Dance as Language
by Caroline Criste
During the DEL essentials, I became aware of just how encompassing dance can be as a language. We spent the week learning about the basics of Dance Education, and how a lesson plan can guide a class through a full-bodied experience. I was most struck that although the Dance Education technique and the Laban Movement Analysis Language work for the education of youth, that this strategy can reach to any demographic, and it can be applied to adult beginning dancers and dance enthusiasts! It is so exciting to me that one can learn dance and dance literacy at any age, regardless of background!
Additionally, I was really excited to learn by example from Jody and Ann. As a teacher, I struggle with guiding classes through whole, cohesive lessons. I tend to get stumped with transitions, and I lose the flow of the class. The way that classes and lesson plans were demonstrated and constructed was excellent. I am excited to delve more into the idea of having a theme throughout the whole class. This can even be applied to technique classes, and I think that this will be more effective to the students as well. Teaching, for example, drop swings by using an ocean themed class would help the students be more engaged, and it gives them a visual for the style and momentum of the movement. I am excited to try this in my own teaching.
Finally, this week gave us a wonderful opportunity to review the LMA (Laban Movement Analysis) language. I feel as though I have a deeper understanding of a) how to translate LMA into movement and vice versa and b) how to effectively teach this. I think dance literacy is so important, and I also find it fascinating, engaging, and deeply connected to other things that students learn in school. The way that we worked with this language, applying and then reflecting, gave me many great ways to incorporate it into every dance class, and even into choreography and rehearsal.
I can’t wait to see what this next week brings!