Dance Program vs. The Method Dance Program
What’s the difference?
Dance programs are generally called syllabus and they consist of several levels with exercises in each level. The Method Dance Program, however, is slightly different. It is a combination of dance lesson plans, exercises and progress tracking tables. We use these tools as a way of focussing teachers and studio owners on what to teach and when. This ensures everyone stays on the same page. The result is consistent, predictable programming. Consistency in programming is important because to parents it means reliability. When choosing a dance studio parents look for reliability.
Why did we build the Method Dance Program?
Jenna and I built the Method Dance Program because we needed to. Many years ago I opened a dance studio and things were going really well. My students were improving and gaining confidence. They started asking if we could go to competition. They had a lot of good reasons to want to go too! All of their friends at school were going, it was all over social media, and it looked like fun. I had grown up going to dance competition and admittedly, I had loved it. I couldn’t help but say yes.
Little did we know we were about to embark on an epic journey. The first year we went to competition we were not prepared. Things had changed a lot. It took a while to overcome the initial shock. After, I decided I needed a plan in order to rise to the occasion.
How did we build the Method Dance Program?
We built the Method Dance Program in phases. Phase one: we needed to know what steps and techniques to focus on. I began my research by watching every competition I could. At the end of the competition season I sat down and looked at my notes. I was amazed to see how consistent the ages and skills were. Even though everyone was using different syllabus or none at all there was a common thread running between them. I used the information I found as the foundation for the method dance program.
Phase 2: we needed exercises. Jenna and I took the information I had gathered and together we determined what exercises we needed to create. After we created the exercises we started using them in the studio. What happened next was amazing. Our dancers improved rapidly. Within 4 months there was a noticeable difference and by the time we were back at competition they were unrecognizable.
Unfortunately our success was short lived. The following year we kept on with our program but we hired new instructors to help us out. As long as we were teaching every class our students were getting stronger and stronger. If they had other instructors, their technique would begin to dip. I didn’t see it at the time because I had hired great teachers with all of the right credentials, resumes, reputations. None of that mattered. We had lost something.
Perfecting the dance program
In the end I eventually sold my studio. I needed to focus my attention on my growing family. Jenna kept working with the program. She starting using it wherever she taught. She made revisions to the exercises and consequently the program kept getting better. Eventually she started passing it along to other instructors to use. The result: the exercises became tried and tested.
Dance teachers were raving about how great it was and it sparked an idea. She called me up and asked me if I wanted to sell the dance program to other teachers. We began reminiscing about our past successes with the dance program and how much fun we had with it. We talked about the amazing transformation of our students when we had first implemented the program. As we talked it through it became clear that we had missed a key piece of the puzzle.
At the time, we had been working with the program almost exclusively. We had a tight team of teachers and all of us were aligned. Our training was consistent. The combination of what we were teaching and aligning the instructors was MAGIC in the classroom. We were laser focused on achieving our big picture goals and it had paid off in spades. When our focus shifted, even slightly we noticed it. That was the power of the program.
The new and improved program
Phase 3: the complete dance program. After our conversation we were inspired to build the program in an entirely new way. We zoomed out and identified our big picture goals. Then we took those big picture goals and broke them down into basic skills. We stripped everything right down to the very basics. These became the foundational building blocks of the program.
In addition, we took it a step further and mapped out what to teach in every class, every week, for every year. After our experience we knew that this was the level of detail it would take to eventually achieve those big picture goals. When we were finished we had a dance lesson plan for every week for each of the 8 levels. Neither of us had ever seen things mapped out in this level of detail before.
Why should you get the Method Dance Program
It has taken us hundreds of hours to create this dance program and we want to share it with you. We have planned over 200 lessons across 8 levels. Each lesson plan identifies exactly what exercises to complete in class on a weekly basis. In addition, every exercise has been created to work towards a big picture goal. Lastly it is a tool that not only keeps your teachers on track, but it creates a consistent program across your entire studio.
We know your teachers will enjoy teaching with the Method Dance Program. The exercises are point form and easy to read at a glance. The lesson plans are a single page and have room for comments. The tracking tables keep everyone informed on the progress of every class at a glance. This program will save your teachers hours of planning.
Check out the Method Dance Program here. We’d love to learn more about your studio and how we can help align your instructors with consistent programming.
If you are looking for more information on how the program works head over here!
Much love and of course dance!
Kortney and Jenna