Dance Ed Tip #23:
Four new ways to give dancers feedback

March 6, 2018 - Olivia Mode-Cater

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Verbal feedback is the predominate way that dance teachers help their students. This type of analysis is imbedded in dance culture and, in many cases, can be effective in getting the results we want; however, not every student responds well to this kind of correction. Verbal feedback tends to favor auditory learners and students who have strong kinesthetic awareness. Also, too much verbal feedback can be overwhelming or dancers can misinterpret your suggestions. Therefore, it is a good practice to imbed other types of feedback into your lesson. Here are 4 other types of feedback you should also use in your class:
 

1. Tactile Feedback- Tactile feedback can be very helpful for students who are kinesthetic learners and need to feel the correction in order to apply it. The sensation of touch can help students recall the feeling of the movement so that they can then recreate it on their own. Be sure to ask permission before adjusting.

2. Mirror Feedback- Mirror feedback is effective because it is immediate and students can use it to self-correct. It also allows both the dancer and the teacher to observe the movement from multiple angles.  

3. Video Feedback- Video feedback is an incredible tool that isn’t used enough in dance class. The slow-motion function can help teachers point out particular areas where the student needs more work. The footage can also be used as a way for dancers to self-assess or peer-review and it can track progress over time so you can comment on growth.

4. Kinesthetic Feedback- Kinesthetic feedback is effect for intermediate and advanced learners. Once the dancers know what the movement should look like, you can begin to challenge them to understand what it feels like. In kinesthetic feedback the teacher allows the students the opportunity to self-assess and become less reliant on visual forms of feedback, like the mirror and video. This strategy builds independent dancers who are able to critique themselves.

I hope you give some of these new strategies a try!
 
Happy teaching!
Olivia