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    Skills Development: Dance

    People think of Dance and they think two things: Movement and Music.

     

    However, Dance is about much more than steps, routines and counting to eight.

    Galen Hooks; Choreographer

    There are 3 elements in Senior Phase Dance courses that we deliver at Armadale Academy, and here is what they offer other than the obvious!

    Dance Performance: Technical Skills

    Literacy

    Communication – Working with others, learning from instruction, asking for help.
    Listening – Musicality, following instructions.
    Talking – Learning style-specific vocabulary (often an understanding of French is required)

    Numeracy

    Solve Problems                - Applying centring, balance, strength, stamina and artistry to complete a performance                        
    Counting – Musical phrases and movement phrases of various lengths. Subdividing beats mentally and timing the peak of movements to marry up music with movement.
    Calculations – As above, working within time restrictions, selecting appropriate time restrictions. Dancing in sets of 3 to music that falls in sets of 2. Using weight, balance and estimation to support the execution of smooth transitions and effective use of space.
    Measuring – Formations, Shape and Momentum require a large element of spatial and visual awareness.

    Health & Wellbeing

    Taking Care of Yourself / others - Body awareness and safe dance practice.
    Responsible for your Welfare – As above, and an understanding of nutrition and lifestyle choices that best fuel the energy requirements of a dancer.
    Managing your Feelings               - Taking criticism in their stride. Unafraid of a solo performance and rising to a challenge with an audience to witness it.
    Develop a positive and active attitude to life – Lifelong appreciation of the energy and adrenaline of dance performance.
    Build Relationships – Working in class groups to learn together, reviewing and critiquing each other’s work and progress. Managing the inter-personal qualities of such activities.

    Employability, Enterprise & Citizenship

     

    Develop Skills – Learn new abilities and develop confidence in executing them.
    Understanding Personal Attributes – Constant self-assessment of technical strengths and weaknesses. Direct focus on faults in technique to address them in order to dance better and safer.
    Positive Attitude to Work / others – Learning to be disciplined in their approach. Working to deadlines and intrinsically motivated to achieve their best.

    Thinking Skills

     

    Remembering – Recalling routines
    Identifying – Stylistic awareness
    Understanding  - Not just “copying”, but “feeling” a movement with correct technical execution.  
    Applying – Putting moves into different routines, with different music, at different speeds. Varying the approach. Learning the routine on the other side.
    Analysing – Breaking movements down into their buildable component parts.  
    Evaluating – Asking constantly – “How can I make my dancing better?” “Is my technique correct?” “Am I applying artistry to the movement?” “Can this better fit with my chosen music?”
    Creating – Arranging the movements into new sequences, changing direction, changing body part. Looking for different approaches to the same technique.

    Practical Activity: Choreography & Choreography Review

    Literacy

    Communication –Working with others, especially the dancers involved. Demonstrating physically.
    Reading – Researching themes to develop. Reading testimonies, stories, poetry etc.
    Writing – Choreography review is an in-depth written description and analysis of the Choreographic process.
    Listening – Musicality, sound choices, discussion for research and discussion with dancers
    Talking – Articulating vision and theme, guiding a process verbally.

    Numeracy

    Solve Problems                - Development process and rehearsal scheduling.                          
    Counting – As with Performing Skills, and working within a time restriction.
    Calculations – Effective, impactful use of space.
    Measuring – As with Performing; Formations, Shape and Momentum require a large element of spatial and visual awareness.

    Health & Wellbeing

    All as with Performance

    Managing your Feelings – Choosing a theme that matters to you personally and exploring it deeply.
    Build Relationships – Working with dancers to execute a vision. Sharing intentions and getting those dancers to see it from your angle as Choreographer.

    Employability, Enterprise & Citizenship

     

    Develop Skills – Become a creative choreographer and director.
    Understanding Personal Attributes –Self assessment, peer assessment, regularly consulting the marking scheme to ensure a fully developed piece. Having ownership of your creation.
    Positive Attitude to Work / others – “People Management” – seeing the task through to completion and needing to rely on the work of others to achieve success.

    Thinking Skills

     

    Applying – Applying expressive intention to movements.
    Analysing – Making choices that are appropriate for the piece (eg Structure, Device, Development, Formation, Pattern, Shape, Placement, Quality…)
    Evaluating – Measuring the impact on an audience of choices made.
    Creating – Pulling all skills and emotional understanding to create a body of work with meaning and impact, and before all else, forming “creative, original movement”.

    Dance Question Paper

    Literacy

    Communication: Reading, Writing, Listening, Talking – Articulating strengths and areas for development, reading movement and choreography as a narrative and expressive tool. Articulating effectiveness of this in written form.

    Numeracy

    Solve Problems                - Consider and offer practical solutions to technical weaknesses and faults.                
    Measuring – Identifying use of space, pattern, repetition, structure as effective choreographic tools in the work of someone else.

    Health & Wellbeing

    Taking Care of Yourself / others, Responsible for your Welfare                – considering safe ways to develop technique and articulating the importance of safe dance practice.

    Managing your Feelings – Articulating opinion on how to improve a piece of choreography.                 

    Employability, Enterprise & Citizenship

     

    Develop Skills – Learning to articulate a physical concept verbally, working to a deadline.
    Understanding Personal Attributes – Critical and specific self-assessment with targeted plan of action.
    Positive Attitude to Work / others – Articulating a well-formed opinion on a piece of choreographic work that they have studied.

    Thinking Skills

     

    Remembering – Learning about styles, history and origins, learning in depth about a piece of professional choreography. Remembering technical steps and requirements.

    Understanding – Understanding the appropriate use of various devices in context and their effect. Understanding what various technical steps are supposed to look and feel like.

    Applying – Applying  this understanding to their own work and that of others including professionals.
    Analysing – Making observations based on the above in the work of themselves and of others, including professionals.
    Evaluating – Measuring the impact on an audience of choices made.

    Creating – Having applied the above skills to professional choreographies, making well-formed judgements and suggestions to further develop a choreography from the tools they have learned about.

     

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