POST 194: Y-dance in school

  The girls in action teaching their partner their routine.

This post has been competed following a y-dance leadership course for secondary students. This course aimed to introduce girls from local secondary schools to the dance leaders course and also to allow time for the new active school coordinators to meet. I attended as I could network with the sports coordinators and hopefully promote higher dance for all local secondary schools.

My aim is to introduce higher dance on Thursday and Friday after school. I have made links with the active schools coordinator in largs who worked for y-dance.

The girls who attended the course were enthusiastic about dance and leading sessions for dance.

The session was led by Jessica from y-dance and I realised my classes would be a conflict of interest with y-dance. But I am free and they cost money so I’m gonna ignore. I want this to be my career and aim to use this to ensure I have provision so that I will never again have to turn down my dream job because of the headmaster

The dance leadership course began with a warm up where the girls completed one movement for half a track then swapped to the same movement plus the next. It was a new way of doing a warmup and defo made me warm!!

The girls then did a small section of a hip hop dance. Repeated it with music before adding 8 counts. This repeated untill everyone had a good idea of all movements.

The active schools ladies popped in and dos the dance too. I thought this built a collaborative atmosphere.

The girls were then going to select four movements from the sequence and create their own phrase. They practiced the new phrase with a partner. They then swapped to a new partner.

I felt the girls worked best in pairs and this helped them build sequences with 4 elements of the original routine.

They had to teach these sequences to a new partner using words only and then with actions only. The words only proved most difficult. Prior to this activity the girls had been introduced to the benefits of verbal and non-verbal communication and completed the table shown in the figure below to provide examples of both. I felt completing the table after the task would have been more effective as the girls would have had experience of leading with both and could give examples from this experience.

The next activity was motivation techniques. The girls were very clear on motivation techniques and their advantages. They successfully circled the positive techniques and gave further examples. 

The girls drew a picture of a motivational teacher. The body bits were to represent the size of importance of that feature e.g. a big heart. I suggested rather than drawing each body bit and observing the last the they could draw a bit then fold the paper over so that the next body bit could be drawn without influencing the next. When unveilled the final teacher the girls giggled. They understood the requirements of a leader. Some of the work was brillliant

The girls enjoyed a practical activity followed by a written activity to allow them to recover and consolidate thoughts. They were clear that a warm-up should increase the heart rate but were unclear on the content. I felt they assumed that the warm-up must be lead by the teacher and work through set exercises. They enjoyed participating in a variety of warm-up games. Again completing the table after the activities would have made the students more confident and have more experience to draw from

I was pleasantly surprised the course content included Laban’s Analysis. My experiences suggest Laban’s theories increase the size, quality and cardio fitness. The quality of movement is improved without focusing on specific corrections.

The girls taught their duet to another partner in a caracel activity. The change in leader and feedback from the teacher provided focus and added interest to the lesson. They could use all the lesson content to improve the adjectives used and the delivery and understanding of the material. There was a significant improvement in their teaching and the learners retention of the routine and corrections.

The girls enjoyed the day and we even got our photos taken to celibate and to provide evidence we attended.

It was clear that this lesson could be differentiated for small children and adult teachers CPD.

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