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Teaching Children – All Progress Is Success

I am asked frequently by my parents how is my child doing in dance. My answer is always the same Great!!!!! and then I go into explaining why. When my students take their first class I assess where they are and what they can do. There are so many things that I am teaching besides movement, dance terminology, musicality and physical fitness.  One of the first things we work on are following instructions and listening skills.

It takes a lot for children to listen to the music and instructions and effectively execute and remember what they have been told. They are not just freely moving to the music as they would normally if they were at home or a party, although this is a part of class also.  They are both moving and thinking  and listening for changes in the music all at the same time.

So when I am assessing their progress which occurs over several classes, I am not only looking at their movement, execution of the steps given and how quickly they can change with the music. I am looking at how comfortable they feel with their movements are they staying on task, having fun, do they try even though the steps may be complicated.

I look for these things because I am not just developing performers. I am developing skills that will help them to find learning fun, build self confidence and esteem. Skills that will help them develop an “I Can Do It” Attitude, memorization skills, in addition to hand eye coordination and working with others.

So there are many different layers and levels that I am assessing and I am very happy and excited when I see growth, development or mastery on any level. It is not an all or nothing with me and I am not looking for perfection. The feedback that I get from my students help me to develop better curriculums or make changes so that our goals are accomplished,which are to have fun, learn and master themselves and their dances.

Your questions and comments are greatly appreciated.



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