Judy King
Teacher Training

Teaching in Rhythm

The way we understand and respond to music is very much akin to the way we understand and respond to language, with the phrasing providing the interpretation and the rhythm providing the punctuation.

Once your body has internalised a song/rhythm in this way, the correlation between your understanding of the music, rhythm and the dance becomes a complete and deeply satisfying experience.

Circle Dance offers us a wonderfully diverse collection of musical styles from all over the world and also introduces us to a wide variety of rhythms - some of which are very unusual in folk music. (e.g. 7/8), but are commonly found in the folk traditions of the Balkans, from where we draw many of our dances.

In this foundation course, with the emphasis on discovery and having fun, we will learn about the most common rhythms and step patterns that we encounter in Circle Dance, using movement, voice, drums and percussion, experimenting with our ‘phrasing’ and ‘punctuation’ and applying this experience to teaching dances.

Finally we will take a look at a system for notating the rhythm of a dance, since this is the aspect of dance notation that is often missing. Being able to include this vital piece of information in your notation will enhance its quality and help people to remember dances correctly and pass them on accurately.

The approach used will be entirely experiential and no previous theoretical knowledge of music is required.

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