I interviewed and observed 3 practitioners to identify teaching styles advantageous to learners and warm-ups.

1.Cardio-warm-ups by Pat Jackson, GTCS Secondary PE/Dance Teacher for >20 years.

The cardio warm-up seemed to make the students hyper. They were warmed but did not have a mind set to dance. The warm-up progressed from marching to jumping, hopping and jumping jacks, sprints, shoulder rolls and arm swings.

The teacher described how the time constraint of the lesson and the low ability of the student decreased the time of the warm-up. It was essential that students were warmed as they were going to complete a dance which was fast pace and had lots of jumping to link with girls into fitness initiatives and hold their attention.

  • 2. Static-dynamic warm-ups of Linda Dadd, Teacher for >20 years, Pineapple studios.
  • I felt this warm-up was the most effective. The energy from the class was promoted by the teachers dialogue and attention to detail in corrections. The content of the warm-up developed from cardio with breathing to dynamic stretches to static stretches to dance related movements. The choreography challenged students to concentrate but was not saturated and repeated on both sides. The teacher guided the warm-up and I felt that she paid more attention to new class members to keep them on track.
  • 3.Static stretch warm-ups by Vanessa Anderson, KA Leisure Dance Coordinator.
  • I felt this warm-up lacked energy. Students were no warmer at the end than at the beginning. They had become focussed as they were holding static stretches and this drew their attention. I felt the class lacked energy by the end and this agreed with the literature that static stretching reduces muscle power.
  • The teacher stated that the warm-up was preparing the students to dance. They were a beginner class and coped best with stationary movements  that moved through each joint in turn.
  • Conclusion:
  • If I had been the student I would have preferred the static and dynamic stretch warm-up.  I felt the muscles had been warmed and the nervous system activated by a need to concentrate and static stretches had provided enough time to gain body awareness and positioning. The teacher had time to correct and dynamic stretches maintained the momentum and linked with the movements used when travelling and in he dance therefore the warm-up had purpose.
  • The difference in the warm-up content suggested that the teaches had observed important qualities in each aspect. There is a need to research each benefit in relation to dance. This is the purpose of my proposal.

Further work:

  • I  to observe male an female dance teachers to contrast their teaching styles and warm-up protocols in RCS ballet classes.  I am intrigued by students responses in a tertiary context and I would like to investigate he challenges faced by students during dance training at a further education level.

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