Planning (& Practice) Makes Perfect

Planning (& Practice) Makes Perfect

IMPROVING THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING DANCE

The longer I teach dance and run a dance studio, the more I have learned that not everyone is aware of what goes into the whole process, so I thought I would give an inside peek at what the staff has been working on lately… 

It seems like a dance teacher might just walk in, teach a few classes, and go home.  It seems like it should be this simple!  It can be, and that is how I started teaching when I was in college.  But the more I taught, I learned I could be much more effective as a teacher if I planned ahead a bit more.  My students would get a better dance education and would be more well-rounded individuals.

So, many years ago, I began writing lesson plans at the start of each month.  After the first year of monthly planning, I realized I could not only plan my classes monthly, but I could lay out the framework for the entire year for each of my classes ahead of time.  I could focus on certain skills each month that progressed in intensity as the year went on.  Then, month by month, I take those lists of skills and develop combinations and exercises that fit the students I have that year.  Also, I could know in August what skills my students would be able to accomplish in the next year’s dance concert.  This made choreographing much simpler and less stressful on me and my students!  Plus, now that I had a framework of skills around which to build my overall concept, I was able to be more creative!

Each summer now, I tweak and improve previously used curriculum for all of our classes.  I also work closely with each of the MKS teachers on lesson plans, so that we are all teaching consistent material and using our class time effectively and efficiently.  When we add a new class, we sit down and look at the year as a whole and set goals for the students in that class, so that they are sure to learn valuable material and lessons.

It has been fun to continue to grow in this area and to watch the students thrive because of our intentionality.  We love our students and want the best for them!

Thanks for reading and happy dancing in 2015-16!