In continuation of our blog “Inspiring ‘Dance to Learn!’ Curriculum: For Preschoolers” this blog explores creating a dance syllabus that benefits elementary aged dance students’ as a whole.
Recipe for Success
Classes are made up of the following Ingredients to ensure that children receive the most out of their dance classes. The Recipe for Success ensures that our Mission “Dance to Learn” is fulfilled by including not only dance principles but also concepts that will help a child with their development and schooling.
3/4 Moving and Shaking
Across the floor
1/3 Development Skills
1/3 School Subjects
1/3 Life Lessons
1 Dose Healthy Living
+ A Ton of Fun=
“Success in School and in Life!”
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Incorporating School Subjects in Dance Classes
For elementary kids, we incorporate school subjects in every class under the premise that dance can be taught as a tool to help kids in school!
For example a common Dance Activity performed in our Hip Hop classes include a stomping game. Stomping is rhythmic form of hip hop where body parts are used as instruments to make rythms and communicate. Hip hop teachers will break students up into groups and have them create a mathematical dancing language through their stomps.
For example kids could determine that one clap stands for the word “Hello!”
Two claps stand for “Goodbye!”
One stomp stands for “Friend”
Two stomps stand for “Enemy”
One knee slap stands for “Stay”
Three knee salp stands for “Go”
By moving their bodies they can create an entire language of dance. The above exercise could also be used to tell mathematical equations.
One clap= 1
Three claps=3 etc
One stomp= add
Two stomps= subtract
Three stomps= multiply etc.
So One clap one stomp and four claps would equal=
1 + 4
The other group would have to solve the equation.
This exercise could be changed for all types of styles of dance!
Teaching Elementary Children Life Lessons Through Dance
Dance at this age should absolutely be a tool to motivate children to do well in school. Dance Exploration, LLC’s “Dance to Learn!” Curriculum in combination with our “Yes” Environment all come together to ensure that children are learning the important skills that dance fosters.
Dance benefits a child in so many ways:
* Through combinations it teaches memorization.
* The weekly review of steps and technique teach determination and a slight perfectionism to perform the steps correctly.
* Dance teaches spatial awareness and a body can move through space and within space.
* Dance is an incredible form of self expression which can certainly help youth who feel “unheard.”
* Mastering steps, choreography, and space is extremely fulfilling and can boost even the lowest of self esteems.
To ensure that these important life lessons are taught, is the responsibility of the teacher. This is why we believe in a seperate training session for our Dance Educators on creating a positive environment for our students.
In order for children to master moves, thereby increasing self esteem and memorization, as well as feeling most comfortable expressing themselves through movement, all comes from feeling safe and comfortable in their class and among their peers.
The best way to teach these important life skills is by providing teachers to these children who can nourish them to perform at their best, encourage positive behavior and attitudes, and someone who can be a real mentor for these kids!