Sunday, 17 March 2013

Life skills

Also posted on SIG group: danceteacherssig
Barclays is promoting a 'let's get students ready for work' initiative and I found the following part of the programme interesting with respect to my possible inquiry:
Reading through the qualities and skills listed I found myself thinking:
  • overcome challenges - we do that in dance class by controlling and adapting the way we move our bodies to create the moves/ qualities required
  • deal with setbacks - everyday occurences in dance class, for example: my body won't do this, I can't quite get that right, I don't understand the steps, I got a lower exam mark than I had hoped for...
  • build on success - again, everyday occurences in class, for example: I got that bit right today, I practiced so that I could remember the moves, I did well in my exam, my leg went a little higher in my kicks today...
  • instil good habits - attending dance class regularly, being on time, wearing the correct uniform, interacting with other people and building friendships, working together for show numbers or in partner work (like pas de deux classes or exam pairings).
Personal impact...
  • How to dress, act and communicate to make a positive impression - dance is all about how you present your 'self' to the teacher, examiner, audience,etc. Awareness of how to stand, how to behave, how to appear to others, are all daily habits of a dancer.
  • communicating effectively - in dance it is constantly about how to express what you are feeling or what style you are demonstrating so that the audience understands what you are trying to say or be.
This initiative with Barclays is aimed at 14-16year olds, just the sort of age where dance schools start to lose pupils due to the pressures and stresses of GCSE's. If dance can promote all the above skills then perhaps parents and students will be able to see the added benefits of continuing with dance training whilst studying for school examinations?
Perhaps my inquiry should be centred around this sort of age range? It's around the time when Emotional Intelligence skills are said to start developing (L.Tarr, 2005), and a time when students start to be pulled in differing directions - school, social, music, dance, sports - and have to make choices about the path they will continue along.

Your thoughts please...
Barclays Bank. Barclays Life Skills | Training and Work Experience for Young People. Accessed 18 March 2013
Tarr, L. (2005) Student Success: Motivating Middle School Students through Personal Development. Student Success Mindset, Da Vinci Learning Technologies Inc.
PO Box 7475, Springfield, IL 62791 Accessed 31 January 2013

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