If you’re a 3-D Dance Parent, you’ll notice in our monthly What We’re Learning recap, we focus on one aspect of our Technical Dance Concepts Curriculum a month. While dance technique is usually thought of as a set of specific dance skills, we teach technical dance skills through the presentation of CONCEPTS.
Conceptual learning is similar to learning the alphabet. Young children can recite the alphabet at a young age because they can mimic the song and the sounds of the letters. They cannot, however, recognize written letters, understand the sound each letter makes, or understand that letters can work together to make a word, words work together to form sentences, and sentences work together to create stories. This type of scaffolded conceptual learning can be used to teach dance as well.
Our teaching goal is to ensure our students know their technical dance terminology. Additionally, we want to ensure our students understand that there are underlying dance concepts that we can and should apply to each skill. We layer these fundamental dance concepts into our dance terminology: Place, Size, Level, Direction, Pathway, Speed, Energy, Weight, Body Parts, Body Shapes, and Relationships. Each month our dance and acro classes explore one of the fundamental concepts. By focusing on one concept per month, and by teaching the same concept in every class that month, we allow the students the time and repetition they need to become familiar with the concept as it relates to many different technical skills and retain the information in the future.
For example, instead of focusing only on the term “plie” meaning “to bend,” we take it a step further and teach the skill of plie within the conceptual context of size (big/small), level (high/low), direction (down/up), speed (fast/slow), energy (smooth/sharp), body shape (straight/bent/angular), and body parts (feet, hands, arms, knees, ankles, hips.)
As a result of this conceptual approach, 3-D Dance students progress with a better understanding of how their body moves and what makes dance, dance.
Click here to see what we’re learning each month!