• Shannon Gallagher

My Favorite Add-On for Teaching Dance

If you're a dance teacher you know that sometimes you need to pull a few things out of your hat to keep the dancers engaged and to encourage them to learn more. I've tried a bunch of different things; I made flash cards with ballet words on them, I've made up "games" to try to encourage my students to try their own choreography, and I've tried quizzing them on terminology and even on dance history. But nothing has compared to the boost my teaching has gotten since I started using Elevate Dance in my classes. It's easy, it's fun and I feel like I'm learning right along with my students!

Here's how it works... Elevate Dance has a Ballet Edition, Tap Edition and Jazz Edition. Each edition comes with three sets of cards; vocabulary, trivia and fact or fiction. There's an instruction card in the box with eight different activities that use the cards. They recommend you use Elevate Dance at the end of class, with each activity only meant to last 5-7 minutes - but I bet you could start class with Elevate Dance too, or take a break in the middle of class. The activities include things like Name That Step (I show the step, the kids tell me the name of it), Spelling Bee in ballet (it's hard to spell those ballet words) and Trivia (similar to any other trivia game you've played, but with dance history). The instruction card also encourages you to try your own version of activities with the cards. I haven't ventured into that yet, but I probably will as time goes on.

So what makes it so great? Why is it the best trick I have to pull out of my hat at the end of class? Because Elevate Dance did all the work for me! I don't have to make flash cards or create new games. Because my dancers have starting asking more questions about what they are learning! Because I'm learning more as I'm teaching them! Dancers are going home and telling their parents and their friends about what we talked about in class. And then they are researching more and coming back to class to tell me what else they learned about Bill Bojangles Robinson (example). I could have never imagined that my dancers would be learning so much so quickly, and it only takes a couple of minutes at the end of class.

Check out Elevate Dance when you get the chance. I highly recommend adding it to your bag of tricks!

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