5 6 7…… DANCE!

I can’t think of anything in this world I am more passionate about than dance. It is literally everything. Understandably so, when I seen dance on the timetable I was ecstatic.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 02.58.42I’ve danced since the age of 3. I’ve been through phases of loving it and hating it – but I honestly don’t know where I would be without it. The places I’ve been and the experiences I’ve had through dancing are incredible, and I’d encourage anyone and everyone to give it a go.

I’ve seen all the sides of it, from different genres to the competition world, championships, shows, international performances, tattoos – you name it. Dance gave me the confidence to keep trying. If I was asked five years ago if I thought I’d be performing in the Royal Edinburgh Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 02.56.28Military Tattoo, or travelling to amazing places such as Oman, Sweden and Germany to perform – of course, my response would be “NO WAY I COULD NEVER DO THAT.” But yes, I did, and I now know that amazing things can be achieved with the right mindset and support.  How did I come to this, though? THROUGH DANCE!

Dance has more benefits than just learning correct technique. The social skills learnt are equally as important, especially to young children. They learn how to respect other dancers as well as their teacher/choreographer, and officials Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 03.00.30when in a competition setting. As a teacher with my own dance school, I thoroughly enjoy watching my students form relationships with each other and seeing their social skills strengthen along with their dancing. Not only that, but they learn to deal with success as well as failure (and how to deal with it), time management, and how to take on board corrections to practice in their own time. Nothing is more encouraging than seeing one of your pupils succeed, but at the same time just seeing them enjoying the process is amazing.

With my understanding of the Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes for Dance, I would put into place an exciting lesson for a primary 5 class, such as:

CfE Outcome: “I can explore and choose movements to create and present dance, developing my skills and techniques.” – EXA 2-08a

Learning Intentions: By the end of the lesson, I will be able to perform a short sequence I have choreographed myself using different actions, different levels and using different rhythms.

Success Criteria: To create a short sequence to music incorporating different levels, ways of travelling and different rhythms. (To develop this in the next two years, the introduction of motifs and choreographic devices such as canons, interpretation and repetition will build on the intentions of this lesson.)

Assessment: To assess if the pupils have achieved the success criteria I would have small groups present their work to their peers and make use of peer evaluation.

How will I achieve this: I will incorporate short activities aimed at introducing the three criterion for success, One activity will involve learning different ways to travel making good use of space across a room. Another will introduce how to incorporate different levels, and what can be done to make them effective. To develop an understanding of rhythm, I would use a clapping activity; simply clapping different rhythms, be it perfect rhythms, imperfect half beat rhythms – to music.

A positive experience of dance is key to enjoying it and I am extremely excited to bring it into my lessons in the primary.

Dancing is moving to the music without stepping on anyone’s toes, pretty much the same as life. ~Robert Brault

E-Portfolio tag: Expressive arts

16 thoughts on “5 6 7…… DANCE!

  1. Carys Boyle

    Hi there Lauren,
    I absolutely loved reading this post. Your passion or dance shines through and I know for a fact that this enthusiasm will be passed onto your pupils and they will love their dance lessons. #keepdancing

    1. Lauren Duncan Post author

      Thank you so so much for your comment Carys. I so, so hope I can effectively share my passion of dance with my students in a way they will find beneficial to their learning. Dance, always. X

  2. Amy Turner

    This is a fantastic post Lauren! I love that you have included your knowledge of CfE as this will be very important for professional development. You have also achieved so much through your dance, I am sure you will be able to apply this to your classroom very well. Well done!

    1. Lauren Duncan Post author

      Thank you, Amy! Yes, very important we begin to relate to CfE now rather than later! Here’s hoping, thank you!

  3. Katie Rebecca Whitham

    Lauren, I really liked this post because you have brought your own experiences and knowledge about dance into something that reads really well. Your experiences sound amazing! You have included pictures of yourself as well which I think is a really nice touch for the reader so they can see how passionate you are about dance and linked them into curriculum for excellence. Well done Lauren!!

    1. Lauren Duncan Post author

      Thank you so much, Katie-Rebecca! I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post. Thank you for your feedback! 🙂

  4. Rachel Billes

    Well done Lauren this is another great post. Your individual style is interesting to read because your character really shines through. I also like how you link to the CfE Outcomes to enhance your professional development. 🙂

  5. Zuleka Ismail

    This is a very interesting post which shows me how enthusiastic you are about dance. Personally, I was never into dance but from engaging in the workshop and reading your very convincing post I’m no longer as nervous to go into schools and teach dance.

    I found your picture which shows how dance improves the child in various areas really interesting.

    It’s also great that you have started to relate to CfE !

    1. Lauren Duncan Post author

      Thank you for your feedback Zuleka! It is always nice seeing someone enjoy something they haven’t been into before. If you ever need any pointers for dance lessons, let me know 🙂
      I’m glad you found my post positively convincing, and yes I found the picture very interesting too!
      Thank you again 🙂

  6. Claire-Emma

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Lauren, and your background in dance. You really have had a lot of experience in this area and I am sure you will find ways to make dance cross curricular and integrate it into your teaching practice. Everyone has one particular strength and passion, mine is music and I can see that yours is dance. It makes sense for us to use these strengths as well as learning all of these new skills whilst we develop our teaching practice.

    1. Lauren Duncan Post author

      No problem, Claire-Emma! Yes, I can’t wait to bring dance into my lessons, certainly with cross-curricular links, will be such a fun way to engage learners!
      I’m glad you also have a strength and passion, especially in something that can be so beneficial for pupils to learn.
      Thank you so much for your comment 🙂

  7. M Mackie

    This is a great post and your personal passions really shine through. I can imagine how this will really benefit your future pupils!
    I just love how dance can capture the imagination of children, and can incorporate so many other skills. Within my last nursery, I had a little girl who struggled with socializing. This girl came in one day, after watching ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ at the weekend, full of stories and excitement which she wanted to share with everyone. She managed to recruit a whole group of children who were not necessarily her usual group of friends, and organized a great dancing game! Brilliant fun!

    1. Lauren Duncan Post author

      Thank you, Michelle, I am so glad I have been able to share my passion!
      That is so lovely to hear how inspired by dance this girl was, and how it encouraged her to socialize. Thank you so much for your comment 🙂

  8. Shannon McGuckin

    Lauren, wow! I really enjoyed reading this post. Your love for dance really came through on this post. Im sure if you were to carry out this lesson plan in class that your class would pick up on your enthusiasm and this would really motivate them!


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