[Anst-dancers] Re: Children in dance practice

Scot and Michelle Henry cshenry at ev1.net
Mon Sep 15 13:14:08 PDT 2003

As a teacher of this age group, I would tend to say the same as the others.
Attention-span, ability to follow directions, and not being disruptive to
others are the key issues for me regardless of size or age.  ;-)  This
counts for those participating as well as those waiting on the sides.  A
huge pet peeve is to have random children running through the dance floor at
an event.
Even the abilities to distinguish right from left (and remember it
consistently) or count a beat seem trivial in a beginning dancer.  They do
help, but can be compensated for if they are lacking.

Now, on the other hand, if the MOC is looking for a regular activity to
bring the whole group of children to, I'd probably suggest a separate dance
class for them.  (With the parents in attendance to handle discipline issues
as suggested by Ihon.)  This tends to work better because you can do more
dances that are appropriate to their age-level, attention spans,
coordination and balance and overall idea of working as a group.  Lots of
group dances are appropriate.
I've had success teaching dance to both my third grade and fifth grade
classes, as well as 80 3rd-5th graders at once.  As a whole, my fifth
graders were more willing to do "partner dances" with members of the
opposite gender (after the initial silliness), but third graders prefer
their own gender.  I had sets within each group that were even willing to
learn the dances well enough to perform them for the school.

On a third hand, if your child to adult ratio gets too high, that could be a
deterrent to attracting and keeping adults in your group.

On the fourth hand, if a child wants to participate in the Ansteooran dance
guild, there are no age limits.  Only the teaching requirements currently.

Aren't we the most decisive and helpful group!  ;-)


-----Original Message-----
From: ansteorra-dancers-bounces at ansteorra.org
[mailto:ansteorra-dancers-bounces at ansteorra.org]On Behalf Of John
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:42 PM
To: ansteorra-dancers at ansteorra.org
Subject: [Anst-dancers] Re: Children in dance practice

I'd be reluctant to set *any* age limit on who can participate in a
non-combat SCA activity -- or to exclude anyone simply because they can't do
it as well as some others.  That's rather like saying -- go elsewhere to
learn and then come back here so I don't have to teach you.  The far tougher
challenge for me is patience with those who simply-can't-get-it --
especially where 'it' is basic.  (given that it took me about 5 practices to
'get' John Tallows, I really ought to have more patience :) )
I've had the opportunity to dance with children who picked up things faster,
kept time better, had a more accurate recollection of steps and were more
serious about learning than many of the adults with whom I've worked.  As
long as parents aren't simply dropping their kids off for cheap baby
sitting, and are willing to (gasp) actually be parents, I say bring on the
kids.  One limitation:  their parents need to be part of the activity -- if
only as observers -- since they should be responsible for any discipline
And remember -- children are just little adults . . . but with better

> >My barony's minister of children recently asked me what requirements are
> >there for the children to participate in dance guild.

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