Before today’s workshop I was nervous at the thought of having to teach dance to a class, as I was unsure where to begin or how to work in a manageable way. I was also apprehensive about the dance input, and concerned I might be asked to create some complicated choreography and perform in front of everyone. However, I had a great time working in my group to come up with different ways to travel and spin around the room, eventually creating our own mini routine. I thoroughly enjoyed the input and now feel much more confident about dance. We were given lots of helpful ideas and tips for class dance lessons which would allow all pupils to get involved, regardless of their ability or confidence.
Dance is a very important part of the curriculum as it allows pupils to be active, show their creativity and develop self-confidence. Therefore, it is essential that I can deliver lessons which engage and encourage pupils to get involved. The ‘Expressive Arts Principles and Practice’ document, states that the expressive arts allow children to be “creative and imaginative, to experience inspiration and enjoyment”. (Education Scotland, no date, p.2.) I believe children should be exposed to different cultures and experiences and dance is a perfect way to achieve this.
During the workshop we were shown ways to make dance relevant to pupils. I thought that using videos of different dance styles as a stimulus was a good idea because it would give pupils a starting point, which they could then adapt and make their own. The video clips could also be linked to another subject area the class had been working on, for example a Buddhist dance to accompany RME work. Also, working in pairs would allow less confident or less creative pupils to get involved and benefit from developing skills, as they would have someone to help them. We were reminded that when pupils present their work to a class audience, it is important to discuss expectations of the audience first, for example not talking during the performances and clapping at the end. I found it useful to be given practical solutions. Overall, I have definitely been inspired by the dance workshop and hope to similarly inspire pupils in the future. I may not be able to teach complicated, technical dancing, but I would love to make dance accessible and exciting.
Education Scotland, (no date), ‘curriculum for excellence: expressive arts principles and practice’, Available at: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/expressive-arts-pp.pdf, (accessed 12.01.19).