Heather’s middle school dance students research limitations in dance by mapping phrases, making observations, and finally working within set limitations.
If you are stretching with the goal of long-term changes in your flexibility (for example, you can’t do the splits and would like to), save your stretching routine for after class or between barre and center when your muscles are “warm.” Generally speaking, both of the stretching techniques above have acute (short-lasting) effects on your range of motion before activity, but don’t really increase your overall flexibility.
Most teachers likely agree that demonstration and practice are critical to the success of dance students, but to what extent should the instructor encourage doing over watching or vice-versa? Two research studies involving young children learning complex dance movements support every dance teacher’s belief that modeling as an instructional tool is especially important in learning motor skills, especially with younger children. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to demonstrate as fully as possible, especially with beginners and young children, if you want them to get the most out of your demonstration.
When it comes to stretching and splits some dancers place intense emphasis on achieving the ideal static position, forgetting that this type of flexibility is only part of the picture. They compromise the health of their instrument – the body – as they push to extremes to get results, and get results fast.
As many of you know, I am a full-time mom in addition to a dancer, teacher, and blogger. Being a relatively new mom, I am just learning and getting started in the balancing act between these two three four worlds. Knowing that there are other dancing mamas out there, I wanted to share a research […]