Dance in and Beyond Schools

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Introduction

Young people’s experience in and beyond schools has a vital impact on the future of this form of art. By playing the roles of experienced dancers, creators, promoters and audiences, they will help to improve the future popularity of dance, its diversity and status. However, it is important for them to consider the interdependence of social, political, cultural and economic factors affecting dancing. In playing the considered roles, the young people should consider applying principles of advocacy to the disadvantaged and disabled people in the society. It is important for the youth to engage in dancing since it improves their social skills, trust, health of their body and physical confidence.

Young people have a role in their development to become experienced future dancers. They do this by engaging in dancing activities while at school and beyond schools. Dance is an integral part of national curriculum in primary schools. Teachers value it since it helps young people in their development and learning as well as because of its artistic and aesthetic values (Scheff, Sprague, & McGreevy-Nichols, 2005). They engage in dancing activities such as bhangra, tap to tango and salsa to street. Several organizations support dancing activities in schools. These organizations include Youth Dance England (YDE) and National Network, Association for Physical Education, National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA), Specialist Schools & Academies Trust and Youth Sport trust (Jobbins & Thomson, 2010). By engaging in these activities while in school, young people develop into experienced future dancers. Beyond schools, young people gain their experience in dancing through publicly funded dance companies and local authorities. They offer the youth creative performance activities and an opportunity to interact with professional dance artists. Young people improve in their dancing through performing and participating in a variety of projects. Department of Education’s Music and Dance Scheme support the youth with exceptional talent by funding their activities. Schools mostly connect with external agencies so that they can signpost the young people to wider opportunities after school. In order for young people to develop into experienced dancers in future while at school and beyond school, one should consider the interdependence of social, political, cultural and economic factors in creating change. The social factors that the young people could consider in creating change include whether the families of the dancers come together so that they form dance clubs that would help the young people improve their skills (Smith-Autard, 2010). Furthermore, they should consider offering their school premises to be used for community school practices. The political factors that the young people should consider are whether policymakers have performed their responsibility of promoting access to dance opportunities for all the young people to ensure their experience is of the highest quality. The policymakers have a responsibility of ensuring that resources used in dancing, teaching, space and equipment are safe for dancing. In addition to this, they have a responsibility of entering into partnerships with agencies that promote progressive dance among the young people. Young people should consider cultural factors such as the cultural diversity of different dance groups. This will help them know new dance styles available from different dance groups. The economic factors that young people should consider are whether they have enough funds to buy their dancing costumes, to pay the dancing instructors and to fund  their dancing trips and excursions (Smith-Autard, 2010). Young people can apply principles of advocacy in their development of future dancers. They can achieve this by offering the disadvantaged people of the society more dancing opportunities. This may include offering the disabled people of the community special classes where they will teach them special dancing moves (Berson, 2000). Furthermore, they can enroll the poor people of the community in their dancing classes at no fee. When the young people play a good role as dancers, they will produce positive implications for future popularity, diversity and status of the dance. This is because they will become experienced dancers and people will enjoy their performance contributing to its popularity. By engaging in different dance moves, they will be improving its diversity and thus people will have a positive attitude toward dancing.

Young people have a role of developing their experience as creators. A creator has a responsibility of making sequences of dances that are meaningful to dancers, involve creative responses, improvise the moves, make choice and connections of different dancing styles, reflect and evaluate the styles (Gibbons, 2007). The process of creating starts with the development of the dance idea. They generate the ideas from a movement idea, a dance previously seen by the creator, a painting or an abstract idea. Structure of a particular dance and movement vocabulary give the dancing style. Developing movement phases involves phases such as repeating movements exactly backwards or forwards. The creators may also change order, level, direction and size of a movement. In addition to this, he may change the tempo, rhythm, dynamics and use different parts of the body. Lastly, he may change the music of dancing and the setting of grouping dancers. The creator makes dances through repetition of different moves, improving previous moves, selecting new moves from a variety of moves and adapting to the new moves (Cooper, 1998). He helps young dancers explore and experiment with movement ideas and develop the ability of selecting materials for communicating thoughts, feelings, and ideas. The youth should consider the social, political, cultural and economic factors in their role as creators so that they create change in art of dance. The social factor they should consider is whether the members of the community contribute to the development of new dancing styles and moves (Wheeler, Precious, & Amstell, 2011). The political factor they should consider is whether the lawmakers give the creators an opportunity to prioritize key issues in their area of responsibility and whether they offer them an opportunity of improvement. The cultural factors that the creators should consider are whether the culture of their dancers allows them to come up with new dancing styles and whether they can easily accept change (Smith-Autard, 2010). The economic factor that the creator should consider is whether his dance group has enough money to fund the research of new dancing moves. He should also consider whether they have enough money to buy costumes and equipment to practice the new moves. A creator should apply principles of advocacy when coming up with new dance moves. He should give the disadvantaged people in the society an opportunity of contributing with their own dancing styles. In addition to this, he should also accept suggestions of new moves from students with minority racial, ethnic and language backgrounds (Berson, 2000). If young people play a good role as creators, they will help improve the future popularity, diversity and status of dance. By creating new moves, people will enjoy dancing because of its growth. By coming up with moves from different culture, people will appreciate dance more since it is diverse thus improving its status.

Young people’s experience as promoters in and beyond schools has a vital impact on the future of this form of art. Dance promoters discover dancers with exceptionally good talent and help them achieve their dreams of becoming professional dancers. In addition to this, they help in funding dancing competitions and awarding the best dancers. As dance promoters, they should offer the dancers career advice on how they could progress their dancing and use it as a profession (Bond, 2011). Beyond schools, the promoters can help the dancers to have an access to qualified professionals who will assist them in developing their dancing skills. They may also help to join regional hubs that will offer the dancers comprehensive training programs for different dancing styles. Promoters also work with the Government to ensure that the schools recognize dance as an important part of the curriculum. They ensure that it contributes to the arts, cultural and physical education of the young people in schools. Moreover, the promoters ensure that online support is made available on all queries on dance from the young dancers, teachers, professionals and parents. They also ensure that the dance networks of the young people extend across the country so that they support local delivery of dance programs in and beyond schools (Siddall, 2010). The youth should consider the social, political, cultural and economic factors in their role as promoters so that they create change in art of dance. The social factor that the promoters should consider is trying to encourage dancing among boys. In most secondary schools, dance is mostly offered to girls as a form of physical education (Hall, 2008). Most of the dance teachers are females and thus there are very few male role models leading to dance being associated with femininity. The promoters can address this issue by increasing the number of male role models that have succeeded in the profession of dancing. The promoter should also consider the cultural factors of the dancing group that he is seeking to promote (Scheff, Sprague, & McGreevy-Nichols, 2005). He should consider the type of dancing clothes that the culture of the dancers allows them to wear and the dancing moves that the culture allows them to perform. He should also consider the political factors surrounding the dancing group that he is promoting. He should consider whether the policy makers have promoted access of dancing materials to all the children and the youth in the society. Furthermore, he should consider whether they have ensured that the instruments to be used by the youths during dancing are safe. The economic factor that the promoter should consider is whether the dance group has enough funds to participate in dancing competitions. He should also find out the number of sponsors who will fund this dance group and whether they give it enough financial support. A promoter should apply principles of advocacy when dealing with the disabled and disadvantaged people of the society. The promoters should encourage the dance teachers to find a dancing pace that is suitable to the disabled and the disadvantaged people of the society (Siddall, 2010). Moreover, he should encourage the teachers to check for any potential safety issues that may affect the disadvantaged dancers. He should also give these people adequate time for communication through different means of communication. If the young people play the role of promoters well, they will improve the popularity, diversity and status of the dance. By promoting the activities of young talented dancers, the dancing profession will have a large number of experienced dancers thus improving its popularity. If they promote dancers from different cultures, they will be improving the diversity in dancing thus improving its status.

Young people’s experience in the role of an audience in and beyond school has a vital impact on the future of this form of art. By playing the role of an audience, they have a responsibility of watching the process of dancing. This role is important since when they watch the process of dancing, it can inspire and motivate them to become dancers and provoke new ideas of dancing (Cooper, 1998). In addition to this, it develops their skills in observation, critical judgment and interpretation. They serve as audience in a variety of ways such as dance students observing each other, a student filming a dance, playing it back to the other students, and watching dance moves through the internet. When dancing students observe each other, they correct their partners on the moves that they performed wrong that helps to improve their dancing techniques (Scheff, Sprague, & McGreevy-Nichols, 2005). The importance of filming a dance and then playing it back is in the possibility of the dancer to see his own work and previous work that he performed in order to determine whether he is improving his dancing techniques. Young people can watch dancing competitions from Internet sites such as You Tube. From these sites, they learn of the lifestyle of successful dancers and this motivates them to become better dancers. They may also serve as an audience in theater settings. Most people prefer theaters since they view live dance. Besides, it has a heightened sense of concentration and it is easier for the dancer to communicate with the audience. While serving as an audience, the young people should observe the technical skill of the dancers and their expertise so that they can advise them on ways of improving their skills (Siddall, 2010). Furthermore, they should observe the choreographic innovation so that they can appreciate the way dancing has improved. They should also observe the originality of movement content and its compositional structure. This will help them advice the dancers on how they could improve their originality and the compositional structure (Hall, 2008). Moreover, they can advice the dancers on how to improve their theatrical settings, lighting, sound and costumes. The youth should consider the social, political, cultural and economic factors in their role as an audience so that they create change in art of dance. The social factors that they should consider in their role as audience include whether the society allows dance festivals and performance opportunities for the dancers. In addition to this, they should consider whether it allows the people in the community to be audiences in school dances despite of their age. The political factor that they should consider is whether the lawmakers have provided the necessary resources for setting up theaters where the community will be allowed to participate as audience (Jobbins & Thomson, 2010). The cultural factor that they should consider is if the culture of the dancers allows all people to participate as audience. Some cultures do not allow children to participate as audience since they feel that the dancing moves are provocative (Berson, 2000). The economic factors that the audience should consider include the concern of whether the dance group has enough funds to provide better lighting, sound and research on new moves for its audience. It should also consider whether the dance group has enough sponsors that provide them with funds of maintaining their audience. The youth should apply principles of advocacy in their role as the audience when dealing with the disabled and disadvantaged people in the society. They should consider paying the entrance fees for the disabled and poor people in the society while attending dancing concerts (Smith-Autard, 2010). They should also find appropriate places in the theaters where the disabled people would sit so that their concentration on the dance is not affected by their disability. By playing a good role as an audience, young people will be promoting the future popularity, diversity and status of a dance. By paying entrance fees on the theaters where the dancers will be performing their moves, the young people will be supporting their activities and thus the dancers can improve their dancing leading to future popularity of the dance. By attending dances of different areas and cultures, they appreciate the cultural diversity of dancing hence improving its status.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that young people’s experience of dance in and beyond schools has a vital impact on the future of the art form. They play the role of experienced dancers and thus they improve the performance of dancers. They also play the role of creators and they come up with new moves from different cultures improving the cultural diversity of dancing. In addition to this, they play the role of promoters and help young talented dancers to become professional dancers improving the quality of the profession. Lastly, they play the role of audience and thus correct the dancers’ moves that they have performed wrong. In performing the above roles, they have to consider the interdependence of social, cultural, economic and political factors. An example of economic factors is whether they have enough funds to cover the expenses they will incur while performing the above roles. Furthermore, they have to consider principles of advocacy so that they ensure that they do not violate the rights of the disabled and the disadvantaged people of the society. They can achieve this by creating special programs that will teach special moves to the disabled.

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