Use effective and safe teaching methods
- the type of class (community, social, school, studio, professional etc)
- participants' age, stage and needs
- the dance style/genre
- class size and venue.
- the aim of class or teaching program
- pre-testing for prior knowledge/understanding
- skill levels and age
- logical, suitable and safe progression beginning with warm-up and stretching
- students’ emotional, physical and intellectual development and/or limitations
- a graduated workload, i.e. frequency, intensity, duration and type of dance.
Create a positive learning/teaching environment
Make sure that the:
- teaching is supportive, encouraging and non-threatening
- goals are clearly stated
- students respect the rights of others to be taught and to learn
- students are given equal opportunities to learn and develop their dance skills
- teachers encourage students to accept reasonable challenges and to take risks with teacher support
- students support each other in challenging or risk-taking activity
- cultural, gender and age differences and different physical and learning abilities are reflected in fair and inclusive teaching/learning practices.
Demonstrate positive communication skills
- Discuss your goals and expectations of a class, program or course.
- Give clear instructions, explanations and demonstrations in verbal, non-verbal, audiovisual and written forms.
- Create a safe, friendly and positive atmosphere.
- Adapt your language to suit the age and experience of students
- Give regular verbal feedback that respects students and helps them develop as independent learners.
- Help students to reflect, evaluate and share knowledge.
Be a positive role model
- Show your love for dance with energy and enthusiasm.
- Set clear goals and expectations.
- Use language that shows respect for students and staff.
- Teach safe dance principles; non-judgmental attitudes; positive body image; punctuality, planning and preparation.
Pedagogy—develop and use dance teaching practices
- Respect students’ personal space.
- Encourage a healthy awareness and understanding of the physical nature of dance.
- Use verbal explanations and show correct stance/movement.
- Before any physical contact, tell the student why and how contact is needed.
- Show different approaches to a task, movement or problem solving exercise.
- Allow exploratory learning by encouraging students to talk about ideas and processes.
- Use positive approaches that give students information, confidence, encouragement and a willingness and desire to practice and improve their dance skills.
- Be sensitive to social, economic and cultural contexts, expectations, language and themes.
- Recognise and be sensitive to the external lives/pressures that students (particularly adolescents) are experiencing.
- Monitor issues that relate to dance training and talk with a student about concerning symptoms.
- If needed, discuss issues with colleagues, parents and carers, while being sensitive to a student’s right to privacy.
- Be aware and adhere to teacher responsibility to Mandatory Reporting regulations (check your state legislation).
- Refer students and parents/carers to other dance and health professionals with sensitivity.
- Use terminology and explanations which are understood by students.
- Include assessment as an informal or formal gauge of progress.
- Place dance as an art form in its historical, social and cultural contexts according to the style taught, and the training level.
- Help students learn to relate dance practice and theory.
- Give students learning opportunities which develop and recognise different learning styles.
- Use various teaching resources and modes of learning.
Self-development and career development
- Invite and welcome honest feedback from parents, students and colleagues.
- Make time to talk with students, course leaders, school or institution leaders and parents or carers about issues affecting individual students, classes or groups.
- Find opportunities for learning and development.
- Find opportunities for learning and certification as a dance educator.
- Learn about lifelong learning practices.
Maintain knowledge and expertise in your chosen genre and style of dance; develop a broad knowledge of dance; enrich your qualifications.
- Attend performances and read dance-related material.
- Develop your awareness and knowledge of different stage crafts.
- Enroll in teaching, stage craft, health, fitness and business management courses.
- Encourage employed staff to do professional development.
- Make sure your professional knowledge is current and qualifications are upgraded through a teaching or syllabus organisation.
- Attend professional development workshops or short courses.
- Maintain or subscribe to a professional journal or library.
Encourage self-expression and creativity
- Include regular times for students to use imagination, expressive skills and creativity.
- Teach students the elements of composition using the relevant style or genre.
- Use different creative stimuli and models of self expression.
- Use a developmental approach (creative scaffolding) to build creative skills along with technique development.
- Include time to develop performance skills.
- Give students access to other teachers or artists (workshops, summer schools and special events) to stimulate creativity through new ways of thinking about dance.
- Recognise the subjective nature of creativity.
- Help students develop independence, problem-solving and decision-making skills.
- Recognise individual learning styles and offer choices so each student has practice with problem solving and decision-making.
- Make sure that programs/curriculum let students choose class tasks, projects or electives that allow creative growth.
- Use technical training as a tool for expressive development and creative growth.
- Give students tools to assess their expressive and creative development.
- Give students opportunities and support their interest in dance experiences beyond their educational setting
- Encourage use, review and criticism of dance-related material
- Facilitate or encourage attendance at rehearsals, performances, exhibitions and performances in dance and other art forms
- Support students to audition for events or performances or take part in activities/workshops where they can work with other teachers, choreographers or directors to enhance their
- Understanding of creative processes, performance and professional expectations.
Use assessment and reporting procedures
Note: There are teaching situations such as community and recreational dance instruction which do not require or expect formal assessment and reporting.
Assess the work of students against criteria
- Give students regular verbal or written feedback that includes praise and identifies areas for improvement.
- Let students discuss and receive feedback about work in development (technique, creative work and theory).
- Give progress reports to parents and students.
- Before assessment, make sure students understand the assessment measures.
- Use external standards or assessors to moderate your assessment process.
- Deal privately with sensitive assessment and achievement issues.
Give parents and students an accurate assessment of dance potential
- Give regular verbal and written descriptive assessment (which includes marks or grades), and some independent assessment.
- Give honest opinions about a dancer’s potential or readiness to pass an exam or succeed in an audition.
- Use criterion-based assessment which can be complemented by subjective opinions, references and statements.
Provide vocational support for training and careers
- Encourage students to complete their school education and to develop interests both within and outside dance.
- Give students resources, structures, educational counselling that helps them complete Year 12 and receive university admission ranking.
- Encourage students to gain experience in dance and theatre related work.
- Give students access to professional career counselling.
- Give students work, career and transition planning tools.