I have had very minimal experiences with dance. Throughout school we never had classes devoted to dance specifically, it was more of an extra curricular that you signed up too, if you were interested in it. We obviously had the yearly Christmas cross country dancing, however this was never anyone’s favourite. Especially mine.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I found out we had a dance workshop. When I got there I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had. We were shown a variety of different videos that could aid us if we are asked to take a dance class. From this workshop I learned that you don’t have to be a professional dancer in order to take a class, in fact you didn’t have to have an experience with dance at all. All I needed was a positive attitude and a willingness to participate. I would have the same attitude if I was to teach a dance lesson to my class on my placement because I feel that if children see their teacher enthusiastic and willing to do something, they are more likely to act the same.
Before the workshop, I believed that dance was just another form of physical activity. Although it is, I can now see that it is also a lot more than that. It can be merged with all different aspects of the curriculum. For example Eilidh told us of a class that was studying Buddhism in R.M.E. So, for their dance lesson they looked at “Buddha with 1000 hands” and then used that template to create their own dance based on this. She expressed that they didn’t copy exactly what the dancers in that video did, instead they used their imagination to create there own modern interpretation of it. I would like to try and take this technique onto placement with me as not only can I use it to link dance to other subjects but also link a variety of subjects together e.g maths within p.e. I believe this is a very good and impactful teaching skill to have as it helps children understand all areas of the curriculum, in a number of different ways.
During the workshop Eilidh gave a us a number of techniques that not only helped the class get involved but also helped to keep them engaged, for example, when taking a warm-up you pass the power to one of the pupils and they take part of the warm up, then it continues round a number of pupils. This gives the children the opportunity to show everyone their ideas and also have loads of fun. It can also help with confidence and leadership. If a child sees everyone smiling when they are copying the moves that they made up it can really boost self-esteem and make them more willing to participate. I will try and take these ideas with me on my placement as I can really see how they would help my class lesson.
Overall I found the workshop to be very beneficial to my learning. Before the workshop I wouldn’t off known where to start if I had to take a dance class on my placement. Now I would feel confident if I am asked to take one as I know what is expected and what I can do to provide a lesson to a class that is not only fun but also benefits the children’s learning.