This weekend I am giving a lecture at the UKA conference in Blackpool, UK. The topic I am exploring is Teaching Matters. This session hopes to attract teachers from all dance genres. I am a great believer in bringing dance teachers from different dance genres together to develop, discuss and share good teaching practices.
It is enlightening when dance teachers get together from various dance genres because there is a lot that is similar as well as a lot that is different. What do I mean by this? Well, when we teach dance we use teaching skills and understanding. Most of these skills come from general teaching theories and understanding that are employed no matter what subject you are teaching. What changes between subjects is the subject content. In dance this means all the actual dance stuff. So the movements, steps, dances and all the other dance related aspects of dance. The dance stuff is where the obvious focus often is and the how, what and why of teaching is the aspect that works away in the background enabling the teacher to help with student learning and development.
I find exploring the how, what and why of teaching in dance endlessly fascinating. Understanding more about how we teach, the teaching tools we use and the ways that we support our students in their dance journey helps us to be good, caring teachers.
This weekend I will be inviting teachers to explore aspects of dance teaching that happen in the dance class every day. The aim will be to look at these dance teaching activities through fresh eyes with a view to enhancing our teaching practices in the longer term. We will use some teaching tools to help us identify aspects of teaching where there is room for development.
With dance teachers from a variety of dance genres and types of dance activity (social and leisure dancing through to elite dance) it should be a lively and stimulating session.
I am looking forward to catching up with many dance teacher colleagues at conference. If you are coming along to my session then, see you there.