Disclaimer: DANCEPL3Y (pronounced “dance-play”) is the leading dance based physical literacy program in the world.  Check out their website HERE. This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

Don’t you just love it when your pro d is fun, engaging and completely applicable to what you teach? At some point last year I resolved to no longer attend pro d sessions that were not directly related to my unique teaching position because, if I am honest, they are kind of a waste of my (very precious) time.  Back in September I carefully chose the (big) pro d experiences I wanted to engage in this year.  I attended the Super Conference in October (all dance based/Gabor Mate sessions) and I’ll head to the Heart Mind Conference in February.  Initially I hadn’t planned to add in a third conference/training this year, but when I learned about DANCEPL3Y at the Super Conference and heard rave reviews about the instructor training from my friend, Mia, I decided I had  to add in the DANCEPL3Y course as well. Last weekend I completed my DANCEPL3Y training and it was probably the best, most engaging extra professional development work I’ve ever done!

Rushing in late to my training because of course I hurt my neck the night before and had to hit up the chiropractor first thing Saturday morning.

My weekend of training was action packed; I learned ten choreographies in two days and I taught three pieces on the second day of training. I wish I had worn my heart rate monitor! I won’t give away too much information about the training’s structure and methodology as DANCEPL3Y is a professional and private company and I need to respect their integrity.  That said, I can confidently state that my learning was rich, engaging and incredibly valuable for my specific teaching assignment.  One of my favourite aspects of DANCEPL3Y’s training (besides the fact that it is so much fun) is that all weekend long I found myself using a blend of visual, auditory and kinesthetic modalities when it came to learning and retaining all the information and choreography.  During my training I was constantly reading or writing choreography notes, listening to the music on my headphones and physically marking* the moves. The education academic nerd in me reveled in the fact that I was able to do my very best learning because my “classroom” was extremely accessible and accommodating to my personal learning style.  I was definitely in my element!

Headphones on and learning/marking choreography before teaching it to my classmates.

I finished my DANCEPL3Y weekend in a state of complete exhaustion, but I was simultaneously totally fueled by the fact that I got to try the amazing choreography with my students right away! In my experience, there is no better way to solidify one’s learning than by putting it to use immediately – so that’s exactly what I did.  On Tuesday I taught seven consecutive DANCEPL3Y classes to my students and it was beyond anything I’d experienced so far in my little dance/music studio.  I also wore my heart rate monitor this time around (1500 calories, gone!) In another post I’ll go into more detail on the reactions from students after we participated in some epic DANCEPL3Y choreography, but let me leave it at this for now: there was singing (me, and kids), crying (me) and so much sweat (everyone).  My admin and our learning support teacher even came to observe the DANCEPL3Y magic and they were instantly hooked.

Yesterday I was invited to join DANCEPL3Y in Vancouver in early March for additional training to become one of Vancouver Island’s instructors for DANCEPL3Y’s “schools” program.  I am so honoured to grow and learn with this incredible group of dance based physical literacy super stars! Stay tuned for more information! In case you’re wondering, yes, I do have the best job in the whole wide world.

*Notes: For any of those who aren’t familiar with the term “marking”, this is when a dancer walks through the movements in a piece of choreography, but doesn’t do anything full out.  “Marking” a dance helps the mind/body connection when one is learning a new piece.