Welcome to the 1st-ever ShowMakers Dance Inspiration Blog! We want to share our almost 50 years of experience in the dance industry with dancers and directors.
Our company was the first to set trends such as summer camp guest choreographers, hotel camps, stunt workshops(camps/conventions), contemporary category at contests, pep squads and JV at contests and camps…just to name a few. We’ve certainly witnessed the evolution of dance/drill/pep/officers, so we believe that it would be fun to offer an informational resource and discussion board for all to share! We also felt that our beginning topic is one that will support the start of school.
Teaching for Success (Part 1)
by Susan Angell-Gonzalez(President/CEO ShowMakers of America / Former Texas State University Strutters Director/Choreographer)
How often do you sit and plan your teams’ performance schedule and wonder “What am I going to teach them each day?” Dance Directors have many responsibilities, but one of the most important is accountability. Being accountable means developing and implementing quality teaching plans. The strategies and formulas used in training help fulfill our needs as teachers and choreographers. More importantly, they allow us to address the needs of our students in a well-thought-out, progressive curriculum that anticipates their development as dancers and allows for their growth.
Too Much Too Soon
All directors/coaches want to bring out the best in their performing group. In order for your team to work toward your goals and expectations, you must decide what you want the group to achieve. Often because of the popularity or frequently seen moves at dance competitions, teachers feel forced to teach steps and skills to their students that are beyond their technical abilities. They show their students “what to do” and then spend hours of class time watching them struggle as they challenge their lack of technique and physical understanding of the movement. It is important to keep the technique and skill level in your choreography appropriate for the level of your team. Students are pushed to improve, to acquire the required skill levels, without taking time to communicate the “how to do,” often creating bad habits instead of good technique. As teachers, we sometimes forget (or ignore) the fact that we must teach an understanding of the technique and muscle memory requirements. Teachers, you must constantly remind yourselves that achieving technical excellence in students does not happen overnight. Technique needs to be taught slowly and with confidence, communicating the “how to” information in such a way that your students understand the physical feeling and muscle memory logistics of each important position or dance move. Teaching in a way that reinforces learning through repetition in every class/practice means thinking in terms of a never-ending time line (one that includes the “how to do”) technique and steps and pays attention to age-appropriateness. It is advisable to start the fundamentals early on in your dance team training/prep classes (if your school offers them). Keep in mind that it is one thing to challenge your team and it is another to FORCE difficult skills when not prepared.
ShowMakers of America® “Raises the Bar” for Performance Excellence with the Best Teachers and Choreographers in the Industry! Our company is a “vault” of collaborative innovation and matchless talent!
Our unsurpassed teachers have hundreds of years of experience between them, are exceptionally talented, utilize the finest instruction methodology, and have been trained by prominent choreographers, performers, and teachers in the dance industry. They represent many diverse performance groups and many are accomplished and experienced Dance/Drill/Pep Team Directors/Choreographers.