Minute Masterclass Episode 65

Welcome to your one-minute masterclass. I’m Andrea Trench, founder of DiscoverDance. Today we are discussing the brain-based principle: Provide both Novel and Repetitious Experiences. Anne Green Gilbert writes in her Brain-Compatible Dance Education book, “Synaptic Connections in the brain are created through novelty. These new connections are then hardwired through repetition.” Finding the balance between offering what our students’ brains and bodies need through repetition and the novelty to keep them engaged and excited is key.

Think about your class structure. If you do the freeze dance at the beginning of every class, you can add novelty to this repetition by changing the prop and/or the song every few weeks. If you perform the same hello song each class, emphasize a different concept every few weeks. When exploring the concept of size perform the dance with big and small movements. Or, when you are exploring the concept of Energy, perform with both smooth and sharp movements. Gilbert goes on to say “Too much novelty leads to confusion and frustration; too much repetition leads to boredom.” If you are seeing off-task behavior in your classes, a good place to start investigating why the behavior is happening is to evaluate the use of repetition and novelty. For more information, visit DiscoverDance.com.


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