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Conceptual Dance Ed: Why we love the Elements of Dance!

We love to connect kids to a greater understanding of dance, and that's where the elements of dance (and music) come in! You will find these as part of the public school curriculum, any great choreographic course, and here at ConnectEd. They provide dancers a way to understand and create movement using a vocabulary that is common and relatable to real life. Children who know how to identify and apply them are well placed to learn and perform dance!

The elements of dance are concepts of:

B (Body and Action), E (Energy), S (Space), and T (Time).

For info on how these are broken down into subcategories, here are three amazing resources:

At ConnectEd we teach a variety of dance styles, but all of our classes include the elements of dance rotated throughout the year. It does take time and it is a non-traditional method of dance instruction (though growing in popularity due to growing research) but it is totally worth the investment in a child's artistry!

Let's break down the benefits:

For your dancers physical skills... Dancers can manage learning new movement with added confidence because they know what is being described, what they are seeing, and can emulate the form, energy and performance required by the task at hand. It is an alphabet from which to create new movement but also a fun vehicle for teaching codified styles like ballet, jazz, etc., by adding another dimension of play and exploration to typically teacher led type classes. Plus, children respond well to corrections in class to find safe posture and alignment when they understand what the instructor is asking them to create with their body.

For your dancers expression... children learn how the elements can express ideas and emotion. Utelizing the elements, they have numerous jumping boards for creating visually interesting dancing that expresses their ideas, stories, and feelings. Each elements focusses in on one way the movement can be altered to change it's meaning/feeling and children are natrual explorers who enjoy testing contrasting qualities. Bonus: all this experimentation improves dancer confidence and social skills because they are required to improvise and share their ideas in groups.

For your dancers appreciation and understanding of art... viewing and interpreting dance, theatre, art or listening to music will become a more meaningful experience when the students draw parallells to the elements of dance. We use musical elements to support our movement but actually...all art forms relate! Once I did a workshop at Excite Academy (shoutout - love that place) where the students learned the dance elements and the closest corresponding art element (think colour, form, texture, shape etc) through creating sculpture and dance inspired by famous artworks and it was so incredible to see the kids be able to deepen their understanding of one art form while exploring another.

For your dancers life skills... children can apply their application of body control, spatial awareness, energy mastery, and musicality to their everyday life. This can be applied to other sports and physical activities of course (once I did a project at University where we applied the elements to my husbands golf swing... it was perfect) and if you didn't already know... dance is numeracy, literacy, and science... but these skills are so essential for how we interact with the world.

So, when you see us having fun (on purpose) exploring the elements in class, shout hooray and do a dance (in your head as they will get distracted if you shout it out loud - hehe) because I can promise you learning is happening. Then enjoy exploring them at home with the whole family... so fun!


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