Some of the most important things to people of all ages today are selfies, statuses, and constant scrolling. This is especially true for your young students. Going up against the allure of the smart phone might seem impossible. Teaching students to love paying attention to their combinations more than they pay attention to their Instagram feeds is a task, but it is one that can be accomplished with a bit of effort.
Set Ground Rules
There are several ways to approach an issue of cell phones interrupting your classes. Depending on how big the issue is and how distracted your students are, your rules could range from just keeping phones away and silent to leaving them in their dance bags in the hall. The rules you need to keep your students paying attention to you and not their phones depends on your personal preferences, but it is important, no matter what your rules are, to make sure that your students understand that taking a break from their phones during studio time will only help them improve as dancers.
Incorporate Technology into Lessons
For a fun twist now and then, you can use your students’ preoccupation with their phones to create interesting and dynamic lessons. For instance, you could have students divide into small groups to create perform a portion of a routine. Have the groups use their phones to film a video showcasing your talents that they can share (and you can use them for your studio’s social media as well)! For something a little more complicated, you could assign each group a different part of a routine then compile all of the videos in sequence to show the whole routine performed in parts by the different dancers. Or, you could use technology to inspire a clever routine like te one below.
We are not referring to consequences for students who are distracted during class because of their phones. Instead, we think it is important to educate students about the physical consequences of being dependent on their phones inside and outside of dance. Craning over a phone all the time can contribute to poor posture, low flexibility, and issues focusing. If your students understand that taking the time to enjoy life outside of cyberspace if only during dance class is good for them, they may be more willing to leave their phones in their dance bags and forget about them.