Jazz dance learning and culturally relevant pedagogy: Developing a curriculum for 6-14 year old students in a studio setting




Toland, Alyssa

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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The goal of this research project was to develop a curriculum for use in a studio-based jazz dance class for 6-14 year olds that promotes somatic awareness. My intention was to expand my teaching practices while also offering a jazz dance curriculum to the field of dance education.

RESEARCH QUESTION: How can I develop and teach a five-week curriculum that integrates somatic approaches from Bartenieff Fundamentals with jazz dance technique to promote somatic awareness for 6-14 year olds in a mixed level studio dance class?

METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES: This qualitative research employs a teaching self-study methodology. According to researcher Jason Ritter (2017), teaching self-studies are a complex process one undergoes to examine teaching practices in relation to personal beliefs and actions, typically involving ideas that challenge one’s existing notions to allow for new thoughts. This reflective approach consisted of a literature review, creating a framework to guide the development of the curriculum, as well as the planning, implementation, and reflection of both personal teaching 4 practices, lesson plans, and general student engagement. This process ended with analysis of the self-study data in relation to the curriculum and guiding framework. The findings helped to guide the curriculum revisions and aided in expanding and improving my teaching practices.