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Come Dance with Us Review by Donna CamposDolores Ormandy
The First Wave, LLC
PO Box 1038
New York, NY 10024
Come Dance with Us is a single audio CD that can be played in a CD Player or your home computer. It comes in a plastic CD case, and the back cover lists all the included songs and their length. The songs cover a broad range of subjects, including the body, emotions, farm, letters, counting, continents, a train ride, and more. The performance is well done, and the songs are fun as the children move through various environments, dance with a monkey, imagine visiting a farm, sing along with a teacher, and even take a train ride. The CD begins with "Mr. Jack" introducing himself and telling the children he is going to tell them a story. The narrated story line continues throughout the CD. There are a total of 22 child-friendly musical pieces, ranging in length from 29 seconds to 4 minutes and 34 seconds. Most songs are between one and two minutes. The next-to-last song ("Bye Bye") provides closure to the imaginative journey that the listener has enjoyed.
Our preschoolers enjoyed the songs very much. They marched around the island in the kitchen as I listened while cooking, and although they did not actually sing along, they definitely enjoyed the music. An insert with the lyrics would have been a tremendous help, as some of the words were difficult to understand. Going to school is referenced as the children get up to feed the animals with their mother before heading to school. The "Star Dance" song references counting colored stars, but there is no visual representation. Perhaps a poster would have helped. Creative homeschoolers could have children create a picture to go with the song. The playful song "North America" includes underwater singing portions that are incredibly enjoyable for children of all ages while still being educational. In contrast, "Sixty Seconds" plays in a style of children responding to a teacher as she names facts about time, days, and months. Both of these songs will be enjoyed by elementary students as well as preschoolers. There is one song in which the children notice the monkey looks "a little like them, but the monkey has fur and a tail. Of course, we do not have fur and a tail." I was not sure why a comment like that was included, but we stressed with our children as they listened that monkeys are very different from people, and both were created by God with qualities specific to them.
There is no reference to God, Creationism, or any type of faith at all in "Come Dance with Us." We found this disappointing, as many of the songs could have easily included faith-based aspects. "Peace Be with You" uses the word "grace," but is one of the shortest songs and does not reference God. The final song is titled "I've a Feeling." The end of it is very difficult to understand and made me desperate for the written lyrics. Even after listening to it repeatedly, I was unable to decipher the last few phrases and finally gave up.
Overall, Come Dance with Us includes beautiful music, generally playful lyrics, and some educational value. But we found it lacking for regular use in our home. Our preschoolers loved the train song and enjoyed a few of the others. We will listen to those songs specifically without listening to the entire CD, but our music library is too particular to have made this purchase. The CD is not offensive in any way; it simply lacks the inclusion of God we prefer to enjoy.