Dancing in our school in Lippstadt – Presentation of a dance school

The Latvian school we got to know – Jaunpils vidusskola – is a school with many different subjects. Two of the main focusses besides the scholastic ones are music and dance. Every child in every class learns to dance and presents these dances and other things, such as poems or songs, in front of others: e.g. Mother’s Day concert or the end of the school year concert, which we took place as the German delegation as well. One can clearly see that these two topics are visible in every day school life.

This is very different from our German school and surely very different from most of our schools. Music is an official subject and taught in most of the years and also – when chosen – in the A-levels. Dance on the other hand is not really a part of any of our subjects. If the pupils want to learn to dance, they need to find a dance school or rather a dance studio, where they can take different courses: ballet dance, jazz dance, hip hop dance, ballroom dancing etc.

There are town and cities which have folkdance groups, who also participate in meetings and conventions all over the world. In school, however there is no lesson based on really learning about this certain kind of music or dance. In order to prepare for the meeting in Latvia, we signed up at a dance school to get special training in a traditional German folkdance.

Neitzke is a dance school in Lippstadt which addresses everyone: there are courses for children, teens, adults and senior citizens. You can choose from a large variety of dance styles, for example Ballet, Hip-Hop, Zumba, Tango, Salsa or Discofox. Some lessons are for couples only, others are especially for singles. On the weekends, dancing parties which can be visited by everyone who wants to dance take place. You can check out their website: http://www.tanzstudio-neitzke.de.

It is also possible to take one or more lessons for a group. And that was what we decided to do as preparation for our Erasmus+ meeting in Latvia. With the help of a friendly teacher we learned to dance parts of Polka and the German folk dance Rheinländer. And as you can see in the pictures, we really enjoyed the lesson and were quite successful! Take a look at the pictures and the video we uploaded a couple of months ago!

 

 

A lesson plan – DANCE!

Basic information:

This is a plan for two double periods (appr. 2 x 90 minutes) for pupils in Year 8 (13 to 14 years old). Our curriculum does not include the topic “dance” – this way our pupils (especially the boys) are a bit shy concerning dancing and presenting a dance in public or rather in front of their peers. The basic start will be to watch dance videos and to think about how the steps look like. The next step is to learn the steps shown in the videos, which they will also have to teach to the other groups. This means that there are two big groups (a modern dance group and a traditional dance group) and these groups will be split into smaller groups of 3 or 4. Although these lessons are set for two periods á 90 minutes, the pupils will only have 75 minutes of “real” lesson time as they need to change before and after class (all together 15 minutes)

Goal:

The main goal of this short sequence is on the one hand to gain knowledge about dances (some steps) and to teach them to another group. On the other hand, the goal is to become active and practically learn the dances.

Room and material:

This sequence should be held in the gym as the pupils need space to move around. The theoretical part can be worked on on the floor or on the benches. They need to bring a pen and paper. The teacher supplies the group with the video material to learn the steps (or in the case of hip hop dancing a few steps) of the two dances as well as the music needed.

Laptops and videos:

Rheinländer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCuUx1oYAdU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQfx5YscpMw

Hip Hop dance moves:

https://www.edugroup.at/medien/detail/lerne-die-grundschritte-des-hip-hop.html

 

Lesson plan for the first double period (90 minutes):

Phase Action Room/ Media
 

 

 

Beginning phase

 

(8 minutes)

 

The teacher writes the word DANCE on the board – as a silent impulse. The pupils say things or terms they connect with DANCE (e.g. ballroom dancing, modern dance, choreography etc.). They come to the board and write down their ideas themselves. Some might also mention certain dances and maybe steps they can show the class.  

 

Gym

 

 

Flipboard chart/ movable board

 

 

 

Group phase I

(7 minutes)

 

 

The teacher divides the class into two big groups: traditional dance and modern dance. Each group is split into smaller groups. Then the teacher explains the following work steps.  

 

pen and paper

 

 

Group phase II

(60 minutes)

 

 

 

Each group has got a laptop or a tablet with the dance moves they have to prepare.

They watch the videos and the hip hop group decides which moves they would like to teach the others. Whereas the traditional dance groups focus on the steps that are necessary to dance the Rheinländer.

 

 

laptop/ tablet

 

 

 

Presentation phase

(20 minutes)

 

 

The pupils briefly introduce their focus: modern or traditional dance. Afterwards each group (3 to 4 pupils) presents their ideas. It will be obvious that the traditional dance group has to stick with certain dance steps that all belong to the Rheinländer dance, whereas the modern dance groups are able to choose certain steps and moves. Each group presents their dance. After the presentation phase the groups will be mixed: two from the modern and two from the traditional dance group.  

 

music

notes

 

 

Teaching phase

(35 minutes)

 

 

 

 

In the following phase, the so-called “teaching phase” the pupils teach each other the different dances or rather dance moves in combination with the music chosen. This unit will take more time as they have to learn and to teacher at the same time.  

 

music

notes

 

 

2nd Presentation phase

(15 minutes)

 

 

 

In this phase, all the results will be presented. This means that each group first presents their modern dance choreography. After all the modern dance choreographies, the whole class will dance the traditional dance – the Rheinländer – together.  

 

 

music

 

 

Evaluation phase

(5-10 minutes)

 

 

It is important for pupils to learn to evaluate what they’ve learned: content-wise and method-wise. To do so they are asked to take a piece of paper and a pen and to write down what they think about learning these two dance varieties and about the method: a shortened variety of a group puzzle.

In the last few minutes the group is asked to discuss their opinions – on the one hand to learn to give their own opinion. On the other hand for the teacher to learn how to optimise the lessons for the next time.

 

 

 

 

notes

 

Last day in Jaunpils, May 12th – The Big Show!

So finally the last day came. A sunny but cold day brought us to a moss where we went on foot. On wooden planks we walked in a long row, like pearls in a necklace.  Ķemeri Moorland (Lielā Ķemeru tīrelis) is special for its great biological diversity, the unique Kemeri Bog, mineral waters and therapeutic mud found here. A boardwalk took us to the world of moss, small pine trees, deep pools, tiny dark lakes, and the smell of wild rosemary. They told us not to leave the boardwalk since the ground is extremely swampy, you can sink and disappear, so they told us.  We climb to an observation platform that offered a magnificent view of the bog from above. The sunshine and the fresh air made us feel easy and happy.  Then we went to the beach, a beautiful white sandy beach, in which many (well, some) of us did not manage to stay away from the water.

After lunch at school, the last rehearsal began. We were to participate in the school concert. The students had been training for months and we, all groups from the different countries, would perform our presentations. Some of us had dance, group dance and solo dance; some had a song in different tones, some had made a movie.  Presentations fit into a theater play and we behaved like kings princesses, giants and much more. The castle’s large hall was full of students, teachers and parents. When the show started, everything worked perfectly. With the applause rising in our heads, we walked back to school for a small celebration, which was also a farewell party. With the applause rising in our heads, we walked back to school for a small celebration, which was also a farewell party. Bye Jaunpils, we will not forget this week. See you soon.

Erasmus + meeting in Jaunpils, fourth day

For teachers, this day was a hard day of planning and administration ahead of the project. All the coordinators gathered in the office of the principal while the students and the rest of the teachers worked with artistic production. After lunch, we repeated for the big final show in which we all should participate acting and dancing.

After the rehearsal at the castle, we all went together for a long walk, which ended in the woods. There a group of teachers awaited us with many planned activities, which we did not know about. It started with a warming where we chased each other and collected as many ”tails” we could. We were really heated! Then we got into the school divided into groups for a long orientation with a map in our hands, where different controls were highlighted. Once we’ve found the controls, we need to do some exercises, individually and in groups. Some group came first and some group came a little later, but everyone was happy and sweaty. Meanwhile, the sport teachers had made fires and offered us soup, sausages and fries. A hot cup of tea strengthened us before the big end of the day, collective dance. The powers of heaven were gracious to us so the weather was perfect for these activities, and the forest became a great scene for all this. One day in Jaunpils, none of us will ever forget.

Erasmus + meeting in Jaunpils, day 3

It started with a bus ride of about an hour. It was cold, very cold for the season, but the sunshine, From Tukums, we first went to Jurmala, which is a city in Latvia, about 25 kilometers west of Riga. Jūrmala is a resort town stretching 32 km and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. It has a 33 km stretch of white sand beach, and a population of 57 000, making it the fifth largest city in Latvia. Mens Lettland var en del af Sovjetunionen, Jūrma was a favorite holiday-resort and tourist destination for high-level Communist Party officials, as Leonid Brezhnev and Nikita Khrushchev. You can see luxury villas everywhere and a modern pedestrian street, which runs through the center, is full of restaurants and souvenir shops.Jurmalas reputation as a spa destination began in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when wealthy landowners began the tradition of relaxing at the seaside,

But it was very cold, despite the sunshine. The snow lay on the frescoes and on the roofs of the cars. The white, beautiful beach was deserted, except on some walkers who defied the cool wind. Without a doubt, Jurmala is a very beautiful city,but we all longed for Riga.

Suddenly we arrived at the capital. We went out of the bus in the middle of the city. Valentine and the colleague in history, whose name I forgot, told us about Riga’s history and showed us around in all historical places. We saw the president’s residence, the school ministry, the stock exchange and much more. Most authorities had offices in nice old houses, and while we were talking about this, some street musicians began to play the European anthem,

 

One feature of the Riga visit which fitted perfectly into the project was to visit the Opera House. The Opera House in the Old Town is one of Riga’s most beautiful houses. The Opera House was one of the first houses that were renovated in the beginning of the 1990s after the Soviet okupation. Renovation was completed in 1995.

Then we went to Jelgava City, which is located on the right bank of the Lielupe River, is famous for its beautiful baroque castle..The castle was built in 1738 after the architect F B Rastrelli’s drawings, and is the largest baroque castle in the Baltic Sea, with an area of 2.2 hectares. It was former home of the Duke of Zemgale and 30 people of the family are buried in the castle, so the students in Latvia’s Agricultural University share premises with thirty dead people, Valentine said.

Today’s highlight was when we visited the Culture House in Jeslava and saw hundreds of young people from three to seventeen years dancing together. We had the opportunity to attend their large rehearsal before the set of a ballet show.