When I Dance

I cited a couple of blogs ago how I was going to use the creative ideas learnt in our dance sessions but adapt them into unique tasks for my dancers. On Tuesday I put this to the test in our Higher Dance choreography period.

I looked at a number of poems which could be used for the class and chose ‘When I Dance’ by Akachukwu Chukwuemeka. The poem is a simple 14 line poem about the poet’s experience of why he dances and I hoped would allow my dancers to explore unique movement phrases to build on similar work from the previous week.

I put pupils in pairs and asked them to come up with a movement phrase for each line but focussing on UNIQUE movement. When we did this the first time with Yvonne I found it very hard because as a technically trained dancer I was fixated on using ‘actual steps.’ I very much saw this as a negative of my own dancing at the time but now, having taught this lesson, I think it will be a positive for my class as I can understand their difficulties.

We spent much of the class looking at at symbolism and being creative so only got three lines done but they are starting to look great.

To be continued…

 

New Timetable

The change of timetable in June is a perfect time to reflect on the positives of the past year and what we, as teachers, can work on for next time. As already mentioned in a few blogs I am hoping to expand my knowledge and ability to teach pupils (and perhaps myself) to be more creative with dance and subsequently help pupils who find the choreography process a difficult one. But, the new timetable has also brought me a new challenge – teaching contemporary dance to S3 NPA pupils.

I have never taught contemporary before but the support of this module and of the Midlothian dance development officer I am excited to put what I learn over the course of the next year into practice.

Our first session was on Tuesday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We took pupils back to basics – walking, standing in parallel and swings. Although my technical knowledge in this style is lacking I hope that I will be able to support pupils who find it difficult as it also doesn’t come naturally to me and we can share the experience.