Dance in Advertising

Melrose High School

Every day, Lucy Sedlacek of Melrose High School provides meaningful learning for her students using the language of dance, the ultimate expression—and fusion—of mind, body, and spirit.

Discover how Lucy’s dance students applied their craft to Fluency-focused projects that combine dance in some creative advertising for products of their own design.

Melrose School opened its doors in Pearce, Canberra in 1970. From the start they have always encouraged achievement within a safe and friendly learning environment. They offer their students a balanced curriculum, and put focus on a school spirit that promotes well-being and an ideal of service and respect for others.

The Essential Fluencies were introduced at Melrose a few years ago and it was a great way to engage students in the classroom in a different way. Using the Fluencies in the classroom allowed students to receive tasks through a fresh approach with flexibility that ensured they were responsible for what they produced.

Lucy Sedlacek

Melrose HS

The results have been amazing! The work that students are creating is so unique and creative. I don’t know that I had specific expectations of the work that the students would produce through using the Fluencies but since implementing it, students’ work has blown me away.

Lucy Sedlacek

Melrose HS

Lee Watanabe-Crockett has provided teachers with much-needed support and encouragement from the beginning. From our initial presentation through to Expos and the Thinking Carnivals, Lee has been a part of our journey.

Lucy Sedlacek

Melrose HS

What does it take to inspire

meaningful change?

Kurt Vonnegut famously said that in teaching “the medium is the human mind and spirit.” If that’s true, then hats off to Lucy Sedlacek, a Year 10 advisor and dance teacher at Melrose High School. Every day she creates inspiring and meaningful projects for her learners that are the ultimate expression of mind and spirit, using the remarkable language of dance.

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Ever since the Essential Fluencies were introduced to Melrose School, Lucy has used them in her teaching practices. One of her recent Fluency projects involves dance in advertising. “Lately, dance has been increasingly popular in advertising for a number of different products,” Lucy says. The project, called Dance in Advertising, challenged her learners to create their own original advertisement incorporating dance movement to sell their product.

How do we plot a

path to success?

Students began by exploring different types of TV ads for different products, and what the specific qualities are that make some ads more memorable than others. “Ads surround us every day everywhere in a variety of sources,” Lucy reminded them. “Some are interesting and thought-provoking, while others are easily forgotten.” Learners were then faced with the challenge of using dance to develop a unique and memorable piece of advertising. But that wasn’t all.

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In addition to designing original choreography for their projects, they also had to come up with a whole new product that their ad was designed to promote. “I received a number of awesome adverts from the students promoting a range of things from lipstick to chocolate which was a lot of fun,” recalls Lucy.

“As a teacher, I have been able to focus more on the students and their abilities,” she adds. “I am able to encourage them to explore what they choose and in the process they are often able to teach me about what matters to them.”

How do we measure

growth and progress?

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  • Students are thinking more for themselves and assuming responsibility.
  • Lessons are engaging and related to real life learning.
  • Students are developing a sense of ownership for learning.
  • They are working on projects that solve challenging problems that are relevant to their interests.
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  • Letting students take the lead has shown that it is possible to learn when they are doing entirely different things.
  • Teachers have assumed the roles of facilitators and “guides on the side” as students take the lead in learning.
  • The Fluencies processes allow teachers to connect content topics to their students’ personal interests and increase student engagement.
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  • Embracing the Fluencies is gradually fostering a more creative and dynamic school culture.
  • There is a deeper sense of collaboration between students and teachers as well as between the teachers themselves.
  • Integrity and curiosity are developing for everyone in unexpected ways.
  • Educators are being inspired to both learn and instruct in many different ways to connect to learners.

How do we continue to

improve and excel?

All in all, Lucy and her students have thoroughly enjoyed their experiences learning with the Essential Fluencies, and are looking forward to more terrific dance class adventures.

“When using the Fluencies in the classroom, students are able to take on responsibility for their own work and take ownership,” Lucy claims. “When they take on the ownership of the work that they are producing and make it relevant to themselves in their world, they are able to produce work that I would not have expected which still blows me away.”

As the Fluencies continue on in Melrose classrooms, the focus will be on supporting younger students transitioning into Melrose as they become familiar with the processes themselves. “As far as I am aware, the school is continuing to roll out the Fluencies across each subject, and soon each teacher will be implementing them within their classrooms so that we can share our students’ success,” she says.