The goal of dance instruction is to develop the movement habits and awareness to perform the movements necessary in dancing. These movements are usually repetative and rhythmic movements, with a partner, to music. The goal is to provide the movement and awareness basis for improvising a complex dance based on simple elements. Learners need to learn to move gracefully, with good posture.
- Practice material needs to find a balance between all the elements without excessive focus on steps and feet. The instructional material should discourage end-gaining – excessive focus on “taking steps”, looking down and dropping the head – and promote a focus on the means-whereby (see Posture and the head-neck relation). That means relearning the movement without losing the correct posture. The exercises should discourage end-gaining and promote focus on the means-whereby.
- Learners need to develop good control of their movement. Learners need to learn to be grounded, and to be able to stop and reverse at each point. Learners need to be able to move without having to take large steps or swivel into turns. Learners need to be able to improvise a dance without being stuck in fixed and mechanical sequences of steps.
- Learners need to learn to listen—to their patner and to the music—in order to improvise a dance. Learners need to learn awareness of their body through focused movement exercises. Learners need to develop the habit of focused and deliberate practice, and adequate scheduled spaced repetition.