strathspey Archive: teaching children

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teaching children

Message 4421 · Noel Chavez · 16 Jul 1996 21:05:30 · Top

I believe there is an RSCDS publication _Hopscotch_ geared toward instructing
children, but in a school setting. Besides gearing the lessons toward
children's interests, attention span and coordination, the concept of making
the dancing fun applies more than it does in other SCD instruction. (A topic
which has been amply covered in the past on Strathspey). I'm sure those
with experience teaching children will have more to add.
Noel Chavez, Chicago, IL
Noel.Chavez@uicvm.cc.uic.edu

teaching children

Message 4422 · Richard L. Walker · 18 Jul 1996 07:45:08 · Top

We use "Happy to Meet" by Iain Boyd ... especially the Kingston Flyer.

At 09:35 AM 7/16/96 -0400, you wrote:
...
>I have the Graded Bk., Childrens' Book, and a book from Australia called
>"Beyond the Black Stump." Are there any others I should get? How about
>individual dances from other books?
Point Cheney Internet
(904)435-9772
mark@cheney.net

teaching children

Message 4428 · Keith Bark · 19 Jul 1996 16:57:57 · Top

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I teach a children's class just outside Toronto - have done so for about =
8 years! As well as the Graded and Children's books from RSCDS there =
are several other excellent books with dances for children.=20

A previous message spoke of the book Happy to Meet which has the =
Kingston Flyer and several other straight forward dances. Another I use =
for younger children is Fairy Circle - it teaches Figures of Eight and =
Grand Chain.

Another book is Lets All Dance. It includes Mamies Jig - similar to =
Kingston Flyer but with some pas de Basque. ( I substitute "Points" for =
Pas de Basque for the younger children). This book also has several two =
couple dances.

A fairly recent book is the Newcastle Book of Dances for Children - =
mostly written by children. My 10 to 13 year olds love Wee Barra - a =
very active square set dance. The younger children like the dance Xmas =
Tree from this book. Alot of the dances in this book have stories along =
with them - the stories go along with the formations and the children =
remember the dance by remembering the story.

Another dance that both children and Adults like is Sparkenhoe Circle =
from the Leicester Silver Jubilee book. It is a 64 bar jig in a square =
set - easy to learn and lots of fun.

There are many other books including an excellent teaching manual =
written by Jean Douglas of Burlington, Ontario. All the books are =
available from TACBOOKS - a little advert!

With regards to warm up step practice etc. I warm them up with Skip =
Change practice. I teach it initially by using the Gallup step - eight =
on the right eight on the left, then reducing to four of each and =
finally two of each which is effectively the Skip Change. As mentioned =
earlier, I substitute Points for Pas de Basque for the youngest children =
but still try to teach and encourage them to try Pas de Basque - from =
about age 7 they can all do PdB. Another substitution is Figure of =
Eight for Reels of Three. The younger ones use Fig of Eight while the =
Older ones dance reels of three.

On the question about Strathspey, the older children like to learn some =
but not have to dance it for too long - they don't like eight times =
through! I've taught them Reel of Five - also modified it as Reel of =
Six with two children in the middle dancing reels of four in place of =
reels of three. The children like to dance it twice through in =
strathspey time and four times through (or more) in reel time i.e. 32 =
bars strathspey followed by 64 bar reel.

Finally, if you have mixed ages in your classes, you will find that the =
5 to 7 year olds tire after about 45 minutes but the others can cope =
with a one hour session. This enables you to teach a slightly more =
complex dance at the end - mine love The Shepherd's Crook - this next =
season I'm thinking of trying The Weaving Lilt.

Have fun - I enjoy teaching kids. =20

----------
From: Loren Wright[SMTP:lorenw@rwp.mv.com]
Sent: July 16, 1996 9:35 AM
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Subject: teaching children

Somehow I've managed to volunteer to teach a 4-week SCD class for =
children
(ages 5-13)! I'm not totally unprepared, but I could certainly use some
help.

I've occasionally had children in my regular classes. Usually they do =
only
one dance, and then go color in the corner of the room. I have a good
rapport with them, and have a pretty good idea of the kinds of dances =
they
can handle and enjoy. When they do dance, each has an adult as a =
partner,
which won't be the case in this class.

I have the Graded Bk., Childrens' Book, and a book from Australia called
"Beyond the Black Stump." Are there any others I should get? How about
individual dances from other books? Others that come to mind: =
Cumberland
Reel, Loon Mtn. Reel, Kate & Dod (from Boston Branch bk.--"Yankee
Sampler"?).

Do children need the same kind of warmup adults need? (I would think =
not,
but what do they need?)

I know this would depend on the ages, but what kind of footwork should I
expect to achieve? When I took SCD instruction as a child (12ish), I =
was
never taught strathspey, nor do I remember anything about 3 beats in pas =
de
basque or turnout.

Loren Wright lorenw@rwp.mv.com
Nashua (NH, USA) Scottish Country Dancers
or Roger Wagner Publishing

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teaching children

Message 4430 · JMcColl526 · 21 Jul 1996 17:16:51 · Top

A few years ago I had a class of Girl Scouts, who had no reference point
at all to SCD. I found that simple marching and skipping was enough for a
warm up to precede any skip-change exercise. These girls were active in many
other ways, so I did not dwell on stretching.

I found that dances which kept everyone moving were essential. I first
concentrated on round the room and circular dances before having them dance
in regular sets. Their concentration was not good, hence the need to keep
all busy. Once I started into regular sets, couples standing out at any time
had a hard time remembering the next sequence and frequently forgot to join
in.

It took quite a few weeks before we reached Pas-de-Basque, and even
after 3 months, were only just starting on Strathspey steps. Unfortunately ,
the support for this class dwindled after six months, so the original
organisers cancelled the class.

Hope that you, Loren, have more luck with your group. Give me a call
sometime about this subject if you wish.

Jeanetta McColl <JMcColl526@aol.com>

teaching children

Message 4438 · Maghi King · 23 Jul 1996 18:32:21 · Top

I'm not going to be much help, but I do want to suggest being a little
leary of the Children's book. I used it as a source of (I thought) very
easy dances for adult beginners, and discovered that some of the dances
have definite tricky bits. In fact, I think I remember being told that
it was actually a book of dances made up by children rather than a book
of dances for children.

On a more positive note, all the kids I know love doing the Prince of
Orange because of the stamps and claps.

On children dancing in general: they tend to go fast, and that may be
one reason why I think it is common practice not to teach children
strathspey until they've had quite a bit of experience dancing in quick
time.

I'd love to be more helpful, especially as there's a chance that I too
might find myself teaching a children's class in the not too distant
future. Good luck, and please tell us about how it goes and what works
and what doesn't!

Maghi

Loren Wright wrote:
>
> Somehow I've managed to volunteer to teach a 4-week SCD class for children
> (ages 5-13)! I'm not totally unprepared, but I could certainly use some
> help.
>
> I've occasionally had children in my regular classes. Usually they do only
> one dance, and then go color in the corner of the room. I have a good
> rapport with them, and have a pretty good idea of the kinds of dances they
> can handle and enjoy. When they do dance, each has an adult as a partner,
> which won't be the case in this class.
>
> I have the Graded Bk., Childrens' Book, and a book from Australia called
> "Beyond the Black Stump." Are there any others I should get? How about
> individual dances from other books? Others that come to mind: Cumberland
> Reel, Loon Mtn. Reel, Kate & Dod (from Boston Branch bk.--"Yankee
> Sampler"?).
>
> Do children need the same kind of warmup adults need? (I would think not,
> but what do they need?)
>
> I know this would depend on the ages, but what kind of footwork should I
> expect to achieve? When I took SCD instruction as a child (12ish), I was
> never taught strathspey, nor do I remember anything about 3 beats in pas de
> basque or turnout.
>
> Loren Wright lorenw@rwp.mv.com
> Nashua (NH, USA) Scottish Country Dancers
> or Roger Wagner Publishing

--
Please note my new e-mail address (old address was king@divsun.unige.ch)
Maghi King | E-mail: Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch
ISSCO, University of Geneva | WWW: http://issco-www.unige.ch/
54 route des Acacias | Tel: +41/22/705 71 14
CH-1227 GENEVA (Switzerland) | Fax: +41/22/300 10 86

teaching children

Message 4451 · Keith Bark · 24 Jul 1996 16:36:02 · Top

I find that children in the 10 to teens enjoy and are very capable of =
learning and dancing more complex dances. On the other hand, the adult =
beginner class that I teach prefers to learn dances that include =
formations that they are comfortable with - and not have to learn more =
than one or two new formations in a class. =20

The adults appear to come to class to relax and enjoy an evenings =
dancing while children, especially teens, come to a class to be =
challenged!

----------
From: Maghi King[SMTP:Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch]
Sent: July 23, 1996 10:32 AM
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Subject: Re: teaching children

I'm not going to be much help, but I do want to suggest being a little
leary of the Children's book. I used it as a source of (I thought) very
easy dances for adult beginners, and discovered that some of the dances
have definite tricky bits. In fact, I think I remember being told that
it was actually a book of dances made up by children rather than a book
of dances for children.

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