Teaching methods

Effective dance teaching methods

A checklist of skills, knowledge, considerations and practices that form the basis of good teaching methodology. Some are generic and apply to good teachers of any discipline, while others are specific to dance and artistic instruction.

‘Dance, young people and change’ summit program

Dance, Young People and Change brought together young people, parents, educators and others from around the world to share and consider the role of dance in young people’s lives. It provided critical evaluation and reflection on approaches to dance learning, teaching and curriculum for young people and offered opportunities to critique the relevance of dance for young people within education and community contexts.

Success in salsa: students’ evaluation of the use of self-reflection when learning to dance

Both Stephanie J. Hanrahan (Schools of Human Movement Studies and Psychology, University of Queensland) and Rachel A. Mathews (Creative Industries Faculty—Dance, Queensland University of Technology) have seen that both teachers and students can become frustrated when the rate of skills improvement is not satisfying. They had a group of salsa students engage in structured self-reflection and then evaluated the process and outcomes.

Changing repetition: a ‘practice as research’ study on dialoguing, drawing and dancing

What insight into the knowledge of the body can a study on dancing, dialoguing and drawing bring? This study looks at two teacher-artists undertaking a pilot project that involves spontaneous dialoguing whilst engaging in the process of drawing and dancing. The study firstly investigates the impact of the relationship between attention and intention in the execution of physical movement and applies it to the media of drawing and dancing. The study then explores questions about knowledge held in the body, intersubjective relationships and pedagogical implications which emerge as a result of lived experience. Written from the dancer’s perspective, this paper takes a non-dualistic stance in terms of mind and body and the writing style alternates between the conversational and theoretical. Two preliminary studies were carried out prior to this project. The first was a collaborative practical workshop between a fine art teacher at a secondary school in London and me. The second was another collaborative study, carried out informally in a practical studio setting with a life drawing artist and Tai Chi teacher who painted as I danced. The writing which follows has focused on the relationship and insights gleaned from subsequent work with this second teacher/artist.

The body observes

The key message of the paper is that while observing a person moving, somatic and sensory processes are elicited and these have an impact on both the observer and the mover. The recognition of these processes is important to assessment, observation and clinical therapy protocols. The paper describes embodied awareness, including methods used in Authentic Movement, Dance, Dance/Movement Therapy, Body Psychotherapy, Body-Mind Centring, Sensory Awareness and Jungian Analysis. Arts-based practices can inform clinical practices, and embodied interaction in clinical practice can also inspire artistic research. The methodology of kinaesthetic attunement weaves subjective and objective experiences and can inform clinical relationships, childcare and educational practices.

Developing a mind-body connection in teaching dance history

In 2008, Vera Bullen undertook an intrinsic case study that asked: How can one apply a Choreological Studies framework in the teaching of a dance history subject; and, how does the choreological studies framework contribute to a mind-body connection in student learning through its blend of theory and practice within a theory-based subject area? This paper discusses applying the Choreological Studies framework in the teaching and learning of DANCE 107: Dance History at The University of Auckland.

Standing strong: pedagogical approaches to affirming identity in dance

Reflecting research undertaken with third year Pakeha, Maori and Pacific Island students, I discuss issues of body, gender and culture in the tertiary dance studio. Discussions, choreographic and written assignments required students to explore their embodied experiences. Rich material drawn from students’ assignments, alongside my class plans and teacher’s reflections, are woven together in the form of an auto-ethnographic narrative. This narrative allows me to feature the students as characters and to discuss their specific experiences of masculinity and femininity, cultural difference and embodiment within their varied dance genres. Through this narrative I suggest that embodied ways of knowing may potentially support students to affirm their identity through dance.