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Strategic Partnership for Dance in Education
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Strategic Partnership for Dance in Education was created by three organizations from three European countries – „Hobby Folk” Association from Lithuania, „Olza” Association form Czech Republic and „Passionfruits” Association form Poland, which has taken upon itself the role of coordinating and applying organization. Our main goal is to improve quality of dance classes in kindergardens and primary schools as well as to promote the use of dance as an educational tool. We want to reach this goal by approaching the problem form an innovative perspective – we plan to prepare a set of educational tools that will help teachers in their work with kids and allow them to use dance in a new way. They will be prepared with utmost care for quality and merit but at the same time with the same care for ease of use even for those who are not used to dealing with dance at a daily basis. This approach will allow us, dance instructors, to take up the main burden of teaching dance classes – through the tools that we will prepare, and also allow the teachers to get back to their main role as educators and overseers of the whole process.Our project is a direct response to the needs of preschool and primary school teachers which we have defined running a survey among them. We have been aware of those needs for some time now – many representants of the teaching community have voiced them during our previous undertakings. The fore-mentioned survey, which we run in cooperation with associations of teacher in our countries, has allowed us to choose precisely those tools, the implementation of which has the best chance of showing most positive results.The planned set of tools will consist of:1. 15 musical pieces based on the traditional melodies stemming from our countries, all of which will be professionally arranged for and recorded by a symphony orchestra.2. Descriptions of choreographies prepared in three versions for each musical number. We hope that providing alternatives will help to better fit the choreographies to groups of kids, which tend to vary in numbers and representation of different sexes.3. Descriptions of the historic and culture background of each of the musical and dance numbers with information on the regions they stem from. This will be further enriched by photographs of traditional costumes and items as well as by recordings of local artists performing typical melodies on traditional instruments.4. Video recordings of each choreography performed by a dance group. They will supplement the fore-mentioned descriptions and will also provide information on executing particular steps and figures as well as tips on most common mistakes and how to avoid them.5. A set of 33 model scenarios for lessons based on traditional dances of our countries. The objectives of those lessons will range from group integration to introducing a dialog about cultural diversity.We have planned the execution of our project for two years. In the first phase, form September 2016 to September 2017, we will focus on preparing all of the mentioned intellectual results and materials and making them available to teachers on an open-license basis through a special website. The next school year – 2017/18 – will be devoted to implementing and promoting the created materials at a series of meetings with teachers, during which they will be able to get support in using the tools, and at dance tournaments summing up the effects that working with kids using those tools provides. At the same time we will be gathering feedback, which will allow us to introduce changes if necessary before we close the project in September 2018.We assume that during our implementing activities we will directly reach at least 800 users, most of which will be kindergarten and primary school teacher representing different educational facilities. We also count on reaching an even wider circle through extensive promoting activities.We hope, that our project will cause a visible improvement in the quality of dance classes and a rise in popularity and use of dance-based educational tools. We are aware of the fact that the duration of our strategic partnership will only be the beginning of the process of change, which is why we plan to take steps to increase the longevity of the results of our work by cooperating with institutions responsible for creating educational policies in our countries as well as centres for professional improvement of teachers. We will also closely monitor the situation after the project finishes.

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