Updated: Jun 28
1. 🧠 Prioritize teaching them anatomy as being equally important as their dance technique.
Uhh, yes you read that right! Teaching young dancers anatomy is just as important as teaching them technique. Why, you may ask? Because it sets them up to have a longer career. Don't believe me? Well, research says so!
"In fact, young dancers today are more likely to have longer, healthier careers as professionals in the field as a result of an increased understanding of basic biomechanics and specific etiology of dance injuries" (Pengelly, 2010).
2. 🧠 Create Assignments for them Centered around Concepts.
Once you've chosen a concept you want to teach them, you may want to design an assignment around that. For example, there are certain assignments that I do with my dancers every year, such as my Imagery Assignment (which I discussed in last month's blog). Interested in knowing my exact lesson plan for that assignment? Click here to read!
3. 🧠 Use an App (Such as Visible Body) to Richen Their Learning Experience.
Visible Body is my all-time favorite platform for richening my students' learning experience. Traditionally, anatomy is taught from a textbook, which makes it seem like the body is made of separate parts. This is actually not accurate, which is why it's helpful to supplement with something more 3D and realistic. Visible Body has an entire website where you can browse their items. My favorite app I use from VB is called Human Anatomy Atlas 2021.
4. 🧠 Utilize "Experiencing the Anatomy" Lessons to Kinesthetically Embody the Concepts.
This will give the dancers an opportunity to 'feel' the concept you are trying to teach them and embody it at a deeper level of understanding. In fact, research has stated that doing movement explorations like this results in more transfer of the concept to the dance classroom.
5. 🧠 Incorporate Fun Games & Ways of Learning.
Remember the human brain is hardwired for novel & fun things, so I encourage Dance Educators to get crafty with ways to teach anatomy and make it fun!
Pengelly, F. (2010). Anatomy for dance: An expanded design. Journal of Dance Education, 10(3), 77–82. https://doi.org/10.1080/15290824.2010.508696
- ❤️ Maria CEO of The Dance Scientist, L.L.C.