I thoroughly enjoyed our experience of dance on Friday morning. I had always had the idea of having fun exciting lessons with the children but wasn’t exactly sure on how to carry out a lesson effectively. I feel more confident to take a class like this now, I believe dance is important to engage with children’s learning. We started with a warm-up, where the teacher went through a couple of well-known songs and show which one got most of us engaged (tapping our feet, singing etc.) this indicated the most favoured song in the room, which everyone prefers moving to their favourite song! This instantly got us all smiling and laughing before the activity had begun. Next, the teacher had a plan for us, she explained we were going to do a dance routine to jailbird rock by Elvis. The first moves were instructed by the teacher (we were doing the waltz for 11 beats) we were they to create our own moves for the next 8 beats with our partner. This involves creativity and collaborative working. Then the teacher had us split into 4 groups (approx. 6 people in a group) each group were giving a line of the song where we had to create quick dance moves, this allowed us to interrupt the music to influence our dance. At the end, we all came together as a group and danced about for the instrumental part. I found that we felt a lot more comfortable with our peers as we were all acting silly together and it was a good laugh. This would also help promote positive relationships in the classroom.
The teaching tips given to us that lesson have boosted my confidence in delivering a dance lesson in schools. Such as allowing the children to decide which song they would prefer to dance too and listening to what they would like to do. I always find I must have the lesson planned exactly right before constructing a lesson, however, I know feel like if I have a basic plan then it can be improvised to suit the children better. I would like to build my confidence in dance further as I think it would be important for the children to see that the teacher is relaxed and confident in doing some silly, over the top actions as they would then feel comfortable to do the same. If they sense that the teacher feels uneasy or awkward they would be the same and the lesson would not be as effective.
Actions are the most engaging learning methods for children and young people as well as benefitting their physical health. I also believe that dance is an ideal method to use for the cross-curricular lesson. The styles of dance encouraged in the UK schools promotes the diversity of our changing population and other cultures. This can be linked with subjects such as social subjects for example. It is important as children can understand and celebrate our and other countries cultures.
Dance allows children to use their imagination and creativity as well as boosting their confidence and performing skills- which are essential key skills for life. A small activity including dance encourages children and motivates them to engage with the lesson plan, it can even get them started to work for the day as they see the fun side of learning. It allows them to expressive how they feel and who they are which is positive for their mental health in the classroom too.
The ‘Perciph Center for Arts Education’ declares: “Dance is the art form in which human movement becomes the medium for sensing, understanding, and communicating ideas, feelings, and experiences.”