Coaching strategies for high school drill team: Developing performance presence and dynamic movement qualities




White, Neosha

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PURPOSE: The purpose of this research is two-fold: To create and explore specific coaching strategies for high school drill teams in an effort to 1) enhance their performance of varied dynamic movement qualities, and 2) to support students in developing the ability to command attention and connect to the audience through a strong performance presence. This paper examines and offers created strategies and drill team coaching practices as a contribution to the field of dance.

RESEARCH QUESTION: What coaching strategies and practices can I create and implement in promotion of high school drill team members' development of performance presence and ability to execute dynamic movement qualities?

METHODOLOGY: The methodology for this project was teacher self-study. I view teacher self-study as a method through which teachers develop their pedagogy and teaching practices through reflection and examination. Teachers who exercise self-study thoughtfully investigate and dissect their own teaching methods to create practices that will develop a more conscious and effective teaching action. I put forth Anastasia Samaras’s (2006) approach as a guide in this teacher self-study. Samaras explains “[s]elf study teachers work to articulate knowledge discovered about their practice so their work moves beyond the individual self. The goal of self-study is to investigate questions of practice that are individually important and also of broader interest to the teacher education community” (2). Self-study teachers open possibilities for development in interplay of their teachings and growth and exploration of new ways to conduct higher learning for their students. Further, I categorize the teacher self-study reflective practices I used as a kind of action research. Action research entails a combination of teaching, problem solving, and decision-making in the teaching environment. About the action research process, Jonida Lesha (2014) notes that “educators study student learning related to their teaching… [so that] “educational problems and issues are best identified and investigated where the action is: at the classroom and school level...findings can [then] be applied immediately and problems solved more quickly” (381). In this project I oriented my approach as problem-solving in the classroom, a “researching where the action is.” I list here for the reader the methodology and procedures used in this project, and I chose these methods as they best fit with my practice and ability to 6 make quick changes in the moment. I value the recursive nature of pedagogy as practice, reflection, analysis, and revised practice.