Essay about The Learning Principles Of Dance Instruction

Essay about The Learning Principles Of Dance Instruction

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Dance instruction is enhanced when instructors draw from a variety of techniques to assist in teaching motor dance skills. A motor skill is defined as an activity or task that requires voluntary head, body or limb movement to reach a specific purpose or goal (Magill, 2006, p.3) The discipline of motor learning focuses on the acquisition of motor skills and/or the improvement of learned or highly experienced motor skills, and involves principles that can be implemented by instructors to aid in skill acquisition. Instructors using motor learning principles will enable dancers to reach their full potential in learning and developing dance skills leading to more effective performance on the stage and off. The following is a two-part series, summarizing various motor learning principles and making applications for instructing novice dancers of any age.
Principle 1: Practice Conditions should be like the Performance
It has been stated that if you want to learn how to play the game, then play the game. In motor learning, this is a memory principle called the “encoding specificity principle” which suggests that the more closely aligned the practice context is to the game context, the better the game performance (Magill, 2006, p.242). For dance instructors this means striving to make the practice conditions as much like the performance conditions as possible. For example, if the performance is going to be in an outdoor setting where the wind or sunlight may have an effect on the performance, then the group must practice outside so they can get used to the conditions and make movement changes accordingly. Having the dancers practice in a room that is no bigger or smaller than the stage so they can set their pathways is great way to get the ...

... middle of paper ...” Dancers need to keep dancing to get better at dancing. Both the dancers and the instructors need to spend enough time working on the piece to be performed in order to have a successful performance. Classes should be monitored so that when a show is coming up, the dancer spends less time on learning skills that aren’t relevant to the movements needed for the show. If you want your dancers to improve, then you must motivate and encourage them to practice and improve their skills.
The information gained from motor learning principles assists dance instructors in the effective instruction to enhance the performance of dancers. Although this is not exhaustive of all motor learning principles, this paper looked at five principles with applications for teaching dance. These principles are a solid pedagogical basis for instructors seeking to create successful dancers. 

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