As we all know, dance is a performing art form consisting of movement sequences.
These sequences can be pre-planned or improvised.
The importance of dance is that it can have both aesthetic and symbolic merit to the audience.
How to teach a dance routine
Here are some tactics to help you teach a dance routine to children as successfully as possible:
- Make sure everyone has warmed-up before you start teaching the dance routine to avoid any injuries.
- Break the routine into practicable chunks so the children can take one part at a time.
- Ensure all the kids understand that learning a dance routine takes practice and will require lots of repetition.
- Using visual cues, videos of the choreography, or someone dancing with the children will help them understand how you hope their dance looks.
- Make it exciting! Use a theme for the dance or link the choreography to a well-know story to help engage the children and keep their interest through the more difficult parts.
- Encourage them to assess both themselves and each other. If they can suggest where others can improve, they will begin to understand the choreography better themselves.
The history of dance
Continue to read this teaching wiki to discover a brief dance history you can tell your children to get them excited for their dance lessons!
It’s believed that the oldest proof of the existence of dance is from paintings found in caves in India, created 9000 years ago. These paintings depict communal drinking, religious rites, hunting, childbirth, burials, and dancing.
By looking at the tomb paintings that survived Egyptian times, it was believed that priests used musical instruments and dancers to show important events, stories of gods, and cosmic patterns of moving stars and the sun.
In Ancient Greece, the public often enjoyed dance, most notably just before the Olympic Games, as early as the 8th century B.C!
The dance developed further over the following centuries, becoming an activity for everyone, not just to signal a ritual or event. A painting discovered in 1400 B.C.showed people dancing to entertain each other, supported by musicians.
This kind of entertainment continued to be refined, and at the beginning of the Renaissance, ballet became a popular form of dance for the wealthy to enjoy. During this time, new music forms were created, changing fashion and dance styles. The tendency to jump and skip in dance became popular after the French Revolution when the famous waltz was created.
The waltz inspired the creation of many complicated two-person ‘ballroom dances’ that children will recognize today. These paved the way for more modern dances in the 20th century, such as the foxtrot, tango, and swing.
Types of dance genres
As you’ve read, dance has changed a lot since the time we understand it to have been created (9000 years ago!) As a result, there are many different types of dance genres in today’s society, with more being developed all the time. However, new dance styles always draw upon features of dance genres that have come before – whether they use a particular kind of music or beat, have strict choreography, or are open to interpretation.
Here are some of the most popular types of dance genres that children will see performed today:
- Ballet – Ballet was developed during the Italian Renaissance and is a choreographed dance set to classical music. Ask your class if they’ve heard of Swan Lake!
- Contemporary – Contemporary dance was created in the mid-twentieth century. It draws on classical, modern, and jazz dance styles and is the most popular form of dance studied today.
- Tap Dance – Tap dancing is often performed as part of musical theatre and focuses on timing, with dancers often performing in unison.
- Ballroom – Ballroom dance is a partner dance like the waltz, tango, and foxtrot. It is a popular form of competitive dance, with competitions held worldwide.
- Hip Hop – Hip Hop or Street dance dates back to the late 1970s and draws upon the fashion and music of America at the time. Street dance can be competitive, with groups challenging each other to a dance battle.
- Jazz – Jazz dancing is known for its spontaneous and dramatic body movements. The Lindy Hop and the Charleston dance are popular types of jazz dance.
- Folk Dance – Folk dancing is used worldwide to convey emotion and traditional stories or legends.
- Irish Dance – Irish dancing requires precision and excellent timing as all dancers perform intricate footwork together – often in a line.
What is creative dance?
Creative Dance is a contemporary form of dance that combines movement and artistic expression without needing specific training. Typically, creative dance focuses on developing motor skills and emotional expression, as opposed to the aesthetics-based focus of dance in more traditional structured settings.
This is why creative dance is explored with children when they are young – it allows people of all abilities to participate and succeed.
Creative dance combines all different dance styles, and children can create their dance personalities and choreography.
Why is creative dance important?
Creative dance is essential for children to learn because it has positively affected social and cognitive functioning. This helps improve children’s confidence and academic performance.
Another benefit of creative dance for children is that it helps them become more spacially aware. They’ll improve their gross motor skills and find they can move with control and balance more quickly.
Children will find that they can express themselves through creative dance, which will be particularly beneficial to those who struggle to communicate clearly or confidently.
What elements are covered in creative dance?
Within creative dance, performers will consider the following:
They can then develop these elements into different speeds, shapes, rhythms, and directions.
At school, while your children may learn about the different types of dance, their PE lessons may focus more on designing their movements and controlling their bodies. Rather than learning specific ballroom or contemporary dances – they may begin to understand how emotion is portrayed through dance and learn to perform a routine they have created with their peers. In addition, children interested in specific types of dance genres often have lessons outside school time.
Celebrate all the different types of dance genres with one of our fantastic teacher-created display packs. They contain everything you need to create an eye-catching display and draw your class’s attention to the critical vocabulary and forms of movement they will be learning throughout their lessons.