Dance Workshop 5: What is dance?

This first dance workshop exposes to me the power of reflection and deep understanding and its effect on how dance is perceived and in turn performed. Through the quick class discussion on ‘what is dance’, my peers revealed its multifaceted nature and ability to connect with individuals on a variety of levels. Dance has many effects on students: the ability to connect all their senses, a vehicle of engagement, exploration of a personal journeys, capacity to develop and enrich students and understand the world around them (Peterson, 2012). By using the simple question of ‘what is dance’, dance sequences are given a deeper meaning and value. I believe this question will be very powerful in my future dance classroom in developing my students understanding and appreciation of dance and the power it has on us.

An aspect of dance that I think it essential in every dance lesson is the time given to students to experiment, explore and take risks when discovering different body movements. This time is given in the ‘improvisation’ section of a dance lesson. I was able to experience this first hand in this first dance workshop as we created a quick activity that developed student’s coordination. This activity was follow the leader, where leaders of groups moves around the room with a chosen action. Chosen actions were guided by teacher input of ‘change levels, change direction’ (Gibson & Ewing, 2011, p.40). . This ensured students were exploring a variety of movements throughout the space and not merely doing one action the whole time. This activity acts as a foundation for students to begin to understand the different movements/actions they could use in a dance sequence later on.

References:

Gibson, R., & Ewing, R. (2011). Transforming the curriculum through the arts. Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan.

Peterson, E. (2012). 4 Positive Effects of Dance and Movement for K-12 Students. Retrieved from: http://theinspiredclassroom.com/2012/05/4-positive-effects-of-dance-and-movement-for-k-12-students/

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