Francesca Jandasek

Videos - Teaching in Action!

A Beginning Modern Class at CSULB

I wanted the class to prepare the students for the final combo at the end.  I knew that at fast tempos, the weight shifts and foot work could be a little tricky. For this reason, all other material I taught throughout the class consisted of elements that would appear in the final combination.

 

In the beginning, I taught a cardio / warm up “weight shifting and spatial elements” phrase to get the whole class moving around the room, make them aware of each and the space, get energized and physically warm, and get used to the first part of the final combination.  

Later in the class, I taught a “leg swing and body curve” combination to get the students on their legs, practice head tail connection, practice weight shifting on and off center and to establish body/mind patterning.   

The body mind patterning idea was to create an exercise (in this case: to do a curve forward with the leg in front attitude and a arch back with the leg in back attitude) that uses elements, shapes and movement patterns that appears in the fast rhythm challenge phrase, but to do these elements slowly and deliberately with focus on proper alignment and technique.

I started to teach the Final Combination.  First I did a few across the floor sequences that were sections of the full phrase done at a slower tempo at first, and then at full speed.  This way, the students would have the opportunity to learn the movement by processing it physically and mentally in manageable chunks.  

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Once we had reviewed all the separate sections, we put the combination together.  Then, we started playing with the spatial patterning.  One group did the first part of the phrase, high-fived the next group, and the next group did the second part of the phrase.   My hope was that through exposure to the material throughout the class, the students would find the phrase manageable and fun and be able to really dance.

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