Free resource: using a projector in a dance studio

One Dance UK Dance teacher advocacy panellist gives his advice on using a projector in the dance studio:

I’m not a technophile, but I am a fan of technology that genuinely improves my chances of getting young people to get more out of my lessons and have a deeper appreciation of dance. At a previous school many years ago, a supportive headteacher with a vision for boys dancing asked what I wanted to install in the dance studio we were refurbishing. A digital projector was high on the list. This particular one was installed far enough from the wall to create huge projected images that were clearly visible anywhere in the space and it was transformative to the way I started teaching dance in a studio.

Fast forward ten years and the combination of digital projector/touchscreen (the tech has obviously moved on), laptop with remote control (that’s essential), decent sound system and Apple’s Keynote presentations, have become a necessary part of my studio teaching practice. I say Apple’s Keynote software (I don’t have shares – promise!), just because I have found it so easy to drag and drop stuff (embed content) into my presentations and equally intuitive when it comes to organising and editing them for lessons. Using a remote control with the laptop/computer to play the presentations gives the freedom to control the resources and manage the students anywhere in the studio.

I love the way a dance lesson can flow according to the aural setting and the ability to start and stop proceedings from anywhere in the studio became a really powerful management tool. For me, it has evolved into such an integral teaching and learning tool, that I would have to make sure it was in any dance studio I was working in over time.

If you haven’t yet made it part of your studio practice, consider whether the following would be useful to you:

  • accessing visual/audio resources from anywhere in the studio at the touch of a button
  • separate parts of your music for different sections of a dance ready at the touch of a button
  • always being able to have any key information for tasks, feedback, etc. all clearly displayed
  • having chosen sections of professional dance works looped so that the students can continue to refer to them along with task information, criteria etc. all clearly displayed simultaneously
  • showing recordings of students’ work on loop so they can all access simultaneously
  • reducing the need for handouts (carbon footprint)
  • of course there’s so much more.

I’m sure there are lots of us experimenting with and finding exciting ways to use digital technology in the dance studio to enhance teaching practice and students’ learning. Finding ways to share this work easily would be fantastic. Do get in touch:

Ray Oudkerk

Assistant Principal for Performing Arts – The BRIT School.