Dance is one of the most powerful artistic mediums that engage the body as well as the mind. The dance club of the school, initiated by two of my classmates proved to be a source of joy for many over the lockdown. We were grouped together as sub-choreographers to plan out choreography and routine in the dance type of our interest., and then teach it to the rest of the students.
Learning outcomes achieved: LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 and LO5
LO-1. Identify own strengths and develop areas of growth
Practicing the classical dance ‘Kuchipudi’ for the past 8 years has helped me grow in this dance form. Hence, being a part of the ‘Western classical’ group was perfect since I could use everything I had learned over the years, explore, experiment, and create something of my own. Classical dancing is definitely a strength of mine, however, the western bit was the kind where I lacked experience and practice. So, this CAS experience opened doors for a new style of dance for me. The part where I particularly struggled was the speed of some of the whacking steps and as a result, I would rehearse numerous times to improve my performance.
LO-2. Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.
My time management skills aren’t the greatest and it was challenging for me to manage my assignments, prepare for assessments and also ensure that we made satisfactory progress with the choreography in the three-hour weekly sessions that we planned. Another extremely difficult task was teaching the choreography virtually. It was tough to understand and correct movements through an online platform and I definitely improved my communication skills in the process.
LO-3. Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a cas experience
Because we had to conduct online sessions, we had the opportunity and advantage of flexibility whereby we ourselves would have to plan and initiate the time, duration, and frequency of our sessions. It was sometimes a bit frustrating that not everybody had the same level of enthusiasm because of the virtual sessions and hence wouldn’t show up. But we tried making it interesting and efficiently worked on our communication skills in the process.
LO-4. Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
Working online was definitely a challenge since it isn’t as effective as face to face. Even though we were facing setbacks, my group and I persisted to our initial vision of teaching the choreography perfectly regardless of the fact that it took double the time. It was specifically challenging to instruct the students who had never learnt classical dance before but we kept working for it.
LO-5. Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively
Since we were in a group, we could delegate different parts of the choreography according to the strengths of each member. For example, I handled the part with the Classical steps while Riva would take on during Western bits. We would also collaborate while rehearsing so students could see one person dancing in the back and the other sitting in front to coordinate the expressions with each movement.
Summing it all up, I feel that the dance club helped me grow in many areas. The learner profile attributes that I could associate with this experience were ‘communicator’ and ‘open-mindedness’. During our sessions, I always made it a point that we discussed everybody’s point of view, ideas and opinions while choreographing. I tried to make sure that I was open to what everybody had to offer. This was a rather fun experience that not only helped me polish and learn a new dance style but also meet and collaborate with many different people.