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    Let's dance till we're dizzy

    When I was a primary school teacher I felt frustrated by the assumption that I could teach absolutely anything. I was expected to be a 'jack of all trades', to be able to confidently teach French, gymnastics, drama DT, coding ... as well as being an accomplished writer, mathematician and scientist of course. And then there was dance. 

    I've just read a super article on the TES website outing the benefits of dance to pupils and suggesting that it should form a larger part of the PE curriculum. I absolutely agree, the benefits are neatly summarised in the article as 'cardiovascular exercise, coordination, concentration, novelty, fun, no special equipment needed' and developing 'determination, hard work, resilience, the link between practice and improvement, patience, team work, confidence, communication, concentration, the connection between mind and body.' You can't argue with that.

    In fact I remember teaching my whole class a 'Bollywood' dance a few years ago as part of a topic on India and we had the time of our lives. You may ask: how on earth did you know how to do that? With the aid of a DVD played on the interactive whiteboard in the hall, giving us all step-by-step instructions. Each week one of my PE lessons was a dance lesson and we loved it. At the end of the term we took part in a Bollywood 'dance off' and we all danced till we were dizzy, all with huge smiles on their faces and not a whiff of self-consciousness. 

    Would I have been able to do that without the help of a DVD? Of course not. I do, in fact, do latin and ballroom dance lessons now and I'm loving learning a new skill which is fun, challenging and great exercise. But it takes years to learn how to dance well - well enough to teach other people effectively. How many teachers are there who are really confident and talented dancers? 

    The answer must of course be to bring dance teachers/groups/companies into schools to deliver dance lessons and/or to train teachers. There are masses of qualified dancers out there, many of whom would be willing to visit schools regularly. Wouldn't it be great if schools would spend some of their PE budget on this?

    If you're a dance teacher and would like to list your business on School Visits Network so that teachers in your area can find you, click here.

    To read the TES article 'Why PE should be full of dance', click here.

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