By Bill Evans
Most students learn longer combinations more efficiently if you follow a whole-part-whole strategy. First demonstrate the whole phrase as clearly, musically, and qualitatively as possible, so that the students get the big picture or context. Then, unpack the various parts and teach portions of the phrase. After each part has been investigated, it is time to put the whole pattern together again: whole (oneness), part (differentiation), whole (integration).
I often hear teachers talking about what they “covered” in their classes. I prefer to focus on what I can help students “uncover.” Dance class can be a process of discovery in which each student participates. Pouring information into our students is less useful to them than structuring opportunities for them to participate in investigations of movement concepts.