Monday, January 11, 2016

Why is Early Dance Education so Important?

Why is Early Dance Education so important?
I started my dance school, Stepping Out Dance Factory when I was pregnant with my first child.  I had previous to opening the studio taught for other schools that all had their own values and philosophies.  My own teaching has also been greatly influenced and inspired by my own study in a Diploma of Education and my experiences as a secondary school teacher.  I wanted to create a studio that not only taught the fundamentals of dance technique but also more significantly aspired to educate the cognitive, creative and emotional development of children.  

Movement plays a significant role in the development of children and dance as a discipline has a profound ability to educate them and shape their world. I am fortunate to be in a firm position within my career trajectory having already taught for twenty five years as a dance educator, seventeen years as co-director of my own dance studio and enjoyed a twenty year career as a secondary school teacher.  Extensive experience in early childhood dance education and in the special education sector has also placed me in good stead to have a wide and varied expertise in educational fields.  Further to this, is the amazing team that exists at Stepping Out, all wonderful educators with extensive qualifications.  Miss Georgie possesses a natural and nurturing rapport with her students and along with her BA in Dance from the Victorian College of the Arts is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance.  Miss Emma is an energetic educator who along with her Bachelor of Primary Education also has a Certificate 4 in Dance Teaching and Management.  I have also recently completed additional study through the Royal Academy of Dance and along with my BA Dip Ed am also the proud recipient of a Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies. 

Our whole team are vibrant and enthusiastic educators who regard teaching as both a vocation and an honour.  As a mother of five, I am also highly aware of the need to address individual learning styles and to approach the education of children with kindness and consistency.  I am passionate about the impact dance can have on young lives and believe that we should be empowering individuals through safe and careful instruction of their hearts, minds and bodies.  Equality, diversity, openness, recognition, empowerment and inclusion are the cornerstones of my teaching philosophy.  We ensure that all children are valued, listened to and respected. 

My passion for teaching is probably best manifested through the teaching of young children.  The early years are a magical period of a child’s life and young children are in possession of an innate ability to move, express and create.  Dance offers the ideal conduit for supporting and igniting the development of their natural skills.  Children of this age are also highly unpredictable so teaching dance to them offers a reward yet challenging landscape to our own teaching and creative pursuits. 

In my seventeen years of parenting and my twenty plus years of teaching, I have noted that our children are growing up in an increasingly different world to the one we inhabited as children.  We need to preserve their innocence and unique way of viewing the world.  Preschoolers have the whole world within their grasp and my desire is to enrich and engage the magical and intoxicating years of childhood so we succeed in preserving every child’s innate sense to dance, create and express.