The best reason we know for Maypole Dancing is that it is fun to do, great for all ages and abilities, and visually pleasing for those watching. People enjoy trying the dances and the teacher’s job becomes one of harnessing enthusiasm. Learning takes place automatically and teamwork becomes instinctive as the dancers realise that they have to work together to get results. While many people think Maypole is just for children, most adults love to have a go!
Because a Maypole is a three dimensional tool it takes learning into a different environment and children get a chance to think and learn away from the formal classroom environment. It is also one of the few forms of dance where the focus is not on the dancers but on the patterns and the ribbons and the dances can be adapted to suit the abilities and fitness of the group.
A Cross – Curricular Tool
The various cross curricular links are dealt with elsewhere and the more confident the teachers become the more this will happen naturally as everyone is likely to want to explore new ideas as they arise.
We start from the point of Maypoles being part of our cultural heritage but that this is shared. The Maypole is not unique to England and similar activities can be found around the globe. Even more common is the idea of seasonal celebrations so that once again the Maypole becomes the starting point rather than the end product.
Introducing Music and Dance
Our own interests lie with traditional music and dance and we have found that once Maypole Dancing has been introduced then exploring different dance forms and musical styles can become much easier.
A Visual Artform
Because the Maypole can be seen, it can easily become the focus of activities at summer fetes and the like, and including Maypole Dancing in these events then becomes a tradition. Better still, because it is so visible and relatively cheap compared to other pieces of equipment, raising funds for a new Maypole or to enhance the existing tradition becomes much easier for any school or group.