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