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Assessment in Dance Education

Having just returned from the celebrated, inaugural Dance Teacher Web Conference in Lake Las Vegas and a successful teacher-talk session on Dance in the K-12 Setting, I’d like to contribute some more information regarding many of the attendees’ questions on assessment in dance education, which can also be adapted for use in the studio setting. 

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Strengthening Exercises For The Back

Strengthening the back muscles is essential for dancers, valuable in preventing injuries not just to the back, but also to other areas of the body. When teaching dancers just to stand correctly, I like to familiarize them with the different muscle groups that need to function correctly in order to stabilize the body and give them the strength that they need to perform the technique very often required. I have found that by having the dancers make a diagram of each muscle group, it really helps them to understand where they are, how they need to be fired up and what their exact function is in relation to their body. For instance, understanding that the latissimus dorsi muscles that cradle the ribcage are tremendously important for their balance and for being able to hold the upper body in the correct position for leaps really helps them improve their technique. How many times have you watched a young dancer try to leap unsuccessfully because there is little or no control in the upper body? 

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Positive Thought Provoking Messages For Your Students


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Your Year Long Plan

Each year it is important to make a class plan that will outline the entire year and the content of work you would like your class to learn. This will also help keep you in line with what the class has learned, what they are struggling with and what must be taught. You can and must make this a working document that you will make notations on.

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