Dance lessons should be a safe place for students to experiment and take risks. While mistakes can be frustrating, they should not discourage students from participating fully in the learning process. Instead, they should be viewed as opportunities to improve dancers’ motor control, and should therefore be encouraged.
To achieve this, the class point of view needs to be reframing from a focus on steps and perfection, to a conceptual approach that views movement as an artistic and cognitive activity. This involves teaching dancers not only the form and details of their set material, but also enabling them to observe and think about that material in critical ways.
This is accomplished through the use of a variety of teaching strategies, which are based on research in dance pedagogy, education, and psychology. These strategies are designed to enhance dancers’ mastery of skills while supporting self-efficacy, positive self-image, and a strong sense of belonging to the dance community.