Research-Based Approach to Teaching Dance
I have chosen to investigate the topics of motor skill development and dance because I am interested in how this knowledge will benefit my dance teaching skills. I have been teaching ballet for the last two years at a local dance studio but have no real training as a dance teacher other than my own ten-plus years of dancing. I am interested in having a broader base from which to teach and a larger theoretical background from which to draw information. In order to develop this base, I will first be investigating motor skill development. Dance and all other movements are not possible without the development of these capabilities. Motor learning includes locomotor skills, such as walking, running, jumping, hopping, galloping, and skipping, all of which are also aspects of dance. This section also contains the development of balance, coordination, and kinesthetic sense. From there, I will move into a brief history of ballet and different methods of teaching it. I will describe the five most traditional types of ballet training: the Russian Method, Cecchetti, Boumonville, and the types taught at the School of American Ballet and the Royal Academy of Dancing in England. After this, I will look at the difference between creative movement and pre-ballet classes for three to five year olds. The methods of teaching these young children and how they coincide with their motor skill development is what is of particular interest. Next I will discuss ballet classes and skill progressions. This will be followed by a discussion of evaluations and whether and how they are beneficial for the child, parent, and teacher. These afore-mentioned topics will provide me with the necessary base and theoretical background to more effectively teach ballet classes that are developmentally appropriate.