POST 224: Dance UK

The modern dance teacher in the UK

1. Introduction:

This journal discussed how the pedagogical practice of dance education has changed from the traditional transmission model of teaching, where the students learn
by imitating specific movement vocabularies modeled by an expert teacher.

Most teachers were taught by this traditional teaching method and consequently believe this is also how they should teach (Bolwell, 1998). New methods recognise a model
reaching methods additional to dance technique and control, and teachers need a wide range of teaching strategies to motivate and engage their students (Chappell, 2007; Shapiro, 1998; Smith-Autard, 2002; Sööt & Leijen, 2012). This requires a change in gthe relationship between student and teacher from command and copy to guided discovery to allow integration of our physical, intellectual and emotional selves through learning in dance.

This article reports findings from a literature review study that aimed to identify trends of the pedagogical practices of dance education.

This research identified 7 main topics which are beneficial in the modern teaching approaches:

  • Holistic teaching  approach presumes the dance teacher will teach in a range of styles to support all learners.
  • To support the teaching of each individual requires a continual self-reflection to determine if ever-changing needs are met. Individuality, creativity, and subjective approach towards the learner and the learning process have an essential role to play.
  • Somatic approach extends the holistic approach. Dancers will not learn by teaching one style or technique in dance they require to meet a range of needs to develop dance technique. The cognitive readiness and receptivity are also supported by somatic body techniques – yoga, Alexander’s technique, etc.
  • Developing the dance artist’s relation to pedagogy.  By developing the method and practice of teaching to include similar reflective approaches in the teaching practice requires both the learner and the teacher to acquire new means and devices.
  • The incursion of new technology and mass media has brought the issue also to dance lessons. The aim of the teacher is to be a catalyst, a filter, and an analyst in bringing the new means into use.
  • Teachers must support cultural identity in a dance class is a prerequisite of good conduct in a multicultural environment.
  • A teacher who has specialised in dance must also manage socio-cultural problems. Resulting from the particular nature of the dance of art towards body brings about the topics of sexuality on stage and in class, homosexuality, and gender.

The modern teacher  is not merely the teaching of dance steps. They provide conscious guidance in a world of different possibilities with the skills of teaching how to dance.

Dance is rather a means of gaining the direction for the student do that they can then learn for themselves.

To acheive this the teacher must be trained as a reflective and active practitioner, dancer or choreographer, and support each individual’s general development on the background of acquiring dance technical and compositional knowledge and skills. Modern teaching methods assume a dialogue between teachers and students and openness for the integration of different forms of art.

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