Transcript of Dance performance

This transcript has been edited slightly for clarity. Listen to the podcast (41:05)

Jackie – The following podcast is brought to you by the Creative Arts Curriculum Team from Secondary Learners Educational Standards Directorate off the New South Wales Department of Education. As we commence this podcast today, let us acknowledge the traditional custodians of all the lands on which this podcast will be played around New South Wales. Their art, storytelling, music and dance along with all first nations people hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Aboriginal Australia. Let us acknowledge with honour and respect our elders past, present and future, especially those Aboriginal people in our presence today who have and still do guide us with their wisdom. Welcome to the creative cast podcast series I'm Jackie King and I'm a creative arts project officer with the New South Wales Department of Education. Today we're having a dance subject chat with Julia Livingston from Camden Haven High school and Carla Cherie from Kirrawee High school. Hi, Julia and Carla. How are you today?

Carla – Hi, I'm good. Thank you. How are you?

Jackie – Thank you both. So much for joining us today. I know the countdown is on and it's a very busy time of year leading into the end of the school year. So thank you so much for giving some time to give dance teachers a bit of insight to some different approaches in which you take to teach performance in your different contexts. And I really want to start by saying dance is sort of an interesting subject because it's not one that is taught in all schools. Not all all schools have a dance teacher. So your students obviously lucky that they've got a dance teacher at their school. Could you both? I'll give you a chance each to tell us just a little bit about your school context and how dance fits into your school context? I might get Carla if you can go first.

Carla – Yeah, so I teach at Kirrawee High School in the south of Sydney, and we're a co-ed comprehensive high school were not performing arts high school. However, we're pretty lucky in that we have really strong creative arts subjects, and we have, like, a number of different extracurricular programs, mainly in dance and music. So our school really supports the creative arts, got really good executive team that support us, and we do a biannual musical where the whole school is incorporated in that, and we all collaborate together. We will come together and create the musical. So it's it's great for promoting creative arts. It's great for promoting the school actually. We don't have dance in Stage four, but we have stage five and six, and I guess I try to incorporate dance for the seven and eight kids through an extracurricular dance program. So we run. There's about 60 kids, about 60 kids involved throughout, year 7 to 12, and we run ensembles and companies, you know, sport time before school and after school. And the aim for the extra-curricular program is, I guess, to promote dance for the seven and eight who aren't exposed to it in the elective subject. And I guess for them, it's to just kind of introduce Dance. Dance as a subject. They learn a performance skills technique composition, Within Kirrawee we really looking at the H-PAGE like the high performance and gifted education part. So for the extra-curricular program, is, I guess, upskilling, our students out in the Stage five and stage six dance subjects, so it's providing that extra training. They're exposed to more performance opportunities. So developing their performance quality skills, they work if they collaborate with myself for the tutor, which develops the composition skills. So the extra-curricular program is quite important here it at Kirrawee. And, yeah, it supports the dance subject.

Jackie – And I guess especially as you don't have dance in Stage four, it helps to keep that an interest in that subject and build an interest in that subject. So then you are able to get it up in stage five and six as well.

Carla – Yeah, definitely. It's the way that I kind of reach out to the 7 and 8 kids and and kind of say, Hey, we are here and dance exists and you can choose it as an elective And because they get those to the other students, you know, like the older students in the showcases or, you know, presentation performances or those kind of things. Then they’re kind of seeing where they could potentially take dance in stages 5 and 6.

Jackie – Fantastic. And Julia, your context is obviously quite a bit different because you are Camden Haven High School. Do you just teach the Distance Education at Camden Haven High School? Do you have classes at Camden Haven as well?

Julia – We are a combined face to face and distance education School 7 to 12 coeducation. We offer distance education for full time students. So students who geographically isolated or have some reason why they can't attend to face to face setting, and we also offer courses via a single course. If a school doesn't offer dance, for example, and a student really wants to do dance for their HSC or in Stage five, then they could attend their regular school and just do dance as a subject through us so that they can still get that experience and get that on their Rosa and HSC certificate. So, yeah, we do face to face classes from year nine through to Year 12 and in D.E. we're also offering stage five. So year 9 10 and then stage six year 11 and 12 and next year we are also offering the Certificate three an assistant dance teaching via distance ed. So that's really exciting for us to offer that new course, and we're excited with the challenges and opportunities that will present so we'll see how that goes. But yeah, we're really excited about that. That course that we're offering.

Jackie – That is a really fantastic thing to be offering the certificate three, and I'm sure it's going to present a whole new set of different challenges for you. But hopefully is a fantastic thing for your students, so you don't have dance in stage four either. How do you go about being able to get students into your stage five elective course? How do you attract students for want of a better term?

Julia – So similarly to Carla we offer a junior dance ensemble for students in years seven and eight, and then we've got a a senior company for students in the yr 9 through to yr 12. We are actually looking at incorporating Stage four Dance in 2022. We are looking at changing our lines to so that they get at least a term of each of the creative arts subjects in year seven and eight, just to give them more experience in what dance is, a subject is, remove the unknown. We've found that since because a lot of our performances and showcases our our company dancers that the younger students tend to think that that's the standard which those students are are exceeding the standard and they are our exemplary students. It's not actually what the Stage five course is about. It's not what dance is about. It's about the experiential learning. It's about getting in there and having a go. It's really being aware of what you wanted to do and just to give something new ago. So we want to get a little bit more experience early on just to remove that unknown so that they don't think that you need to be, you know, a prima ballerina, or be able to hold your leg above your head to be able to do Stage five Dance.

Jackie – I think that's really important to try and give them some kind of taster before they choose electives. Because there is, like for all of our creative arts topics, art is more than just drawing like music is more than just playing the ukuleles. Um, there's more to it, and so you want them to be able to understand all of the different experiences and not just think they've got to come in and be at a high performance standard to start with?

Julia – Yeah definitely.

Jackie – So in terms of getting those students eventually to a high performance standard. We're going to talk through ways today that you approach performance in particular as one of the experiences that in the syllabus for dance. I was hoping that we could start with Stage Five and and look at the different ways in which you teach stage five and then move through to Stage six. I might go back to Carla. And if you could share some of the ways in which you approach performance with your Stage five students.

Carla– I guess, first of all, I guess I have a high expectation, and I set that at the beginning. What I mean by that is like I have a high expectation that the kids present themselves to class. We have uniforms, and it's quite basic and simple. It's tights, you know, black tights. I provide a black singlet or the kids can wear their own leotard. But that way, then there is something that is comfortable. It's safe, and it kind of sets a precedent that they have, like a sense of belonging. And that's kind of where I like to start with them with for us. You know, we have a no socks policy and they, all kind of, you know, if they're all dressed the same and they're all there, they're already to perform. Then there shouldn't be any excuses holding back. And they're all they're all the same kind of starting point. Then the other thing that I have is again that expectation. I have set my expectation throughout the lessons, and I give them goals. So where I want them to be, maybe halfway through the lesson where I want, where I'm expecting them to be, maybe at the end of the lesson and so on, like at the end of the week and then where I want them to be at the end of the term and that way, then they've got this understanding like it keeps them accountable. It helps them with their time management throughout, and in their mind, they know where they're going, perhaps with the performance. One of the other things that I do incorporate with my performance classes or all of my classes. I try to incorporate the language of dance to just so that they're familiar with it. So, they're familiar with the syllabus and the way that I'm explaining using the correct technical words or in syllabus words. In year nine, so Stage five, we tend to get a bunch of kids. Some kids are your kids that have been dancing since they were 3 and then you might get kids that have, you know, just started and perhaps not as experienced. So, my first unit for year nine is a practical unit. So we do performance and we're looking at the development of dance. And within that, we looked at all different styles because I'm not sure about who the kids are that are coming in. I don't know whether what their experiences. I don't know whether their experience with ballet or contemporary. So we start kind of I want to start it and like an even playing field so they're all equals with that unit. I think it's a we want to start with year nine because it exposes them to all the different styles Indigenous Aboriginal dance, where dance came from and how it developed in Australia. And then we look at African dance, ballet, tap jazz, musical theatre.

So there's a lot of different styles that we kind of have a play within that first unit, and some kids might be a little bit out of their comfort zone in one particular style, but they might feel stronger and more confident in the other style. So that's, I guess, where I start. And then as we go on throughout the units, we get into more of the contemporary, which is kind of what the syllabus is asking for that contemporary style. Yes, so I guess I just try to start out broadly so that I'm not crushing anybody or, you know, like they feel confident to start off with.

Jackie – And I think that's a really great way just to see where everybody's at too. Because there's a different range of dance schools, different styles of dance. And while student maybe a fantastic tapper, they might not be a great ballet dancer, for instance. So, to really find out their skills and to give them a place where they can shine, gives every student a sense of success.

Carla – It then allows me to get to know them a little bit more so then I can challenge them a little bit more with their particular style. Yeah, and sometimes I will get them to actually take part sometimes they will take an exercise for me and because I'm not a tapper, use their skills as well. And in terms of the assessment task, they get to create a ah presentation on a particular style, a style of their choice, whichever one they feel more confident in. And they can then demonstrate exercises that we've learned in class or exercises that they may have made up within that style. They get to do a little bit of the performance that we've done in class and that shows off their technique and then incorporated in all of that and then give a little bit of a background understanding of the style and maybe the choreographers that famous within that style.

Jackie – Fantastic. So getting them talking about it as well?

Carla – Yeah.

Jackie – Julia, moving onto your approaches now for stage five and I don't know. I feel like I probably need to talk to you about how you do it face to face versus how you do it through distance ed. But I'm not sure. Do you wanna talk to that? Do we need to talk about it separately or can?

Julia – Well, yeah, I think with distance ed, um, like Carla you don't really know who's going to come into the room as such. We don't know anything about our students when they enrol their purely just a name on a page before we actually start teaching them and interacting with them. So we really have no idea what their experience is, where they're coming from, how many years they've been dancing for, if they enjoy a particular style. So we do something very similar with our distance ed students in that we have a first unit about. I love to dance because and we kind of with all of our programs, we sort of backwards map from stage six. So we kind of go, well what do they need from in Stage six and then? So, you know, backwards maps or what? It's a good starting point for performance in Stage five to lead them logically into what they need to know for Stage six. So we get them to look at a dance piece that they really love that so they find a piece on online, and then they start to comment on that, and then they talk about style, and then we go into looking at the actual technique of that style and how that actually how they enjoy performing it, how it feels when they perform it. So then we start to look at ways in which to prepare their body to perform those particular characteristics of that style. We have been doing a lot of videos now that everyone has a camera on their phone which has just been revolutionary for distance ed. So there's no excuse now. Kids constantly are filming themselves and they're really comfortable with it. Not like back in our day where you hated the camera, but they love the camera and they love everything. They feel really comfortable in being in front of that, which is awesome for us. So we get them to film themselves regularly so that we can actually see them and we can give them lots of feedback and we can start to build a relationship. We start to do regular zoom lessons. So with our Stage five kids, we do a zoom or a phone lesson once a fortnight so that they hear our voices and then they can see us. You know, we're not this random person at the on the end of the screen. We are actually really people, and we care about them and, you know, we're really invested in them. We start out by really building that relationship because if you don't have that relationship, particularly in DE, it's really easy to ignore. You know, ignore the emails, ignore, ignore the phone calls and things like that and so engagement is really important to start off with, and then we just sort of build from there, increasing the skills and the complexity of the understanding specific to what they're doing.

Jackie – I would think that relationship is really important in dance in general, obviously in DE and I know what you're talking about, I was saying before I was a DE student for a period of time, and you back in the day when I did it in the nineties, I never met my teacher. I didn't know what my teacher looked like. I'd get these blue bags in the mail and I would send the blue bags back. And yes. So it's fantastic that the technology now allows you to be able to do a zoom lesson. Do you ever get more than one in a zoom lesson or is it sort of just. Are they getting one on one zoom with you all the time?

Julia – It is pretty much one on one because the majority of our stage five students are single course. So they have. We need to work around their timetable and our timetable, so generally it's one on one. We do offer workshop days primarily for our stage six students, where we get everyone to come together for a face to face workshop. And that just helps to consolidate all of the learning that happens. And they get to meet the other students and share their experiences about being a distance ed students and the joys and the frustrations that go along with that. I think that connection is really important because you need to build that trust with the student. And I find that with face to face is well because students can feel a little vulnerable in presenting themselves in a dance class, particularly if they're all the people in the class, and they may feel that they're not up to that level or whatever. You really need to make sure that everyone's feeling really comfortable, and for that they need to be able to trust in the relationships in your building.

Jackie – Do either of you find sometimes that you get a student who's picked an elective dance in Stage five, but they are a bit reluctant to want to perform. And how do you overcome that? How do you encourage them to start performing and joining in with the rest of the class?

Carla – Yeah, definitely. You know, I tend to get that, and I guess the way that I try to overcome it for them is I mean went I'm teaching in class. I'll teach kind of like the exercises at a basic level, and then I'll extend on those. And the kids can choose kind of whether they do this on a rise or whether they add in that extra turn. So there's kind of those tears there, and the kids can just choose what they decide they want to do or where they want to take that exercise. I try to when they're doing their performance in class, try to. We talk about their capabilities and limitations, which is part of the syllabus and try to explain to the kids that you know we're learning the dance as a whole class, but when performing it, you're performing it as yourself. So you need to. Try to put it back on the kids and go What's, how can you incorporate your own style into the movement so often? If you've got a boy in the class, they tend to be a little bit more like they like to be stronger or they've got more of A like that sharp, hip hop kind of feel I might mention. You know, I've seen you dance and you're quite good at hip hop, so why don't you incorporate some of that into my movement that I've taught you? So I try to get them kind of pinpoint their strength and encourage them? To manipulated a little bit in the movement that I've taught because we know it. Not all dancers are the same, and as you were saying, prima ballerina, that's great, But you've also got feet. You what other movement qualities and other kids that we all need to kind of promote as well. So I guess, yeah, I try to get them to think about what their strength is and how they incorporate that into my movement and just always remember that they don't have to dance the same as the person next to them, because it's yet all about them and their capabilities and highlighting what they do best.

Julia– Yeah, definitely. I agree. We do the same similar kind of thing with our face to face classes. You always give options, and you're always encouraging them to find the most comfortable way for them to move and to really engage with the way that they move, not the way that somebody else moves or the way that I move so and that really creates that ownership over the movement itself, and that increases their confidence.

And I feel like that if when you establish that right from the start of yr. nine Stage five that that starts to remove some of those barriers that those students who may not be 100% confidence starts to break those down a little bit because they feel like that, it's OK to approach things from a different way and to move a different way, and you know, it's totally fine. And I think that's one of the really beautiful things about syllabus, the education side of dance is that we do really understand that everybody is different and everybody moves differently. And there's not one right way. You know, there's so many different ways in, and there's so many approaches and to allow the students the freedom to be able to experience that and to run with their own individuality. I think it's a really beautiful thing.

Jackie – I think that's one of the good things about the Viva voce is that then they can explain how they're able to adapt that to their bodies to their style, etcetera.

Carla – I think you know, it shows that they have a really clear understanding of their bodies and how their bodies move on. They're going to be safe. Oh, and they do that because they know that they can push themselves a certain way or so. I think it just makes the students more aware of how they do it and why they do it, and then how they can increase their capabilities as well.

Jackie – Yeah, I can't imagine another subject that really gets the students to know themselves as well as maybe dance does like, physically know themselves. I think that's fantastic. Moving into Stage six, Carla already touched that Stage six is a little bit more contemporary and needs to focus on almost a particular style. How do you sort of start to prepare the students who maybe haven't had experience in ballet or contemporary?

How do you start to prepare them for that kind of style in Stage six?

Carla – Yeah, so in year 11, I guess we spend a lot of time. I'm on working on our body skills, and I tend to have, like, a technique exercise for almost all of the dot points within, like that. Part of the syllabus that the kids can then really try to train them. I like to think that year 11 is like the preparation year. That's the year they learn it all and then in year 12. That's the year they have to do it all on. And they have to. Yeah, I guess in year 11 I do. I teach a lot of technique exercises where students are learning how to do use the correct technique, and then we build that up in by incorporating the skills that they've learned in the exercises in their performance work. We do two performance works in year 11, and I guess the first one is more focused on technique and, you know, your body skills. And then the second work that we do is based more on their interpretation and their performance skills. And I guess I we do a lot of like self-reflections and self-analysis. So, like you're saying video footage - I filmed there the exercises so that we can share them on Google Classroom so that if they need to look back, they can look back at the exercise, analyse themselves, so see if they can pick up on alignment issues that they might need to work on often they don't like doing it because they don't like to look, you know, watch themselves. But I think they're their biggest critic, right? So they do. Eventually, they do start to pick themselves. Are you gonna go? Yeah, I can see what you mean. So I you know, I use the video footage to help them with the technique exercises, but also with their assessment task.

So I'll often present them with the video from their assessment task and the marking guideline before I've given them their grade and get them to really read the marking guideline. Watch themselves see where they think they may have gone wrong or what they do, right? I often get them to do the three negative and maybe the three positive just so that they are looking at what they are doing well as well. But that process helps them reflect and analyze and then and see for themselves where they might need to improve.

Jackie – I think things like tik tok and what have you where they're filming themselves constantly. Surely that helps to get them filming themselves and being more comfortable feeling filming themselves. Although I know that they don't love to critique themselves, either. It's a different purpose, maybe.

Julia – Yeah, they definitely love to film themselves, but they don't like to watch themselves, So that's a really interesting paradigm. We've got ourselves in that this year, but yeah, the same with us and distance education. We actually sort of work backwards from a core performance dance. So we, each week, we give them a certain part of the core performance dance, to learn, and then we sort of backwards map from that. So we kind of Okay, well, this is the skill that we were learning about today this week, so you know, it might have been a turn. Let's break down this turn. What is it that you're doing within this turn? What? What is the alignment? How does that change throughout each stage of that turn? You get them to film themselves, obviously.

And you know, we talk through the feedback with them during our lessons that we have and give them, like verbal feedback, as well as written feedback on how in ways in which they can improve what they did really well, So we kind of break down those body skills from the dance that we teach them. So each week, we sort of upload, um, snippets of the dance for them to learn. And then that's what the focus of that week's work is. So you know, they really start to pull apart the technique and safe dance practice and the performance quality so that they get like, a little snapshot of that body skill. And an we kind of just build on that each week. Yeah, that's definitely the filming has made a huge difference for us. Yeah.

Jackie – And have they become in recent years more comfortable filming themselves, I guess with all of the different apps that are available?

Julia – Yeah, definitely. You know, they've got their angles sorted. They know they know how to set it up, you know, without anybody else there in the room. They do amazing things with their phones and they could do better things with technology than we can. So leave all of that up to them, and generally they do a great job of it.

Jackie – That's great. I'm just wondering, do you use any particular apps for having students submit performances or things like that? I just know through COVID I used, we used flip grid a lot for having the students. We were able to show them like little snippets of a dance, and we did have a course in stage four where we did a little bit of dancing as well. So we were able to put up like a little video, and then they were, could respond to that video through dance or whatever. So do you guys use any kind of technology or particular apps for having students engage in performance?

Julia – Yeah, well, we use canvas at Camden Haven High School and the distance Education. We have moved on to canvas, which we did that maybe three years ago on it. It has just been the best thing, particularly for dance like in the practical subjects. Prior to that, we would send out booklets and the kids would have to write things. But moving into canvas. It's far more interactive. We can upload videos for them, to learn. They can submit their videos that there's an app on that they can download on their phone so they can film it on their phone, upload it straight from their phone to the app. It's got quiz capabilities as well. So you do a whole heap of different multiple choice. We do use canvas for everything. So for all our delivery of the information and all of their submission of the information, and it has made a huge difference to the engagement with our students and for us to be able to track how they're going, and we can give them feedback sort of far more efficiently using canvas because we can also sort of film ourselves talking through feedback. We can screen record so we might actually have their submission up on our screen and we can talk through our feedback as that as that video is rolling so they can actually see straight away what we're talking about. It’s been amazing for us to move onto canvas.

Jackie – I like that idea and they can engage with you as you're well not engage, like, talk back to you. But they can see you engaging with their dance. That also would help. I would think to build that relationship. Yeah. What about you, Carla? Do you have any sort of app?

Carla – We have moved to Google Classroom so have used Google Classroom prior to COVID. But once I kind of had to get everything online. We've always gone to Google Classroom, which I find really good. The kids can submit their videos.

Composition as well in year 12. It's a great way of keeping a little bit of a digital log book, I guess, of their compositions, and it's a great way for them. To, I guess. Submit a little video and go ahead and do you have any comments and you can give feedback. I also use the I think it was called screencast-o'matic, which is like that where you can screen record yourself and I use a lot of it. I did it a lot with, COVID and I found that because I had to teach my major study over the over Zoom. But we found the kids, and I found zoom hard to do a practical class. So what I would do is I record myself doing the movement. And then I used the screencast-o'matic and I talked over the top of myself and then kind of explain what I wanted there or what meaning like, you know what meaning I wanted or, you know, whether the level or, you know, like so I photo analysed my movement to help the kids learn it themselves from home. So I found that really, really helpful. And I also did lessons on that using my sheets. And so I pulled the sheet up on the screen and I talked over it. And I now have that to use for next year because it's still relevant. But, you know, we still have to teach the same content and so I found that that was really good, but yeah, like the I really love the new technology and being able to for kids it keeps them, I guess, accountable to because, you know, they have a due date. And when it's online, you can see the time and the date that they handed it in on Do not kind of I don't do that anymore.

Julia – Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that that's made a huge difference for us in distance education because prior to being on canvas it was like, Oh, yeah, I put that in the mail two weeks ago or whatever and what? We'll haven't got it.

But with canvas, it's like, Well, actually, I can see when you logged and what page you viewed, how long you've actually viewed it for and it's due on Friday. So, yeah, there's no post to worry about here, so you can just upload it straight away. You'll be fine.

Jackie – I like that about canvas. My school used canvas as well, and you can see exactly how long they've been on there for, which is a nice conversation for parents, sometimes as well. What well it definitely was through Covid. How do you find just the last thing working with students and dance schools? Is that helpful? Do you sometimes have to negotiate different things? The student and with their dance teacher as well? How does how does working with a dance, a student who has a dance studio sort of change the way that you might have to approach something?

Julia – The dance schools are awesome. I feel like that they provide our students with a technical base and a consistency in that training, that physical training that they get. I guess the approach and the purpose of a dance school and what we do is different. And that's what I try to get across to my kids straight away is that there's nothing wrong with what you do with the dance school and just because it's different to what we do here. We're just looking at it from a different viewpoint, and we have a different game to play. So I just tell them that I'm here to teach you the rules of this game. It might be different to what you do outside of school, but if you want to win this game and if you want to achieve well in this game, then these are the steps that we need to do to make sure that we're getting to that end point. I find, particularly with composition when students I know we're talking about performance. But when you know students go to compose their own movement and they're like, well, I go first with this in my own choreography in the dance eisteddfod. It's like, That's awesome. We're looking at for something different here. We've got different criteria to meet. So, yeah, I think if you always go back to that criteria and and find those the common ground and then the difference and then you know, teach to that difference, then that's the way to kind of, yeah, make sure that it's all happening harmoniously because it is their world they love. They love their studios. They're really passionate about their studios and, you know, really proud of where they come from and the training that they get. And that's not something that we need to ignore or discount because it's part of them, so we just need to, move it in the direction that needs to be for the syllabus.

Jackie – I like how you said the knowing where they are or using the good and then teaching to the differences. That's really nice. Carla, did you have anything to add to that?

Carla – Yeah, I'm seem a lot like the dance schools. This area are amazing, and I'm thankful for the technique and the skills that the kids are developing there and again. It's the same kind of thing. Like, I kind of have to remind the kids that here at school we have a syllabus to follow. And yeah, we have criteria and ticket boxes like hold them like I've got to be able to take that you've done that and, you know, like I like to say to them getting outside of schools like homework, the dance here at school, encourage it. But again, you've always kind of got to say it's a it's a little bit different here, and we have the criteria that we have to stop by. But yeah, I'm really lucky here.

The, you know, the dance schools a great and allowed the students allow work on their compositions, and even if performances, I think the kids come in and tell. I showed my dad's teacher she gave me this kind of feedback, which is which is really great because when you're the only dance teacher at your school, it’s so nice to be for the kids to get more feedback and from other teachers.

Jackie – That is really fantastic and to have another set of eyes on it as well?

Julia – Definitely.

Carla – Yeah, you know, like often when you've been teaching them, you telling them the same thing. Sometimes it's like white noise. They don't hear. But if someone else says it to them. I've been trying to tell you that, but it's not. It's cool, unlucky with the situation that we're lucky.

Jackie – Someone else could say exactly the same words. But just because it's coming out of someone else's mouth, that makes a huge difference, doesn't it?

Julia – Absolutely.

Jackie – I just wanted to open the floor now and just see if there's anything else that you wanted to add. Anything that you really wanted to say in this and we haven't touched on yet or any other advice that you may have for dance teachers out there in approaching particularly performance. But any of the other areas of danced that you would like to talk about.

Carla – One thing that I like to do is get a bit of feedback from the kids because it's their journey to and it's their pay checks a year or, you know, their chosen, and that's probably got a bit of an expectations well, and so I like to ask them kind of what's going well and what needs to be improved. And often you get a class that's more than happy to tell you. And but sometimes you get that quiet, a class that don't like to speak up. So I get them to do a little task.

I do it kind of a couple of times a year where I just leave post it kind of on the floor, and just want you to do a green post it for what, what you feel like he's going really well. And then, you know, maybe a yellow post it for what you think you need to improve on or with, like, I need to help you improve on. And so I found that was really good because then you can kind of touch on where maybe the kids are feeling like they're not getting enough or where they're finding an interview hard or something like that. Then you can focus a little bit more on that so you can focus on the areas that they might be, and each year’s different. So that's kind of a little thing that I use, and I guess it helps me improve what I'm doing as well.

Julia – Yeah, definitely, that ability to reflect on what you've done and how you've done it and why you've done it is really important. But I also think sort of building your tribe around you like we dance teachers. I mean, I'm very fortunate here that we do have a few dance teachers. So it's really nice to have my tribe around me who I can bounce ideas off. This didn't work. Have you got any ideas or something like that? So I think as dance teachers, we do need to build our tribe around us and find other dance teachers in our area or even connect, you know, online with other people. And keep that support because we're all in this together, somebody else just might have that little bit of advice that that sends it all in the right direction.

Jackie – And if you're the only dance teacher in your school, you're probably the only person who really understands your syllabus, so that makes it hard on, I guess when you want to compare that to like an English faculty where everybody in that room knows that syllabus. Whereas in a creative arts faculty, if you're the only teacher, you're the only one who knows your syllabus or lucky for you, Julia, with a few dance teachers, I don't know too many schools that actually do have a few dance teachers.

Julia – That's right.

Jackie – So that's why things like I think the statewide staff room is obviously a fantastic place where people can get on and talk to each other, and obviously, podcasts like this, where we're able to share ideas. And so when you are the only teacher there’re some ideas out there for people to hear. So, thank you very much for sharing your expertise today. Um, and you have both given some really fantastic ideas, that I'm sure other dance teachers will be able to take on board and run with it. I wish you all the best for the rest of the year and look forward to talking to you again sometime in the future.

Carla – Thanks, Jackie.

Julia – Thank you.

Jackie – This'll podcast was brought to you by the Creative Arts Curriculum Team Secondary Learners Educational Standards Directorate off the new South Wales Department of Education and involved in the conversation by joining the State-wide Staffroom as a source of all truths regarding curriculum. Email our curriculum adviser, Cathryn Ricketts Horvat, using the email address creativearts7-12@det.nsw.edu.au . The music for this podcast was composed by Alex Manton, and audio production by Jason King.


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