Don’t be afraid to move that bod!

by Helen Balfour | 1 April 2014

Dance really is a wonderful way to develop personal confidence and creativity.

It’s breaking down the ‘Oh, no I can’t dance’ inner voice that niggles at us when we are asked to move – that’s the stumbling block. How can we make movement and dance more accessible and a part of our lives?

Movement awareness and the active pursuit of movement in our daily life, does wonders for the body, mind and soul. Over the last 20 odd years, this has been my work with people, young and old. How can you get that ‘buy-in’, that spark of interest, that ‘I want to know more’, about movement and dance?

I haven’t found an exclusive fit, but I have found that if you present dance and movement as fun, inclusive, creative and challenging, then the seed (on the most part) is planted. If you can join in and move with your students too, your modeling promotes participation and interest.

Dance really is a wonderful way to develop personal confidence and creativity. As an eight year old, I started ballet. Two lessons a week in the local church hall. Black leotard, pink tights, pink shoes with ribbons and hair in a bun that mum did, that always seemed to pull. Sound familiar? My ballet teacher was strict and expected the very best. I was a bit scared of her, but she also helped to shape me into the person I am today. She taught me about self-discipline, holding my body correctly, presenting myself positively and how dedication and plain, old work hard pays off.

As theatre teachers, we sometimes get stuck in tried and tested ways of teaching that makes us feel comfortable and we know that it works.

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