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"Top Hat"- Lesson Plan for Creative Movement Classes


The teacher walks over to the group wearing the class’ special top hat and explains to the students that the person wearing this hat at any point in time is the master of ceremonies at our party. They are also the creator of all movement! The rest of the class must watch, follow and copy the movements. The teacher should then demonstrate in the center of the fishbowl and see if the kids can perform the activity! This should be followed with another demonstration by a volunteer or student who is being particularly well behaved. The chosen student gives an example of a movement he/she might choose. Now, students and teacher follow along. (Integration of music at this point is up to teacher discretion or they may opt to wait until class commences actual activity as a group.) The teacher should make comments here with positive feedback supporting excellent ideas, nice choreographic risk taking, interesting levels, etc......


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Studio Directors, what is your view on re-auditioning your company members every year? It is definitely food for thought and in my experience an important essential to studio business.
The most obvious reason is it gives new dancers an opportunity to move up from either apprentice, junior company, performance groups, etc. It also gives new dancers to the studio an opportunity to audition and get a sense of what the commitment entails; i.e. how "company" works.

For returning dancers, sometimes there is a preconceived notion that it is a given that once they're in, they're in.....not a good mindset for your students to have. Dancers at any level need to continually feel challenged and motivated to want to progress and advance; on their own. When they get into the habit of thinking they are in company automatically, it is inevitable that some will drop the ball.  There is nothing wrong with keeping them on their toes and making them realize the hard work and dedication expected and required of them year after year.....

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Technique is the most crucial aspect of any dance class, we all know that. It is the fundamental foundation of dance which propels a dancers growth, increases flexibility, enhances strength and teaches them essentially, “how to dance.” If our dancers are with us long enough, they learn our warm-ups and often know them backwards and forwards without us doing it alongside them. This is great because it affords the dance teacher more time observe to give and make tactile corrections, but it can also have the potential for dancers to go on auto-pilot and check out; especially if they are not being mindful of every single plie and tendu they are putting forth.......

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