We did a mirror warm up where I took them through a playful progression of isolations and other warm up exercises. The participants followed along as if they were looking in a mirror: if I lifted my right arm, they would lift their left arms up the same way. If I stepped forward, they were to step forward, and if I stepped to the side, they would mirror that as well. The music I used was Dance in Your Pants by David Jack, who has written and recorded some of my favorite children's music - it is fun, energetic and the beat is irresistible.
|The Chicken Dance!|
|Dancing the Macarena!|
We also did some classic popular dances, such as the Chicken Dance (a Cincinnati favorite), the Cupid Shuffle (a great workout if you use the whole song), the Bunny Hop (also a good workout), the Macarena, and we finished with a Conga line. I did one problem-solving activity, which is described below:
~Create a dance with your grouping of family or friends~
Each loosely-defined group (parent(s)/child/siblings/classmates/friends) was asked to:
- Think of three or four movements that they like to do.
- Put these movements in order, making a repeatable phrase
- Once they did that, they were to practice doing the phrase four times in a row.
- Now all they needed for their original dance was to come up with a beginning and an ending. One way to describe this composition is that they are creating a long dance sentence. They have already created the words of the sentence (all of the movements from their repeatable phrase). Now we needed to think of a beginning position, like the capital letter which starts a sentence, and an ending position, like a period or exclamation point that finishes a sentence. It can be any shape or position that they like.
- Perform the dances with music! (see the paragraph below)
- Take a bow at the end
Once everyone had time to practice their dances, I put on a couple of different types of music (1. Baroque Hoedown, Perrey and Kingsley, CD: The In Sound from Way Out, and 2. Bop 'Til You Drop, by the Nylons). They danced their compositions all together. This activity was well-suited to the multi-aged group, which ranged from a baby on its father's chest in a carrier, to adult parents and friends.
|Creating a Dance!|
We finished our dance party with a Conga line. Three people were asked to be leaders, and we had three lines moving simultaneously around the room, to Greg & Steve's Conga Line. At first, we were doing a small kick on the strong fourth beat of the music, but then I asked them to make a different shape with their bodies each time on that accented beat, then to make a funny face on count four. We waved good-bye to each other as the song finished, as this was our last chance to be together before summer vacation begins!
Keep on Dancin',
Connie Bergstein Dow
|MOVING IS LEARNING!|