How to teach primary school dance using the 6 principles of dance

When we speak to primary school teachers around the country, lots ask me how they can teach dance in their primary school without any previous dance experience.  And remember, you don't have to be a dance specialist to teach primary dance.

There are some really simple things that every teacher and one of the key basics are the 6 principles of dance.  This blog takes you through them in order:

  1. Traveling
  2. Turning
  3. Jumping and leaping
  4. Balance and stillness
  5. Levels
  6. Gesture

So, let Gaye and Imogen take you through some really good tips on how to teach dance using the 6 principles of dance so you can find out what they are and use them to help the children choreograph their own performances.      

Scroll down to find a short video and supporting text to help you begin to find ideas for your primary school dance lesson.

Watch the short video to find some great quick hints and tips on teaching dance as a non-specialist using the 6 principles of dance.  

Scroll down to read the transcript of the video. 

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Transcript from the video...

How to teach a dance using the 6 principles of dance

Lots of teachers ask us how they can teach dance in their primary school without any previous dance experience.  And remember, you don't have to be a dance specialist to teach primary dance.

One of the main elements to teaching dance are the six principles of dance, and you can build your choreography from there.

So, when you've got them, you will be absolute fine. I'm going to take you through them now.

Traveling

This is moving from point A to point B, or moving from a point, moving around the room and coming back to the same point. As long as you've left the spot and moved around, that's traveling. You can use any movement to do that, it could be walking, or skipping, or it could be a crazy dance move, whatever you want.

Turning

Turning is very simple, it's literally a change of direction. It could be as simple as turning from the front to the side, or it could be spinning; as long as there is a directional change that's turning.

Jumping and leaping

This is all about leaving the ground so you can do two feet back to two feet, two feet to one foot, one foot to two feet or leaping is one foot to one foot.  As long as you leave the ground, at some point, that's your jump.

Balance and stillness

Stillness is like a statue or a photograph, and it could be a really nice way to end your performance with everybody being absolutely Still and not moving.

Really nice picture balances, slightly different balance is unstable, it's wobbly, and you have to work really hard not to fall over.

But remember, you can balance on lots of different body parts, not just on your feet. So, think about adding balance and stillness into your routine.

Levels

Using different levels and moving at different heights can really add to the look of your performance. You can be high, you can be middle level, you can be low level, or you could even be completely down on the floor. And this just adds a really nice layer of interest to your routine.

Gesture

This is the character, the scene, or the story you're trying to tell.  

It maybe you are doing a Bollywood dance routine, gestures are a great way to really make the dance come alive with you hand movements; or maybe you’re a Roman gladiator, think about how your movements and gestures need to be strong as you show the character of a gladiator.  This could also incorporate holding (or pretending to hold) different pieces of equipment. So, it all adds to the layer of imagination and interest in your routine.

And that's your sixth principle of dance!

  1. Traveling
  2. Turning
  3. Jumping and leaping
  4. Balance and stillness
  5. Levels
  6. Gesture

Watch the movie and you’ll find a clip of the lovely Jack and Morgan demonstrating a simple circus themed combination using the six dance principles suitable for children ages five to seven years.

Like this and want even more?

Set up your FREE imoves dance account for even more ways to get your kids dancing in your primary school!


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Create your FREE FOR LIFE account and get started today!

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