Reflecting on our Dance workshop

Our first input for “Teaching across the curriculum” for Expressive Arts was a workshop with Eilidh Slattery. Before going in I did feel nervous as to what we would be tasked with however I felt I had at least an idea of dance within the classroom. My previous work experiences have involved a lot of dance activities, especially around Christmas, as I have a background in dance as a hobby. However the workshop today opened my eyes to certain aspects of planning dance activities for a class and how many different ways you can involve dance and creativity (without having to get up and perform yourself).

One thing I particularly took into consideration was the way in which Eilidh asked us to think of ways to move across the room meant that it was accessible to all learners. A dance centred lesson does not have to be learning a routine or a certain dance style but learning and creating different ways your body can move. This can also link into health and wellbeing; connecting the lesson to learning about the body or the importance of being active. There are so many opportunities for active cross-curricular learning which I didn’t quite grasp before.

I also noticed that a lot of us became more comfortable to participate as the workshop went on as we were feeling rather nervous and awkward at the beginning. This is a perfect reflection of what dance can do for children’s confidence. As they begin to enjoy themselves and focus in on creating a movement or sequence they forget about any embarrassment they may have felt.

Looking forward to placement I am now starting to understand more of the pedagogy behind the curricular areas. The small details around planning a dance lesson that allow it to run smoothly were really interesting. Moreover all the different ways it could go wrong were especially helpful!

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