Early Childhood Education
By Amy Ausen
The Early Childhood Dance Education program was a week-long intensive full of inspiration. Before coming into this week, I was still unsure if teaching was something I would want to pursue, but I am now certain I want to teach.
One activity that stood out to me was having the opportunity to create our own lesson plans. We were given a word to use as inspiration; my group had the word “food.” After listing different words and phrases that related to food, we narrowed in on baking, specifically bread baking. We began by creating a warm up that incorporated the developmental patterns. This was something that we struggled with because we wanted to keep the patterns in order but also stick to our story line of baking bread in a bakery; this struggle ultimately led to new pathways of creativity and inspiration.
After creating a warm up sequence, we began to look at our exploration and development. Our movement sentence was “slice, spread, melt, bite.” We decided to have our students try these different action words out in their bodies while finding ways to incorporate Laban Movement Analysis terminology into it. This whole process was extremely helpful for me. As someone who has not had a lot of teaching or lesson planning experience, it was useful to go through the process of starting with something very broad and narrowing it down. I am now realizing how easy it is to create a lesson plan about anything as long as you have a clear end goal.
Throughout this intensive, we were presented with many essential questions. The one that sparked an interest in me was “why is early childhood dance so important?” This is not something I had previously thought of, but through conversations with others I realized the endless amounts of answers to this question. As a group, we stated that it is important because it provides an outlet for expression and creativity, it teaches tolerance and acceptance, builds community, and can aid in development for young child.
One thing that I will take away from this experience and keep with me is the passion everyone has for teaching dance. It is truly inspiring being in a room of incredible educators who all share the same passion and goals. Being surrounded by these amazing people inspired me to begin thinking about a path in dance education myself. With only having a year left in school, I have been worrying about what to do after I graduate. Being in a community of dance educators and learning about early childhood education for a week has made me feel like there is a place for me in this community and I am excited to dive in!