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Changing the Public Perception of Dance in Education: Some Ideas & Suggestions Sandra Minton, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus University of Northern Colorado.

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Presentation on theme: "Changing the Public Perception of Dance in Education: Some Ideas & Suggestions Sandra Minton, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus University of Northern Colorado."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changing the Public Perception of Dance in Education: Some Ideas & Suggestions Sandra Minton, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus University of Northern Colorado

2 We can alter common perceptions of dance by... Changing how the public thinks about dance & its benefits Altering the image that the public has of dance

3 First who or what is the public? Teachers School administrators Parents Politicians People in general

4 Many think that dance is: Just for having fun For being sexy or sensual For women & little girls For learning steps & tricks Or that dance is just ballet, tap & hip hop

5 Other ways to change the perception of dance... Because dance can... Exercise the brain Be used to solve problems Discover ones self Be a tool in non-verbal communication Contribute to interdisciplinary teaching Bridge the gender divide in education Be combined with technology

6 Dance can exercise the brain by... Simply moving brings an increased blood flow to the brain. Moving also involves lower brain centers like the cerebellum.

7 In technique class dance exercises the brain... Because students learn to Focus Observe Recognize patterns Remember And develop body awareness

8 Dancing also activates the brain during improvisation. This leads to... Greater versatility Quick decision making And interpersonal spatial awareness

9 And in dance composition class students exercise the brain by... Giving order to their movements Forming movement patterns Making movement choices Thinking abstractly to create movement Synthesizing by combing movements together in dances Becoming socially aware when creating group dances Reflecting on & discussing their dances

10 Creating dances also increases students... Problem-solving abilities - When a dance is created a problem is solved. Imagination - Students have to visualize how parts of a dance will look ahead of time. Creativity - When students create dances they learn about creative process & become more confident with this process. Self-esteem & satisfaction - Students gain feelings of accomplishment when they create a dance.

11 Research connecting creative thinking & dance... Ludwig, 1971 Heausler, 1987 Zhao, 1989 Jay, 1995 Mentzer & Boswell, 1995 Elliott, 1997 Kim, 1998 Cote-Laurence, 1998 Minton, 2003 Minton, 2007 Full references are available upon request.

12 Research connecting self-esteem & dance... Alves-Masters, 1979 Riley, 1984 Kamal & Blais, 1995 Stinson, 1993 Koff, 1996 Minton, 2001 Minton, 2007 Full references are available upon request.

13 Another point about connecting creativity & self-esteem... Dance classes which included creative work also had a somewhat greater effect on student self-esteem. This was especially true for social self- esteem (Minton, 2001). Full reference available upon request.

14 Why is teaching creative problem-solving important? Such skills will be needed in the 21 st Century because... For the US to maintain a competitive edge, corporations will need employees who are communicators and problem-solvers -- Richard Gurin, former director Binney & Smith, 1995

15 Dance is nonverbal communication too because... It communicates about the customs & culture of a country Transcends differences in language & politics Conveys feelings & emotions

16 Dance can also be used in interdisciplinary learning... Because it relates to educational theories such as... Active Learning - doing, participating Zone of Proximal Development - age appropriate Learning styles - visual, auditory, kinesthetic Multiple Intelligences - verbal, spatial, musical Cooperative Learning - working in groups Brain-Based Learning - forming patterns, challenging but not threatening, engaging

17 But dance used as a tool in interdisciplinary learning... Does not demean dance because The beginnings of the creative process are the same in both cases. Acquaints students with dance

18 Dance bridges gender divide by appealing to differences such as... Girls Respond in more complex way Verbal communication Specific to general Feeling oriented Better readers Cooperative learners Boys Enjoy problem-solving Spatial abilities - maps General to specific Fidgety Better at math Competitive play

19 Dance & technology can be used to... Extend the realm of dance making Teach on-line classes Increase interest in dance

20 Technology & dance making Computer generated backgrounds projected on cyc Computer generated dancer figures used to create movements & dances Dance performers in diverse locations connected via the internet Technology worn by dancers that transforms movement into sounds, lighting changes or other visual effects

21 Teaching on-line classes... Different approaches Face-to-face & on-line Video & on-line Totally on-line

22 Examples of on-line classes using... Create movement with computer-generated figures - Iris Garland, Canada Learn composition through on-line theory plus videos - Wendy Schiller, Australia Study dance appreciation using many interactive devices - Barbara Hernandez, US Study interdisciplinary teaching using on-line photos & text – Sandra Minton, US

23 Strategies for the future... Presenting dance classes based on best practices Publishing how to articles & research, especially in journals outside the field Networking with legislators, teachers, administrators, parents, departments of education, those in other arts Presenting workshops, particularly those for teachers & others outside the field

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