The creative dance curriculum incorporates the movement education concepts of Rudolf Von Laban, who stressed the educational benefits of dance as an aesthetic, social, and communicative form. A problem solving, non-competitive learning approach is used to enhance the students’ awareness of their motor, cognitive, and expressive abilities.
The creative arts help students to:
- gain confidence and a positive self-esteem
- learn problem solving skills
- make discoveries about themselves, their friends, and the world around them
- learn cooperation by working together as a group
- learn to respect each other’s unique style
- learn spontaneity, leadership, and self-control
- develop creativity
- gain physical strength, flexibility, and stamina
- develop good posture, balance, and coordination through dance exercises and yoga postures
Combining dance technique with the art of expression gives students the necessary tools to express their feelings through movement. Students develop dance skills, through traditional modern and ballet exercises, providing them with a strong foundation in dance technique. They develop creative skills as they are encouraged to explore the different qualities of movement in relation to space, time, force, and flow. As they explore, they become aware of their different body parts and how they can move them, discover new ways of moving, create designs, and express feelings. Yoga postures and stories and relaxation techniques are integrated into the class to connect body, mind, and spirit.
What Do We Do In Dance Class?
We begin each class with a sharing circle. Then we begin to warm up our bodies. Rhyming exercises and movement songs encourage musicality as well as stretch and strengthen the body. Yoga helps to increase flexibility, strength, and balance. Experienced dancers learn exercises based on traditional modern and ballet techniques, which stretch and strengthen the body as well as encourage proper alignment and good posture.
Explore Dance Concepts
Students explore the elements of dance in relation to time, space, force, and flow. Dance consists of several layers, each one building on the other to make it whole and rich with variety.
Students work together in pairs, trios, small groups and large groups to develop unity as well as learn cooperation. Activities include mirroring, shadowing, shaping, practicing skills, and learning folk dances.
Age appropriate skills, dance steps, yoga postures, and movement combinations are taught. Skills become more challenging throughout the year and with each age level.
Use of musical instruments, songs, and a variety of styles of music help students to develop a sense of beat and rhythm in their bodies.
Younger students explore free dancing and simple improvisations. Experienced students explore more complex structures in improvisations and work on choreography, or planned movement. Dancers are given the opportunity to share their dances with each other, taking turns being the audience. This is done with all ages.
Relaxation may consist of listening to a dance story or book, alignment exercises, singing a song, doing a visual art project integrated with the day’s dance theme, doing a special good-bye dance, or visualization. The structure of each lesson varies; however, these are some of the important elements that each class is comprised of. Learning is a never ending process, and each week we grow as dancers and as people.