. Creative expression is applied to every aspect of the DMMS curriculum.

pink tower copyMontessori Materials

Montessori materials are the central focus of the Dancing Moose curriculum. Children enjoy holding the beautiful pieces and manipulating them in ways that are logical and meaningful. Teachers are always present and available to demonstrate the names of the material and strategies to manipulate pieces to form logical connections, but they do not interrupt children as they work. Instead, teachers present materials, assist children in working with them, then observe and take notes on how children proceed. Most of the materials are self correcting, so if a child is not manipulating the materials toward logical sequencing and productive outcomes, the child is able to make adjustments. Nevertheless, when teachers observe that a child is having some difficulty, they designate another opportunity to work with the child and the materials. Each set of Montessori materials is designed to enhance children's ability to see logical and meaningful relationships that lead to abstract conceptualization. Activities combine subjects to emphasize that children do not experience life as discreet entities; rather, they learn that life is comprised of integrated skills and understandings.

Social Relationships and Practical Life Activities

The social aspect of a child's being is important for his or her basic satisfaction with the relationships that govern communities. As part of children's Montessori experience, they learn to listen, observe, and engage others cooperatively and respectfully, appreciating the value of their own skills and the skills of others. They learn to communicate effectively and to expect that others will listen to and value them-essential skills that facilitate order in their lives outside of school as well as in the classroom. Children enjoy participating in practical life activities that are fundamental to their day-to-day existence. They learn that an orderly environment eases tension and frees their minds to work creatively.

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Movement is not reserved for the playground at DMMS. Children enjoy movement as integral to all curricular subjects. Children move freely around the classroom to select materials to work with, putting the materials back on the shelf when they are finished. They enjoy walking the Montessori circle as an activity that promotes relaxation and reflection. Children learn to get in touch with their own feelings and the feelings of others as they experience both independent and cooperative activities. DMMS's multi-purpose room is designated for big movement activities that require a large space, such as dance, yoga, karate, and gymnastics.

Active Learning 

The key word for Montessori education at DMMS is active. Learning is an active process of discovery and connection of concepts that build upon one another. Children are always at the center of activity. There is no big chair in the front of the room where the teacher acts as a fountain of knowledge; rather, knowledge is everywhere, accessible to all as an exciting and challenging venture. At DMMS the term child-centered education is accurate and highly esteemed.

The Montessori Learning Circle

It is not surprising to see a circle drawn on the floor as a standard feature of a Montessori classroom. A circle is a continuous connection that leads back to its starting place. It is an appropriate representation of the Montessori method because learning in a Montessori classroom is never linear. The objective of learning is not to reach an end point. Instead, learning is a spiral process where knowledge enhances understanding; and each time an individual engages in a new beginning in his or her spiral progression, the beginning point is new and enriched. In other words, learning is a process of enhancing one's understanding, and the process changes the individual into a more discerning and more capable being. The process of acquiring knowledge and understanding always leaves the individual with a desire to know more and understand better.

What Our Parents Say

  • Jamie & Ken B:  Too many great things to narrow it down to just a few lines! But we'll try!  We love that all the teachers and administrators are always smiling and positive - it sets the stage for a great learning environment for our child and let's us know that they truly care about all the children.

  • Keith W:  Moving here from the east coast, we were concerned about finding the proper level of education for our daughter. Dancing Moose was just opening and when we did our tour, Dr. Joyce impressed me with her professionalism,enthusiasm, and academic prowess. We started our daughter in the toddler class and never looked back. Now, four years later we have both our children in Dancing Moose and could not be more pleased. Not only is the education second to none, and I would apply that not to only utah, but the entire country, the family atmosphere is phenomenal. I would recommend Dancing Moose to all toddler to 2nd grade children.  I can not understand why anybody would go anywhere else.

  • Alexis J:  Aislynn loves going to school at Dancing Moose, she's excited every day to tell me or any other adult near her what she did in school that day.  I love the flexibility the teachers are allowed, how every student gets to work at their own pace and none of them seem overwhelmed or bored.

  • Cherie M:  I commute everyday to the Dancing Moose, usually about 20 minutes each way from my Holladay home. Though commuting is not my favorite activity, I have found it is worth every second of my time. My son, Liam Emsley, is so happy when I pick him up and drop him off, sometimes I have to convince him it is time to leave school and go home! The state of the art facility is top notch, the teachers are warm and friendly, the school lunch/snack program is the best I found when I was researching school options. Needless to say, I am a big fan of the Dancing Moose!

  • Michelle M:  Our family loves the Dancing Moose Montessori for so many reasons.  The most important reason, is that our son absolutely loves his teachers and the other staff. We love the diversity and acceptance of students and staff and we also love that the Moose is community oriented and working on a "green" future. 

  • Shannon C:  Transplants to UT from OR.  This is our second year at DMM.  We feel safe, comfortable, love coming to school everyday to learn from a FANTASTIC curriculum,  really enjoy the flavors from Chef Renee, organic gardening and most of all the consistent unconditional love from each teacher with our little ones!  Thank you Dancing Moose for providing my children a great early childhood educational experience!

  • Christian M:  Dancing Moose distinguishes itself in the quality of academic education the school provides to young children, and also in the environment it creates for learning to occur.  Perhaps most-importantly, our son loves it!

  • Chris P:  Some of the things I like best about Dancing Moose have nothing to do with what goes on in the classroom.  I like that the place is wind powered, has a community garden and has a chef making food from scratch every day.  These are manifestations of values which I hold dear.  I am happy that Dancing Moose shares these values.

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