Dance is Diverse

Going into this dance workshop I was nervous- to say the least. It was my first workshop this semester, therefore didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know whether we were going to have to learn and perform a dance routine or learn dance steps and moves that we could teach the class. On reflection, the whole workshop was a combination of both of these ideas. I have realised that teaching dance in a classroom setting doesn’t have to be learning a dance or a style of dance.

Education Scotland states: the inspiration and power of the arts play a vital role in enabling our children and young people to enhance their creative talent and develop their artistic skills. From the workshop, I have realised that dance is a base for enabling and allowing children to develop a wide range of social, physical and emotional skills.

Throughout the workshop, we were shown that there is a wide range of dance resources available to access that aid lessons or class management. Interactive web-based dance resources like Trolls- Go Noodle, The Sid Shuffle, and Just Dance- Ghost Busters are all great to either warm up or engage a class before or during a lesson. They could be used as both brain and body warm-up which could consequently energise the children, engaging them in the lesson. As having danced as a child, I think this would be a great way to build a good and energetic rapport with the children. They will see you as enthusiastic and therefore want to mirror this enthusiasm because if the teacher is excited about a lesson; the pupils will get excited about it too.

As Eilidh demonstrated, dance lessons don’t have to be named purely a dance lesson, they can be woven into different aspects of the curriculum. We were given the example of a class studying Buddhism and they explored the Buddha with 1000 hands through a movement and shape activity. In groups, the pupils stood one behind the other and based on height- with the smallest being at the front and the tallest at the back. They then experimented with different hand and arm patterns in order to mirror the 1000 handed Buddha. I feel that this wide variety and range of dance allows lessons to be educational while also being highly interactive. Throughout my placement, I hope to be able to incorporate this element of dance throughout my lessons. From the workshop, I brainstormed a vague idea of a lesson that incorporates shapes in maths (this is however determined by what the class is learning about) and dance. I personally wouldn’t find a lesson interesting if I was just copying steps that the teacher was showing us and therefore I believe that by using dance as a wide and versatile term- instead maybe calling it movement activities- we could merge different aspects of the curriculum together.

I believe that because dance is so widespread and diverse, it can link all over the curriculum without being specifically labeled dance. It links and encompasses a variety of elements of the curriculum and the standards. Through this diverse nature towards dance lessons, I need to be conscious of my critical thinking towards the lessons. I need to know and understand what dance adds to the lesson; what are the children meant to take from this lesson? However, this I believe is the case for all aspects of the curriculum- you need to reflect on why you are doing what you are doing and what the children are going to take from it.

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