The question is: How do you plan the overall lesson for an informal performance that showcases concept-based, student-centered creative dance learning? Do you first choose student favorites, then matching a concept? Do you choose a favorite concept lesson, and match activities? Or do you try something else?
Here’s what my college students had to say about that:
Response #1: I liked the way that we planned the informance by starting with the children’s favorites and then finding a concept lens that best fit. Since it is the children’s last day and they want to show off what they have learned, this gives them an opportunity to do so.
Response #2: The concepts themselves can be easily formed to fit different activities. But overall I think when choosing between a popular activity and the concept, the kids want to do their favorite activities. Therefore, I think favorites win out over concepts in the end and that’s fine for an informance. However, I’d also consider choosing the concept first and then finding favorite activities within the given concept to plan the informance. In a way I’d find that easier, but not as creative or fun.
Response #3: Asking the children their favorites gave valuable information and made them more willing to participate fully in front of their parents. However, I would take into account what activities go together well when choosing a concept; although something might be a favorite, it might not fit will with some of the other activities they chose. I believe choosing a lesson plan that is consistent and maintains the same thread is important when showing to an audience.
Response #4: By asking yourself what concept you would like to emphasize and then selecting activities that work well might limit you as to what activities you’d choose, or stop you from being as creative with which activities could work for any concept. But ultimately, I think either process could work well.