Respect & Compassion: At the very core of the Activ8Dance School Program is the essential respect that goes into the development of being a young adult. The Activ8Dance School Program is a program that demands that children not only treat others with respect but also respect themselves.
Coupled with respect is compassion. Our trained teaching Professionals can walk into a classroom full of children who struggle to believe in themselves, open their arms and hearts to them, and then guide them gently along a journey that leads these young people to joy and accomplishment.
Respect and compassion are the foundational elements of the Activ8Dance School Program. Sadly, few adults seem to remember what it was like being a child...
Being Present: Probably the most difficult skill for any teacher to learn is the ability to be completely in the moment when teaching. Children are extremely aware of when the adult in charge (parent, teacher, coach) is not really there; and when a child senses that distance, woe be unto that adult.
Our teaching Professional’s ability to “be here now” enables them to observe every nuance of individual and group behaviour. They can see when a child is nervous, not paying attention, when the group is becoming antsy, and can respond to those issues immediately, thus keeping the classroom experience flowing.
Being present also allows them to express their own positive emotions towards the children at precisely the moment the children need that affirmation.
Creating a Safe Place: Asking children to take the extraordinary risk of embarrassing themselves in front of their peers is precisely what the Activ8Dance School Program does, and the only reason that the children are willing to take this risk is because our Professionals have perfected a way to make that experience safe.
An Activ8Dance School Program class is a place in which everyone is equal: the students, the teaching artist, and the school staff that are participating. In modern jargon we call this creating a therapeutic milieu; an environment so different from these children’s normal daily environment that simply being in that room and being part of that collective group experience changes that child.
Command & Control: Clearly, if you are going to move 25/30 children through 45-minute classes and have them successfully learn up to 8 dances, you need order and discipline.
Our Professionals are in command of the class from the moment they begin until the moment the children leave the room.
An essential part of the Activ8Dance School Program methodology is developing the craft of managing the group.
When teachers are being taught how to work with children, their training is invariably focused on individual child development; rarely, are student teachers taught about group dynamics and how to manage a group of children.
Language: Body and verbal language are the great connectors in the Activ8Dance School Program. The teaching Professional's entire physical affect is one of openness, warmth, and genuine affection for the children.
Their verbal repertoire is a consistent barrage of positive comments, and there is no denying that the combination of body and verbal language used, is a force the children simply cannot resist.
Humour & Joy: Gentle humour can help a shy child become less self-conscious; humour with that same child handled poorly can make them retreat and never come back.
The teaching Professionals are playful, they are present, and the children can sense that they are just happy to be with them.
Being in such a safe place, where the boundaries are clear, the teacher is fully present, where respect and compassion reign – these are the elements that bring joy into the lives of the Activ8Dance School Program children…and, as one teaching Professional states;
“The Activ8Dance School Program is not about teaching ballroom dancing!
The dance is a tool for getting the children to break down social barriers, learn about honour and respect, treat others carefully, improve self-confidence, communicate and cooperate, and accept others even if they are different.”
The Activ8Dance Program (ADP) is a school term session program using a foundation of 8 dances applied to the applicable grade classes with one 45-50 minute session a week.
It has been designed to be implemented on-site, either during the school day as part of the school curriculum, or as an after-school program in participating schools.
Prior to the program being implemented at a school, the ADP School Liaison & Teaching Professional/s will meet with the school principal, relevant classroom teachers, PE and/or Art teachers to explain how the program process will unfold.
At the end of the program a Development Event may be held, where all of the students put on a performance/demonstration for the other students, teachers and parents.
After the Development Event, schools that are interested in competing in an Inter-School Team Match choose 16 students (8 leads and 8 follows) to represent their school in the various classroom grades. These students are not necessarily the “best” dancers and are jointly chosen by the teaching professional and school personnel.
The competing schools move through a semi and finals process with certificates, awards and prizes being made available for placings and participation.
Expressions of interest may be directed to secretary@iDance.org.au