Educating Dance is cross-curricular dance… our way of using dance to enhance the learning and enjoyment of any school topic. Over the years there have been hundreds of lessons and almost as many different subjects, topics or learning aims. We’ve somehow picked our favourites and have described them below.
Mighty Metals at Miers Court Primary School
Written by Rebecca, Company Director
I taught 6 consecutive lessons to Year 3 at Miers Court Primary School and the theme was Mighty Metals. We took inspiration from the Honda Cog advert and used physics, forces and movement words to choreograph motifs in small groups. The challenge was to make the movement pass between each other and create a chain reaction, but they had to keep it interesting! The groups were so imaginative and thought of so many unexpected movements. They used the basic actions that I’d taught them and elaborated on everything, checking their heads and hands, using various levels and thinking about how they moved in relation to the rest of the group. We used extra transitional movements to link each group’s motif together and perform the dance as a whole class. Then we explored magnets and made shapes for our starting and ending positions. Even though this was a long time ago now, I still remember the feeling of anticipation, then excitement, in the room when the movement flowed around the hall through the whole class. It was spectacular.
Jubilee Celebrations at The Marlborough Centre
Written by Georgia, Level Three TRS Teacher
There are so many classes to choose from, however, some of my favourite Educating Dance sessions are the Jubilee celebration workshops at the Marlborough Centre. It was fun and interesting to plan as I wanted important moments of the Queen’s reign to be featured, but also to allow her personality to shine through. There was lots of opportunity for creativity and to allow the participants’ personalities to shine too. It was such a special day filled with excitement, learning, dancing, flag waving and most importantly, lots of smiles. A true Jubilation.
The Gingerbread Man at Greenvale Primary School
Written by Jenny, Level Three TRS Teacher
I have taught some really wonderful classes but my favourite Educating dance lesson has to be when I taught a lesson about ‘The Gingerbread Man’ to Year R at Greenvale Primary School as part of their traditional tales topic term. We retold the story through a variety of tasks throughout the lesson and it was just one of those lessons that was truly magical.
We explored how we would make a gingerbread man during our warm up activity, and then expanded on this further through a series of tasks. We explored a range of movements for adding in the ingredients. rolling the mixture out and then cutting out the shapes. The children were able to explore a range of actions and dynamics in their movement which helped them expand their range of ideas.
I then gave each child a paper gingerbread man which they decorated with coloured pens through a series of instructions – we then used ribbon rings to decorate our own bodies like we did in our drawings to bring our gingerbread man to life. We did actions to ‘run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man’ and finally explored the river ride that the gingerbread has at the end of the story with the fox using my group ‘river’ prop.
It was such a creative session with lots of cross curricular elements to it and just flowed so well so the children really felt they were telling the story. I came away wanting to teach the lesson all over again.
Coronation Celebration at Ellington Infants School
Written by Kirstie, Level Two TRS Teacher
My favourite Educating Dance session so far has to be the workshops at Ellington Infants for the King’s Coronation.
All participants started by watching a video of the British Grenadiers Trooping the Colours and then learned small sequences in this style focussing on moving in unison just like the soldiers. I loved that not only were we dancing but we were also learning about key moments in history and their importance. There were also cross curricular links to mathematics as students had to use their counting skills in order to stay in time.
All participants then had the opportunity to choreograph their own dances using Union Jack flags in small groups or as a whole class. It was great to see students developing their teamwork and creativity skills and, most importantly, EVERYONE got involved, even if they don’t normally enjoy dance.
My overall highlight was that another teacher approached me as I was about to leave and said that many of the students had been practising the dances in the playground at lunch. It was wonderful to hear that the children had been inspired to learn and had now carried it on outside the classroom.