Classroom Connection

October 2012 | Classroom Connection

Normally I don’t approve of “tricking” kids into something. But if it’s for their own good and they end up loving it, what’s the harm? When structuring a class, I like to give students the technique they need but also sprinkle in some of the juicy material that makes up the final combination. Here’s the scoop on how to structure a class that fits in technique and lets kids dance their hearts out at the end: sneak the final combo into the class bit by bit.

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September 2012 | Classroom Connection

Observing students with a critical eye and responding with thoughtful feedback is something dance educators do in every class. You can let your students practice these skills as well by using So You Think You Can Dance as a format for a role-playing exercise for 10- to 13-year-olds.

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July 2012 | Classroom Connection

Preparing a dance is a rigorous process, as any teacher knows. When my 6- to 10-year-old students were having a difficult time remembering choreography, I knew I needed a creative way to inspire them.

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May-June 2012 | Classroom Connection

How well do your students know the names of the steps you call out every week in class? Have you ever asked a student to demonstrate a step and had her look at you blankly?

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March-April 2012 | Classroom Connection

Here’s an easy tool to help your young students (ages 3 to 7) look forward to coming to class: establish a “Dancer of the Day” program. This system of recognizing and giving special privileges to one dancer each day makes everyone eager to be in class because they never know when it will be their turn.

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February 2012 | Classroom Connection

Teachers try to impress on students the importance of being on time for class. However, if students arrive early and simply text or chit-chat, we can redirect them in their use of time.

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January 2012 | Classroom Connection

During an across-the-floor exercise in a jazz class one day, I realized that all the students (7- to 9-year-olds) were leaping with their upper bodies slanting forward.

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December 2011 | Classroom Connection

Using class time to its best advantage is a challenge for teachers of all age groups. Here are some tips to minimize transition time and maximize instruction time.

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October 2011 | Classroom Connection

Your iPod is loaded with music, you have a killer combination ready to thrill your students, and you’re heading for class. But have you prepared yourself for class?

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September 2011 | Classroom Connection

I began teaching modern dance at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in a cavernous former gymnasium that swallowed my voice and dwarfed my movement. After my initial classes I felt physically, vocally, and mentally exhausted. I quickly learned a few ways to conserve energy, and these lessons still prove helpful, regardless of studio size.

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August 2011 | Classroom Connection

Probably one of the most widely used tech items found in the studio today is the iPod, which allows teachers access to their entire music library with the touch of a finger.

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