#DanceTeachesMe - Visuomotor Integration Skills

#DanceTeachesMe - Visuomotor Skills

Visuomotor integration is a complex skill that requires control of eye movement & tracking with the combination of strong motor control & coordination. Visuomotor integration is the ability of our brain to translate a visual image or cue into an appropriate motor movement.

Why is this skill important?

Visuomotor integration supports complex, coordinated movements & teaches our brain & body how to translate visual cues into movement. Strengthening our Visual-Motor connectedness is going to improve our child’s writing skills. It will improve complex fine motor skills such as tying shoes or performing complex scissor cutting. Daily tasks such as eating with utensils will improve. Our students will have more successful independent play.

How can Dance strengthen Visuomotor Skills?

🟥 Visual aids. In the Dance to Learn®️ Program, we teach conceptually. Dance concepts are abstract concepts that may be challenging to understand without multi-sensory integration. Therefore we always include a visual aid or manipulative to help introduce the concept. Be sure the imagery is easy to recognize for example, this week we taught the concept of Size by comparing a small piece of pumpkin pie to a large piece.

🟧 Props! Props are so important for early childhood dance education. One way we use props is to provide a visual to help them learn how to shape their body. For example using an image of a piece of pumpkin pie to help learn the shape of our feet in first position.

🟨 Obstacle Courses. A growing trend in early childhood dance classes is the obstacle course. In the Dance to Learn@ program we teach Story-based obstacle courses that we call Story Dance Pathways™️ - we combine props together in a way that allows our dancers to dance out a sequence, process or story. This week we danced out the process of baking a pumpkin pie.

🟩 Visual Cueing. The process of using props or imagery to cue dancers as to what comes next. Obstacle courses are a great way to combine props together as a visual cue to what comes next in the movement series. We also use images from our introducing the concept within the course as an additional visual reminder.

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