Posted by Leanne
Dance classes should be purely dance technique and practice?
Yes and No
It depends on the class – is it a technique based class or exam prep? Is it in the run up to a big event or showcase? Is it the first week back after summer? Do we have a lot of new students? Do we need ideas.
Dance class should always be fun, challenging, but always fun. And most of the time this will come through from the dance itself – the enjoyment of practicing your favourite steps or new routines, or perfecting old ones.
Sometimes though, there is room for change….
Games in class
Introducing games into class may seem a little strange – but we aren’t talking about a round of football or snakes and ladders.
Games can be extremely beneficial to a class in many different ways – so long as they are used appropriately.
Fun ways to warm up for a Freestyle class or a cardio based class – may be a twist on the game or tag or even traveling relays (instead of running try skipping, jetes, leaps, turns). It ensures that the part at the start that gets them ready to move is effective. Boring will result in a lack of effort and then not being warm enough for mobility exercises.
Getting into character when performing can be hard – so introducing something like charades is a good way to bring shy children out of their shell and get them to use their body and facial expressions to show emotion or ideas.
Acting out things, places, films, also gets them to think about using their body in different ways.
It brings the team together – so many times dance is a solo routine (for exams for example) or you part in a specific piece, where you dance with a set team, time again. Team games brings everyone together in a different activity where dance ability is not key. It allows more experienced dancers to help new members, you become friends with your new team, and encourage and help those who you perhaps don’t normally work with.
It frees the mind – playing traveling games or aversion games, charades, makes you thing about movement in new ways to normal in class. Dodging a “tag” may give you ideas on sharp turns, quick movement or use of space. Not talking means you have to use different ways to express ideas and new arm movements or postures may come to mind.
It lets your mind free itself from the constraints of “dance steps” and lets you think outside the box
It is fun, which is the aim especially for our little ones. They need the time to explore ideas, their bodies, their abilities, to make friends and interact.
Yes there is an element of competiton – but healthy competition, where they strive to be THEIR BEST, not necessarily THE BEST.