Creative dance

Formulation of a manual for dance teachers in primary schools​



The purpose of this master's project is to promote a variety of dance teaching in primary schools and the aim of creating tool, in the form of a manual, that teachers can use for this purpose.
The manual is designed to give teachers ideas about creative practice through dance so they can introduce students to the diversity of dance and its creative aspects. The manual is also useful to those who have little or no knowledge of the field.
The manual offers ways to give students the opportunity to express and interpret their opinions, ideas and feelings, rely on themselves and work out their own needs through independent and creative work methods. Through them, students can experience personal growth and discover various things about themselves. The manual is presented as a databank of ideas.
The manual is based on creative dance, it is a dance form where the emphasis is on movement as an expression. There, the student plays a leading role and uses his/her skills and experience to create (Gilbert, 2019).
Creative dance is a very useful tool in dance learning that gives students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their environment, to see and understand others, and to experience compassion. In creative dance, students learn first and foremost through their own bodies, so that their connection with the study material becomes strong and their understanding is strengthened effectively (Joyce, 1980).
The basics of the manual are the ideas of two scholars in dance; Rudolf Labans, a pioneer in dance, and Anne Green Gilberts, dance teacher and creative dance specialist. Their main challenge is the body and its skills, together with the importance of movements and how it shapes our understanding of the outside world.
The manual's pedagogy is based on the teachings of professor Howard Gardner and Lev Vygotskys, a psychologist and teacher, who both emphasized individualized learning by utilizing different teaching methods to support students. The manual also discusses how the student learns through the body through a somatic approach, where the inner experience of the body allows the student to move naturally and the body is viewed as a whole.
I taught the manual in elementary school where I taught students in grades 3, 5, and 8. Along with getting two dance teachers who work in elementary school to test drive the manual. Action research methods, interviews and journal entries, were used to formulate and develop the manual.
The results showed that the manual draws dance teachers into thinking about creative work as well as using the manual as a databank to use in teaching creative dance. The goal of the manual is to give the student the opportunity to create from themselves and discover a new movement pattern, and enjoy the dance joy.
Throughout the process, I felt that the manual took into account these aspects as well as giving the teacher the opportunity to guide and encourage students to promote their own creativity. It therefore plays its role as the teacher's tool in creative dance.
Ingunn Elísabet Hreinsdóttir
ingunn.elisabethreinsdottir [at]
Advisor: Ásgerður Guðrún Gunnarsdóttir
Illustrations: Eva Árnadóttir