Are You a Dance Teacher? Do You Struggle With This?
Updated: Dec 10, 2021
I did a poll on my Instagram story recently, and I asked dance teachers, "what is your biggest struggle when it comes to teaching dance?"
Here were some of the responses:
Switching things up to make sure everyone's getting well-rounded training
Keeping students engaged for the whole class
Consistency in turns
Knowing what needs to be fixed but not knowing how to fix it
Giving students anatomical descriptions that make sense to them
These were real responses that stood out for me, especially when you have multiple levels in one classroom. It can be hard to attend to every dancer individually.
Alignment can be a difficult thing to teach in class. Often, we know that your alignment plays a huge role in dance technique, and without it, the steps will not be executed properly. But sometimes we have a hard time explaining WHY our alignment has to be this way. Instead of just saying "because that's the way it is" or "this is what my teacher taught me," it would be beneficial to the students to explain how your alignment affects your weight distribution, balance, and muscle activation.
One way to address alignment in class is via anatomical cues or descriptions. For example, instead of telling your dancers, "your torso must be in one straight line," you can look in the mirror and explain how your head, shoulders, and ribcage are stacked in one line. You could say how the spine connects from your head all the way to your tailbone. You could show them the differences in alignment and how the parts of the body are affected in different postures. Translating that conversation into dance technique is the real challenge.
I've found in my own teaching experience that every dancer responds to cues differently. Every dancer has a different body type. And not every dancer understands their body alignment.
Using anatomical cues can be life-changing for some dancers who hadn't understood the concept previously. It can be that lightbulb moment that transforms the student's dancing.
If this is sounds like something you're wanting to learn more about, I have a surprise for you:
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In this course, you'll learn all about the systems of the body and how it directly relates to dance performance and technique. You'll get a well-rounded understanding of the human body with content that allows you to learn at your own pace.
If you're ready to level up your dance teaching and truly transform your dancers' abilities, then enter to win FREE enrollment in the course. Click here for your initial entry. Once you enter, you'll be eligible for additional entries to increase your chances of winning! Don't wait on this opportunity... the contest ends soon!
Kendall Baab, MSc
Owner & Founder of BodyKinect