I have loved dancing from a young age. I started ballet classes at aged three and ended up completing my grade 8 ballet exam last year. It’s always been part of my life, so I was eager to get going with the dance input that we had. I got it in to my head that it was going to be similar to the dancing I had always done, but obviously it wasn’t. I was thrown off guard, into a situation I didn’t feel comfortable – I felt all my enthusiasm and confidence completely drain from me. Ultimately though I took this as a positive learning experience as I felt it allowed me to connect with any child who struggles in confidence when it comes to dance, or any form of Physical activity in school.
Dancing isn’t just about the physical dancing either. Linked fully in with the curriculum as a physical activity, it gets your pupils out of their seats and participating in a lesson where they are being active, thereby contributing to their own health and wellbeing. This has shown me that all areas of the curriculum are linked together, and although dance isn’t seen as a likely contender, it is actually very important in different areas across the curriculum for excellence such as PE and more desk-based work such as literacy, where children can relate their feelings and enjoyment towards dance onto creative stories.
Putting yourself in the children’s shoes is important as a teacher, in order to get the lessons right for everyone. The whole way through the dance input, I kept addressing concepts such as how the children would feel in the lesson, how they would react to the activity and how this would be beneficial to their learning. You see dance from a completely different perspective when it comes to teaching it. I was able to put my teacher head on to understand and appreciate the importance of teaching children about movement and rhythm from a young age, as this will stay with them as they grow into more confident learners. The workshop has ultimately allowed me to start thinking about teaching dance and to begin meeting identified Experiences and Outcomes such as:
- I enjoy creating short dance sequences, using travel, turn, jump, gesture, pause and fall, within safe practice. EXA 1-08a
Ultimately, from the input I will take forward to placement the concept of highlighting the importance of creativity in children and young people’s learning. It is so important that the children in the classroom are aware of how dance is related to other areas of the curriculum and to their future learning. Linking it with other topics of the curriculum that you are studying in the class such as Religious and Moral education: using this as a stimulus for activities involving dance and movements will get the children thinking about and understanding the bigger picture. I will also take away the idea that the classroom is a safe space, where you as the teacher should make all children feel involved and confident enough in their own abilities and bodies to participate in the lesson. As the teacher, you must be the one that is enthusiastic to reflect the behaviour of your students. If you don’t have this, then you shouldn’t expect cooperation with the class and I have learnt the importance of this today -as I was guilty of not being the most enthusiastic. However, reflecting on it, I understand how I must have this confidence in order to gain enthusiasm and confidence from the pupils.