Learning to dance, and work with, others is an important component of a student’s dance education.
The following are a few suggestions for incorporating partner oriented activities into your classes:
(1) Partner-Based Exercises: For dancers of any age, working with a partner for warm-up, stretching, across the floor, and/or in choreography can build and promote a foundation of mutual trust and understanding.
(2) Lifts: At the appropriate point in a dancer’s training, he/she should be introduced to lifts. It is important that dancers understand the roles and responsibilities of the lifter and the liftee and feel comfortable working with others in this capacity.
(3) Partner-Oriented Acro Skills: From the acro beginner to the advanced acrobat, partner skills will make acrobatic students more dynamic and skilled. Partner acro is very visual and can enhance choreography and performance.
(4) Weight Sharing & Improvisation: Weight Sharing Exercises and Improvisation are important exercises for students, as well. Learning to play off of others in a comfortable manner is necessary in building the strength of a student’s improv adaptability.
(5) Basic Ballroom Skills: It is important for dancers to understand the basic foundation of ballroom dance and partnering.
Such skills promote trust, working with others, and will translate into a variety of other environments (working on shows, succeeding at conventions, etc.). Of course, it is important that partner work be executed in a safe, supervised environment with proper instruction. When taught correctly, partnering is a powerful tool to infuse into your students’ well-rounded dance education!