Dance and PE –
Music is powerful, drawing deep emotions and memories buried your body moves and reacts to the melody and beat. Physical education teachers have implemented music and dance into their curricula in a number of creative, fun ways to get kids moving and active. The main problem faced by PE teachers is increasing participation and quality of movement. There are a number of benefits of music and dance in P.E. class. 1. Dance comes in numerous styles/genres to suit all learners. With such a variegated collection of genres, it’s easy for each student to find something he or she enjoys, whether it’s stomp, ballet, waltz, hip-hop, or tap. Student can work collaboratively and creatively to produce their own choreography.
2. Music motivates movement. Music naturally stimulates parts of the brain responsible for unconscious movement, which explains the head bobbing, shoulder shrugging, and toe tapping. Younger students should have no problem getting down on the dance floor, secondary students can overcome confidence issues through dance as even without formal instruction individuals can move and change the mood.
3. Music is a great timer. Music is a great way to keep time when you don’t have a clock and can be manipulated to create minute-long chunks of music followed by fifteen to twenty seconds of silence to give students a chance to reset the equipment and move to the next station.
4. Music enhances performance. Music naturally releases endorphins that to reduce the perceived effort and increase endurance for longer periods of time.
5. Dance is a lifetime sport. It works out your coordination, rhythm, flexibility, and various muscle groups throughout the body. Unlike contact sports and many other activities, dancing is low impact if you do it right, so it’s easy on the joints. The difficulty or intensity of any dance to fit students’ skill levels and preferences.
Even if students do not pursue a career in dance, the can enjoy the correct movement and health benefits.
So why is it that there is so little dance in our PE curriculum?
Dance has been introduced as an independent subject without teachers trained specifically in dance. In the curriculum, dance is taught by PE teachers who have no prior dance experience. This means tat students who already dance surpass the level that the teacher is delivering and students who do not dance are lacking the foundations to movement. In both cases the students disengage. Primary schools and some secondary schools invite members of dance groups and companies in to teach dance. This is always well received. However, the schools rarely have the budget to support this.
Dance has been introduced as an independent subject at a time when all subjects are being linked into faculties. This means that schools will not pay the extra for an individual teacher to teach a subject. Dance is being linked to both PE and Music rather than an actual subject.
Head teachers are reluctant to introduce dance. Unless their virtual comparator school does the same. This means until one school takes the leap of faith dance will remain trapped in sections of the PE curriculum or at lunch school.
What is needed is a way to show management that dance is linked to academic subjects and to show increased demand for it.