Driving home this evening I heard on the radio that Journalist, Angela Rippon has a new, two part show being aired on Thursdays 7 and 14 April 2016 on BBC 1, 9pm.
She spoke about dance being scientifically good for us because it ticks all the boxes such as, fitness, flexibility, core stability, socialisation and keeps the brain active remembering all those steps and dances. She spoke passionately about older people dancing and how good it is for people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Having taught ladies and gents of 80 plus and even on or two of 90 plus I can confirm how well they respond to dancing as long as it is taught and danced at a pace they can cope with.
The first of Angela Rippon’s programmes is apparently about keeping the body young and the second one is about keeping the brain (or mind) young. They seem worth watching if you can.
It is always good to hear someone speak passionately about older people dancing. I think the genres she mentioned specifically are ballet, Line dancing and belly dancing. So quite a range and why not? Dancing is not just for the young. It has so much to offer people of all ages.
Depending on the sort of dance teaching you are involved with do you set an overall goal for each class or group of classes that you teach? What I mean is do you have an overall focus of learning and development beyond the specific content for one class?
An example of this could be in say a ballet class where you are teaching some dance technique aspects of the syllabus. The focus of the session is to develop the technique but what about a more general or overall focus that you can transport from one session to another? What about the bigger picture? An overall focus might be to add to each student’s understanding of safe dance practice (SDP). When you reflect on the class you would be able to identify not only how you introduced the technique but also how the class helped to develop the student’s understanding of safe dance practice. You can use this overall focus for a number of weeks, terms or determined length.
In an older adult class you might have set dance pieces that you want to teach or review and in addition to these you may also have an overall focus of encouraging participants to interact with each other. So in this situation the dance class has dance content goals but there is also an overall focus of increasing socialisation within the class. Over several classes there may be different dance content goals but the overall goal for the classes might be to promote wellbeing through increasing socialisation.
In a Highland class you may be working on say, the sword dance but an overall goal for the class might be to improve the use of the shoulder joint for improved carriage of the arms and upper body throughout all the Highland dances. And you bring this focus into whatever aspect of the sword dance that you are teaching. Or it may be that you want an overall focus of improving breathing and stamina. Again something that can be a focus in your Highland classes no matter what dance or steps you are teaching at individual classes.
A beginner ballroom class may being introduced to basics from the various dances but could an overall goal perhaps be for the dancers to become comfortable dancing as a couple no matter which dance they are dancing?
I am sure you get the picture whichever dance genres you teach. What are your overall goals for the learning and development of your dancers/students in addition to specific dance goals at each class or session?
I was reminded this week that it is useful to highlight previous posts because they will be new to some of you. If you have not seen these posts before, I hope you find them useful and maybe even interesting. If you have seen them before I hope you will have another look and reflect on them again.
This is an area of dance that I did not intentionally get involved with but I am so glad that I did. Teaching older adults became popular through the exercise and fitness arena with the groups referred to as:
Dance teaching qualifications come in many different shapes and sizes. Well at least, in many different genres, levels and types of qualifications. Here in the UK there are two key sectors, the public sector which includes state schools, colleges and Universities and then there is the private sector which includes local dance schools, larger private dance studios and other independent dance teaching.