This blog focuses on my personal philosophy as a dance practitioner referring to:
Code of conduct, Ethical approach, Vision, Mission statement, Values and Aims/objectives when working with children and young people
My personal philosophy as a dance practitioner supports provision of a supportive environment which meets all learners’ needs. I use my education, dance training and teaching experience to enhance creative talent and artistic skills by engaging learners in experiences that shape their personal, social and cultural identity. I recognise dance safeguards health/welfare/safety/education by supplying the lifeskills and group working needed to build belonging in the community and global citizenship. This philosophy agrees with Laban’s legacy advocating dance for everyone through a holistic approach to movement analysis (Davies, 2006).
My philosophy depends on upholding my personal code of conduct in line with regulations set by my employer KA Leisure (2006) and dance organisation BATD (2014). I show professional competence by delivering skills and choreography to facilitate natural movement quality setting technical foundation and reflecting on feedback and self-evaluation to direct best practice. Effective teaching requires planning to meet learners’ needs, setting attitudes and behaviour which foster positive community relationships. In line with BATD code, I recognise CPD maintains quality and updates practice. Reflection sustains current practice and directs professional growth. My practice fulfils health and safety, data protection, insurance and tax legislation. KA Leisure code focuses on company reputation but omits CPD. I feel this reduces staff priorities despite KA Leisure meeting legislation by organising facilities and class cover complying with Data Protection (1998) and Health and Safety at Work (1974) Acts.
BATD code supports inclusion and equality to sustain an ethical approach. I promote this scaffold by development of vocational and lifeskills through structured lessons with differentiated group activities which challenge and display talents. Utilising creative tasks, ICT and inclusive language promotes sharing of ideas and solutions to ethical issues including age/gender/ability/religion. I find acting with integrity and expecting students/staff to have similar values fosters trust and prevents discrimination. My ethical philosophy identifies that community dance depends on establishing core values. To benefit from ethical practice, learners need to support each other and interact with the teacher. Peer and self evaluations direct continual improvement and reward sustains positive ethos. Regular performance and discussion cultivates a safe environment and sense-of-self as working together fosters citizenship and enterprise promoting lifelong learning. KA Leisure code excludes collegiate working which I consider central to community based codes of conduct.
My vision is to increase engagement in quality dance, working together to achieve physical, mental and social benefits. A coherent Scottish dance programme is emerging through reform in teaching/learning, curricular dance and raised national dance profile. This offers opportunity to teach current repertoire within a balanced curriculum transitioning between 3-18 years (Scottish Government, 2009). DDTAL qualification provides skills to work with community groups to promote dance especially where participation and fitness are limited. This fulfils my desire to support learning needs, belonging and self-actualism to enable greater diversity of students to thrive as explained in Maslow’s hierarchy (Griffin, 2011). Planning flexibility in tasks allows exploration of attitudes and skills that promote inclusion and enriches dance. My vision supports my philosophy that a holistic teaching approach with balance of theory and practice promotes dance, providing scope for further vocational study. Using activities differentiated to background and ability, I aim to actively involve learners in student-directed development of critical skills and self-expression. I believe informal formative assessment, self/peer evaluation and students/teacher feedback fosters respect and enhances teaching/learning by nurturing a safe and creative environment.
My mission statement advocates engagement in dance, where learners develop lifeskills which benefit community partnerships and enrich lifelong appreciation of dance. This promotes a valuable dance experience which is student-centered and unites learners. For each project, I take a fresh and innovative approach to aims, developing a success-oriented strategy to achieve objectives using a variety of teaching and learning styles and promote appreciation of dance. In community groups, command-practice initially encourages movement exploration then guided-discovery enriches social interaction. I differentiate training in technique and provide theoretical and practical foundation for artistry and choreography. My mission is to make dance accessible to all and provide comprehensive education which creates desire to explore the art-form. When working with children, adapting their energy and mischievous enjoyment creates dynamic choreography. My mission statement supports the philosophy that comprehensive education should foster enjoyment, communicate feelings and develop health and creative skills. This positively impacts on social attitudes allowing promotion of effective dance training.
I communicate the value of training to develop flexibility, strength and coordination which have lasting health benefits. Progressive exercises appropriate to genre build learners’ technique and performance. However, creative aspects of dance education prove more valuable in facilitating the expression of feelings and ideas and developing problem-solving and self-esteem. Consequently, I encourage students to direct learning by promoting self-evaluation, appreciation of others and leadership skills. I value diversity of input from all backgrounds and abilities to stimulate participation and creativity as this develops group working. Differentiating lessons supports inclusion and acceptance of values which positively impacts on the wider community. Multiple-intelligences are addressed in the core dance experience (Gardner, 1983) and higher-order thinking develops through creating, choreographing and interpreting movement. These vocational and lifeskills promote dance as an educational subject as substantiated by No Child Left Behind Act, 2001 (Ruppert, 2006). This supports my philosophy that dance skills transfer into other areas of learning.
Through teaching recreational dance, I aim to benefit health/fitness by improving technique, choreography and performance. To achieve this I provide structured lessons encouraging active involvement and awareness of physical movement. My philosophy promoting a strong foundation in technique and community partnerships supports cultural unity and artistic education. To provide creative input stimulating self-expression I aim to enhance enjoyment and social interaction. Learners develop deeper understanding when content meets individual needs and best practice is shared. I aim to nurture lifeskills by fostering a safe environment that kindles technique, passion for dance and self-confidence until learners can direct their progression. This requires inclusive teaching approaches to encourage working together without cultural or social prejudice.
My aims and philosophy compliment SQA educational and KA Leisure community objectives. Despite fulfilling the same teaching standards to develop performing, creating and appreciating dance, SQA objectives are limited by requirement for a stylised product. KA Leisure objectives promote greater social and creative skills by focus on dance process through guided-discovery teaching styles. However, without set goals objectives can lose focus. I advocate objectives which equally emphasis process and product to develop both vocational and lifeskills. My objectives actively engage learners to develop independent and reflective thinkers. Through content nurturing physical, technical and expressive skills, learners can enjoy developing as performers/choreographers. My philosophy ultimately aims to develop versatile dancers from all backgrounds who can share technique and critical appreciation to drive the future of dance.
- Ruppert, S.S., (2006) Critical Evidence: How the ARTS benefit Student Achievement. Page 1-24. National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).
Date last visited: 26.02.16
- Davies, E. (2006) Beyond Dance: Laban’s legacy of movement Analysis. Routledge. New York
- Dance UK/BATD (2014) The Danceregister: Code of Professional conduct pages 1-3. British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD) Code of conduct is adapted from Dance UK guidelines.
Date last visited: 29.06.14
- Gardiner, H. (1983) Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences URL: http://www.businessballs.com/howardgardnermultipleintelligences.htm
Last accessed: 28.02.16
- Griffin, E. M. (2011) A First Look at Communication Theory: Hierarchy of Needs of Abraham Maslow. 2nd Chapter 10, pages 124-133 McGraw-Hill
Last accessed: 28.02.16
- KA Leisure (2006) Code of conduct: Policies and practices. Pages 1-5. North Ayrshire Leisure Limited
- Scottish Government (2009) Curriculum for Excellence: Building the curriculum 4-Skills for learning, skills for life. Pages 1-44. Crown, Edinburgh
Last accessed: 28.02.16
- Buckroyd, J. (2000) The Student Dancer: Emotional Aspects of the Teaching and Learning of Dance. Dance Books Ltd. London.
- Department for Culture, Media and Sport [DCMS] (2005). ‘Dance Links; ‘A Guide to Delivering High Quality Dance for Children and Young People’, Department for Education and Skills (DfES) publications. Pages 1-12.
Date last visited: 28.02.16
- Department of Education (2003) Every child Matters. TSO Accredited Agents Pages 1-108.
Date last visited: 20.02.16
- Gough, M (1999) Knowing Dance: A Guide for Creative Teaching. Dance Books Ltd. London
- Health and Safety Executive (1974) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 Arrangement of sections. Chapter 37 Part 1. Pages 1-117. Health and safety and welfare in connection with work and control of dangerous substances and certain emissions into the atmosphere.
Amendment: URL: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37/contents
Date last visited: 13.02.16
- National Dance Education Organisation [NDEO] (2005) Professional Teaching Standards for Dance in Arts Education pages 1-18.
Date last visited: 29.02.16
- Office of Public Sector Information (1998) Data Protection Act. c27
Last accessed: 29.01.16
- Siddall, J. (2010) Dance in and Beyond Schools. Pages 1-60 London: Youth Dance England. URL::http://www.yde.org.uk/documents/Publications/Dance%20In%20and%20Beyond%20Schools_An%20essential%20guide%20to%20dance%20teaching%20and%20learning.pdf Date last visited: 29.02.16