Dance educator, Heather Vaughan-Southard uses exploration, choice, and personal responsibility to get beyond the walls her middle school students sometimes throw up. If you’ve experienced the emotional and academic ‘shut down’ typical of this age group, her findings will interest you. We’d also love to know your approach to reaching your tweens.
Heather had mixed feelings about the “Happy Slips” reward system she established in her elementary school dance program, however, a small change that has kids “competing” for slips seems to encourage more personal responsibility in her classes. Learn more about what’s working for Heather.
Tone of voice and the way you use your voice when you teach is so important! If you had no props or music could you still teach a class? Here are four ways Maria uses her voice with her preschool-aged students and when to incorporate each one.
Yellow or Pink? Maria teaches life lessons and manages behavior by giving her young students a balance of direct choices and free choices during dance class. Apply these tips for growing independent dancers in your own classes.
When young dancers are accompanied by an adult for class it’s not enough to just keep the child engaged. A dance teacher has the added challenge of keeping the grown-up active in their participation. In part two of this series on Grown-up and Me classes, Maria provides tips for keeping the adults happy, too.
Jack be Nimble, Jack be Quick, Jack Jumped Over the Candlestick
I have the students run and jump over our “candlestick” on the word OVER. We accent the third beat and the children clap along. (one, two, Three, four/one, two, Three, four/one, two, THREE, four/ one, two, THREE, four.)