Dance Learning Area
Dance is a fantastic medium to deliver the key competencies in a way that engages the majority.
“When will they ever use dance in the real world?” is something I am asked by parents.
My answer is : Will they need self-discipline, determination, pushing yourself to the limit, resilience, confidence, teamwork, leadership skills, not to mention the enjoyment and fitness they get out of learning all these things by doing something they love? Dance is challenging subject physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It is easy to understand the physical benefits. This subject encourages students to improve strength, fitness, flexibility as well as coordination and technique.
Anyone who has ever tried to learn a dance will understand the mental stimulation that comes from dancing. (see the attachment below) . Dance students' movement memory, concentration, focus and recall improves markedly. A big focus is teaching them how to improve their originality and creativity by devising new ways of moving.
I think the emotional benefits of the subject are invaluable life skills. Working with others to create an end product is a big part of every Dance course. We set choreographic challenges and movement problems for the students to solve in cooperative ways. Success involves communication, negotiation and working together as a highly developed and united team.
Taking risks, making mistakes, being brave, and stepping outside their comfort zone is something we encourage every day in classes, but for the majority of students the most challenging task is performing in front of audiences. We find this expectation means our students are mostly extremely motivated to perform to the best of their ability, which leads to highly enthusiastic, self-driven, focused classes (especially leading up to a Concert).
Everyday dance classes
If you come into any dance class there is a lot of physical experimentation, discussion and problem solving going on. We really try to put the students in the driver seat, and take lots of responsibility for their own learning. I know the latest research tells us that students learn particularly well when it is not so much teacher directed, but comes from the students own interests and abilities. At junior level we concentrate on giving the girls challenges, usually in pairs or groups, following choreographic boundaries and rules which we introduce gradually during the term.
Below are two video clips
1. A selection of interviews with students and video footage from Dance classes, and performances. This 1.30min video takes you behind the scenes and gives you a look into our Dance classes.
2. From studio to stage. This is more recent footage, and gives some insight into what goes on in Dance classes. Often parents only see the performances. In this short clip we see a variety of year groups working on choreography and performance in the classroom, and how this evolves to the polished final performance.