• Survive the realities of teaching dance in public schools.
• Explore new methods for teaching children the creative process.
• Obtain tips on teaching children the art of performance.
Prepare to handle the common and uncommon obstacles that every creative dance teacher faces—obstacles that you never learned about in methods courses.
Dance Education Tips From the Trenches is a light-hearted collection of 83 essays that present real-life stories, quips, and survival tips for teaching creative dance in public school settings. The book is an excellent source of practical solutions for teaching children the creative process and ensuring successful performances.
Whether you’re a new teacher or a veteran, this essential survival guide will help you handle class management, class organization, logistics, motivation, gender issues—every challenge you may encounter.
Author Cheryl Willis, an experienced dance educator who isn’t afraid to admit her mistakes, shares real-life stories she uses in her own classes. Her approach is honest and humorous. And her reality checks will alert you to the everyday minutiae that can bog you down, and help you overcome it.
The easy-to-follow, consistent format makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. When you’re wondering about a situation, simply scan the obstacles and essay titles to find the one most relevant to you.
Each essay follows the same template, with an icon highlighting the following elements:
• Trench truth
About 50 cartoons are sprinkled throughout the book, keeping the tone light and humorous. You can easily read Dance Education Tips From the Trenches in one sitting, which makes the book ideal for busy teachers.
With Dance Education Tips From the Trenches, you’ll feel as though a friend is by your side sharing mistakes and solutions—and reminding you that you can still laugh at your job and enjoy the many wonderful moments of teaching creative dance.
Prelude: The Dance
Part I. The ABCs of Dance Education Chapter 1. A Rude Awakening
Why Don’t They Move?
Ya Gotta Know the Territory
In God We Trust
Does Socioeconomic Class Matter?
Moving the Students Chapter 2. Establishing Class Rules
Rule 1 Be Good to Yourself
Rule 2 Respect Others
Respecting Partners Chapter 3. Managing Your Class
Give Me That Old-Time Religion
Praise and Correction
Educational Views on Praise and Correction
Dance Class Management System
Step-by-Step Management Plan
Steps to Cooperation and Collaboration
Logistics Chapter 4. Creating a Dance Space
Preparing the Space
Sharing the Space
Creating Personal Space
Dancing in Mashed Potatoes
Other Spatial Concerns Chapter 5. Planning and Organizing Your Classes
Where Do I Start?
Who Are These Kids, Anyway?
Methods for Grouping
Logistics of Integrated Arts
Signaling for Attention Chapter 6. Grades, Assessments, and Rubrics
Comments on Report Cards
Rubrics Chapter 7. Your Role As a Dance Educator
Organizing the Program
Teachers Are Human
The Teacher and the Therapist
Taking Care of Yourself
Part II. The Creative Process Chapter 8. The Creative Process: The Idea
The Exploration Stage
Exploring in Teams
The Creation Stage
Creating Under Time Constraints
Grouping for Creating
Gender Effects on Creating
Showing the Dance
When to Show the Work
How to Show the Work
The Critique Stage
Critiquing in the Primary Grades
Critiquing in the Elementary Grades
Clipboard Critiques Chapter 9. The Process Continues: Performance
Reworking According to the Critique
Reworking for a Performance
Rehearsing for a Formal Performance
Rehearsing in the Space
Dressing Up the Gym
Informal Grade-Level Program
Preparing for the Formal Performance
Directing Formal Performances
Reviewing the Process Chapter 10. Dance Education for Parents and Faculty
Putting Creative Dance in the Spotlight
If You Don`t Have the Principal`s Support, Don`t Take the Job
Understanding and Accepting Creative Dance Education
Getting All Teachers on Board Chapter 11. The Dance Audience
Creating Dance Audiences
Studying Dance As Culture
Using Videotapes of Dance Genres
Using Live Performance to Create Thinkers
Afterword: And Now We Dance
Appendix A: Performance Rules
Know How to Cope With Surprises
Know Where to Go
Know How to Deal With Nerves
Know That Your Performance Is a Gift
Appendix B: Lagniappe
Pencil Throwing Story
About the Author
Resource for elementary dance, physical education, and classroom teachers as well as student teachers and PETE faculty who teach creative dance to children K-6. Supplemental textbook for teaching methods courses in dance, physical education, and elementary education.
Cheryl M. Willis, EdD, is an award-winning dance specialist. She has worked as a classroom teacher in the United States and in Libya, North Africa, and is currently a creative dance specialist in the public schools in Vancouver, Washington. She has worked as a reading specialist in K-12 schools, successfully owned and directed her own dance studio, and taught in a performing arts center for theater students. She also has taught dance at the college level and choreographed and taught at a performing arts center.
Dr. Willis is a member of the American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and was named national dance educator of the year in 2000. She also belongs to the National Dance Educator's Organization.
Dr. Willis earned her doctoral degree in dance at Temple University.