Welcome to my hands and feet breakdown and follow up resource. I have designed this in the hope that you will be able to continue using the technique once the workshops are over. One of the aims of this dance resource is to enable teachers from all backgrounds and level of training to deliver effective and engaging dance classes over the course of weeks depending on their curriculum requirements.
I have been teaching these workshops for nearly twenty years now and after visiting over 6000 schools, I can tell you that this hands and feet body percussion workshop works incredibly well as a tool to initially engage your children in dance and can be later developed in various directions including cross-curriculum work. Once the children have become proficient and confident using this body percussion technique, it will be considerably easier to introduce them to other forms of dance and music.
So let us start with me explaining some of the reasons that I think that this technique works with children of all ages and abilities. Firstly it is no secret that teachers of KS1 and 2 children need to be versatile and inventive in order to cover the wide curriculum, and teaching dance to children who are already engaged is one thing, but teaching dance to children who may not have opted in as it were is entirely another. Talented as most teachers are, I doubt that past those few years of dance that you may have done as a child, you have any significant dance experience. Now, most dance techniques are comprised of a very large number of movements, sequences, and combinations as well as the movement form required. These are the elements that take time and training to learn and effectively it is those same elements that are removed when using this technique. When assessing the viability of this technique, I asked some very simple questions.
- Is it Learnable in a short space of time by staff and children?
- Is it teachable following up one workshop and training session?
- Is it ‘cool’ enough to engage even the most resistant Y6 boy?
My own training in both ballet and contemporary at the Rambert as well as the various performances learned have given a good insight into just how much time it takes to learn a technique well enough to perform or teach it.
Whilst the stomp performance was by far the most technically difficult and complex performance that I have ever been involved with, the hands and feet routine, upon which this technique is based is essentially nothing more than a combination of stamps and claps.
This essentially means that we are basing a technique around skills that the children already have as they can all stamp and clap already.
I think that it is safe to say that most children excel in both of these by the age of two and so we already have the basis of our technique ready to be shaped into routines and various choreography. This resource will guide you through my tried and tested pathways and approaches which will hopefully deliver the same impressive results that I have witnessed time and time again.