- Introduction and Warming Up
- Maintain a Lively Atmosphere in Class
- Make the Movement Complex by Adding Layers
- Strike a Balance
- Make the Most of the Available Space
- Give a Lot of Compliments
- Avoid Negative Criticism
- Concentrate on the Lesson
- Assign Suspense-Rising Goals
- Help the Kids Stay Focused
- Make the Dance Class a Game
Dancing is the repeated movement of the body, usually to music and within a defined space, to express an idea or feeling, release energy, or simply enjoy the action itself. Dancing can be beneficial to the heart and lungs, as well as blood pressure. It improves physical strength, overall balance, spatial awareness, coordination, agility, flexibility, endurance, and aerobic fitness in children.
It is worth noting that children, especially those under the age of ten (10) years, are very lively, restless, and energetic, with a short attention span. A close examination of the kids in focus reveals that they pay attention to their teacher or instructor for 10 to 15 minutes.
Even though due to their ages, behavioral quirks, and limited attention span, teaching dancing skills to children under the age of ten might seem difficult, dancing can still be taught to children. Thanks to Superprof - an online platform for connecting with tutors for knowledge sake!
On Superprof, parents can find skilled dance tutors to teach their children dancing skills.
However, let us focus on how a skilled dance teacher can teach dancing skills to children irrespective of their ages.
Introduction and Warming Up
The dance lesson should begin with the dance teacher introducing himself to the class, followed by each student introducing themselves to the class. The manner for the dance class will be set by the fun and jokes that will be generated. The warm-up should be the following step:
In a dancing class, warming up is commonly done while listening to music. The instructors must play music to get the kids moving and in the mood to dance. Every student (kid) must be on the floor for the warm-up session.
Each child must find ample room to warm up without obstructing their classmates. Warming up exercises includes swinging their hands, rotating their wrists, loosening their necks, and other movements that will help them avoid damage once they begin the actual dancing lesson.
Learn more about the different dance lessons for kids.
Maintain a Lively Atmosphere in Class
Spending too much time on a single activity in a class with young children is a common mistake.
Children under the age of six should spend no more than five minutes on any one learning session. Avoid spending more than 10 or 15 minutes on any one exercise or section of the lesson, such as in a circle, across the floor, standing in lines, etc.
Make the Movement Complex by Adding Layers
Repetition is vital when teaching basic dancing techniques. Level your lesson with pictures to keep skill practice exhilarating. Find opportunities to play to enable them to learn more. Bringing their attention to a unique aspect of the movement might also help them to remain focused.
Strike a Balance
When teaching children, it is important to strike a balance between making the level just difficult enough to motivate them to attempt. Kids require measurable objectives. If you make it too difficult, they will become discouraged, but if you make it too easy, it may become dull and they may find it uninteresting.
Make the Most of the Available Space
Kids can't concentrate on one subject for lengthy periods or stay in one place. This is something that the dance teacher should take advantage of. Bring the children in for sweeping the floor, work across the room, and have them complete a separate exercise in a circle.
For one exercise, turn them away from the mirror. Draw some lines. Work in groups of two. Change things up a bit. Even if you are not teaching ballet dance type, if there is a bar, find a way to use it. For a stretch, place them on the floor. Use the full space as well as the levels.
Give a Lot of Compliments
Children respond positively to praises for a job well done. The dance teacher should continuously be on the lookout for things that the kids are doing well and compliment them. This provides an opportunity for the class to copy exemplary and appropriate conduct.
Instead of teaching the entire class, if the majority of the students are behaving badly, look for those kids who are doing extremely well or correctly and single them out. To be more particular, simply stating “Nice job” is not enough, therefore the dance teacher should keep an eye out for specific things that the children are doing well.
Avoid Negative Criticism
When children are continually chastised at home, they become irritated and eventually stop responding to their name if it is repeated unfavorably. If a student is frequently subjected to negative criticism at home, he or she may already be an expert at turning off the teacher in class.
The dance teacher may need to sharpen his or her skills in this area because it is often preferable to ignore inappropriate or upsetting behavior (as long as no one is badly affected) then call attention to it. The use of negative words in class should be limited to instances in which there is a collective danger of peril or threat to life or property.
Concentrate on the Lesson
Due to the short attention span of kids ten (10) years and below, when the dance lessons have spanned for a considerable period, the tutor may notice some of the kids displaying behavior traits to show that they are no more interested in the lesson or they are tired.
Instead of telling the tutor what their real situation is, they may start to do things that will distract the teacher and other kids. So the teacher needs to make them concentrate on the lesson, for example, The teacher could pretend that no one is stretching their hand, and can say "Thank you for stretching your hands!" instead of the command- "Stretch your hands!" The tutor would be stunned at how fast the kids will all stretch their hands.
Use the same approach for all types of actions, such as waiting quietly, pointing to their toes, keeping one's hands to oneself, changing shoes quickly, and so on.
Assign Suspense-Rising Goals
In children's dance classes, repetition and regularity are essential; but, if the same skills are taught in the same way each week, they will get fed up and find the session uninteresting.
Even though the kids are working on the same dance skills each week, the dance teacher can still set innovative goals for them that will increase their eagerness to participate.
The curriculum, like layering, can be updated every week. If the teacher is practicing dashes across the floor, he/she should tell the students they have to give a special treat to a friend on the opposite side. When it is your chance to take turns, ask each child what kind of dessert they are bringing.
The students might take a special balloon to the other side next week. Before the exercise, the tutor should make sure that the kids are aware of the questions they would ask. That way, it gives the kids something to anticipate and think about while they wait for their turn.
Help the Kids Stay Focused
When children in dance classes become bored, tired of waiting, or seek attention from the teacher, they frequently complain and request permission to do something else, such as use the restroom or do anything else to avoid the class.
It is critical to refocus or distract the children's attention during moments when it is necessary to complete an exercise or task.
If a student is pressuring the teacher for a water break during a dance lesson, he/she should be clear and firm and say that “Right now we are dancing.” Then, in an energetic tone, dive in with something that will refocus their attention. Waiting for a turn can be stressful, and having something to grip while standing can help a child who is forced to sit still.
Always include more activities in your schedule than you have time for. Do the kids and yourself a favor, casing it up and moving on to the next activity if you notice you are losing them.
Make the Dance Class a Game
Most times, the dance teacher could make the dance class a sports lesson for the kids, by interacting with the class using games and pretending to play. It does not have to be competitive, such games are merely a means to make things clearer. When the teacher makes dancing look like a game, it provides a clear aim and should help define the movement.
It should place a greater emphasis on challenging them in an entertaining approach rather than instructing them. Try “kick above your head in the mirror! Did you do it?” instead of “kick higher.”
Lastly, keep in mind that dance and movement come naturally to children. Any dancing education should nurture a child's natural joy while also challenging them to discover more about themselves.
By the end of the lesson, the child should have a greater appreciation for the entire concept of dance.
Even though teaching dance skills might be daunting, mastering the tactics above could go a long way to help dance teachers to teach kids how to dance effectively.
No doubt, after learning about how to teach kids dance skills, you can offer to train them to become great dancers using Superprof.
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