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Categories: Dance and Performing Arts Courses@Shockout Arts, Undergradute
It’s International Dance Day on April 29th and we’re celebrating some of our favourite famous female dancers…
For International Dance Day we’re asking our PGCE arts and performance students (as well as dance and performing arts teachers all over the UK) to join us in promoting women in dance.
This annual celebration was created to recognise dance as a profession, and is a great topic for teachers looking to inspire pupils. International Dance Day shines the light on how dancing positively impacts our lives, and this year we look back at the leading females who have shaped this art form.
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Margot Fonteyn (1919-1991)
Regarded by many as one of the great classical ballerinas of all time, English ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn is someone worth celebrating this year. If you’re a dance or performing arts teacher, her story of success can be truly inspiring to pupils.
She spent her career in the Royal Ballet, achieving her place as "Prima Ballerina Assoluta" under Queen Elizabeth II. Her dancing was characterised by outstanding technique, combined with grace and her deep sensitivity to music.
As well as being an iconic female figure in dance, she was also instrumental in shaping the Royal Ballet and its success as an internationally-renowned theatre company.
This American dancer and choreographer is known to many as the female pioneer for modern dance. Due to her work, the dance industry broke out of its mould, shifting away from the strict rules of ballet and classical.
Martha Graham dared to introduce new, modern dance moves to the world, taking the profession to a more expressive platform. At first, her work was seen as a rebellion against “proper dance technique”, but it soon become the revolution that everyone was looking for.
She removed corsets and pointe shoes to allow for greater freedom of movement and artistic expression. Today, the Graham Technique is still taught to dance students around the globe.
Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)
Another female artist considered to be a leading contributor to modern dance is Isadora Duncan. Her unique artistry and dance concepts defied tradition. And like Martha Graham, she progressed away from the restrictions of classical ballet.
She started her career at a very early age, with a stint in teaching in her teenage years. She taught dance to children around her neighbourhood, and later went onto to perform in public in Chicago and New York.
Her passion for dance took her to England, where she studied sculptures of ancient Greece from a dance perspective. She traced the art of dance back to its ancient roots and developed this sacred art to include new movements such as skipping, running, jumping, leaping and tossing.
Happy International Dance Day 2021 to our students, and dance/performing arts professionals and teachers all around the world. This is the perfect time to reflect on the people who have made the modern arts what they are today.
Share this post to celebrate with us!
If you’re passionate about teaching dance, find out more about our PGCE M 14+ (Art, Creative Practice and Performance) programme.
For more information about this event, visit the International Dance Day website.