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10 tips to ‘JumpStart’ your dance teaching!

Happy new (academic) year!  To welcome in the new term, here are 10 tips to get you going / refresh your dance teaching…

1.  Choose music that feels ‘current’ but avoid songs that the children will sing along to or know a dance routine to.  I’m currently using ‘Can You Feel It’ by The Jacksons, ‘Blue Monday’ by New Order and ‘Technologic’ by Daft Punk.

2.  Don’t be afraid to get stuck in and throw yourself about – the kids will respect you for it.

3.  If you’re not confident to demonstrate a dance move yourself, ask the children.  They love any opportunity to show what they can do.

4.  Choose 2-3 movement objectives which will be the focus of your session (for more information about movement objectives, see the blog post: Developing a Dance Lesson Plan).

5.  Select topics that are ‘boy-friendly’ such as Ancient Rome: Gladiators, Secret Agents, Firefighters, Aliens, Superheroes.

6.  Keep the children moving for the majority of the session – make them busy with a range of activities, don’t talk too much, give short timescales for them to get the work done (eg.  2 minutes to add an ending on to your duet), let them show back their work.

7.  Use props, especially for Foundation Stage and Year 1.  They love exploring the limitless possibilities of what a feather, scarf or sponge can do!

8.  Once the children have learned (or created) a few dance moves, get them to develop their ideas by…

  • sharing it with a partner and teach it to them
  • changing the order of the actions
  • using different levels (low medium high)
  • facing different parts of the room for each movement

9.  Allow the children to perform – they love it!  A good way to do this is to split the class into two so they can watch each other.

10.  And get the ‘audience’ to comment / analyse afterwards – who were they watching and why?

My own teaching in Primary Schools starts this week and I can’t wait to get going!  So I may well be bumping into you very soon – come and say hello if I’m doing curriculum sessions, PPA cover or teacher training at your school.


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