The Creative Teacher Project

An NQT Bringing Creativity to the Classroom

Stretching Myself: Teaching Dance

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BCC Dance Concert

Image Source – a dance concert at my old school!

Heading into a school to teach Drama this year has really stretched me. It’s been a great kind of stretch – the professional equivalent of restarting a yoga habit long since abandoned. My grasp of the content of a modern drama course is a little looser than I would like, but immersion is doing wonderful things – I find myself reading drama textbooks in bed, and looking forward to a rare free hour to read Beckett plays. I’m enjoying the ache of reusing old muscles.

A long, long time ago, however, in a galaxy that seems very far away, I used to be quite the little dancer. I managed to keep dancing even after puberty happened, and then when adolescence happened I found a dance teacher to whom I became absolutely devoted. The high pony-tailed wonder woman that was Mrs Stewart, the holistic dance teacher at my college. I adored her, and would have done anything for Mrs Stewart, but sadly, they didn’t offer TEE dance at my school, and so by year 11 and 12, my dancing was starting to slowly tail off.

It was a bit of a shock to find that even after a ten year absence, the only minor I was able to select for my Dip Ed was dance! To say that I was slightly….anxious about it was a bit of an understatement. The last time I attended regular dance classes was when Shakira was big in the charts. For real! I’ve struggled with the reality of it, but I guess that’s just it – the reality is that I will be a dance teacher. It’s a brain stretch that doesn’t feel quite so nice.

I am tremendously out of my comfort zone here. I am having to work hard to get my head around the content, and (something even more difficult) get my confidence up to a point where I’m not scared of a 13 year old saying “In my dance class we don’t do it like that…..”. I’ve decided to head back to dance classes myself – partly so that I can be the best darn dance teacher I can be (despite my initial reluctance), but maybe also a tiny to see whether dance is still a part of me. I have a feeling it might be, no matter how much of a stretch it is!


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