Grade six commenced their PE block of dance classes this week. Over the next five weeks, they will explore different dance elements, using a genre chosen by their class. Towards the end of the block, they will be creating a short routine using steps given as inspiration and contributing their own steps. After the wonderful pieces created by grades four and five, I am looking forward to seeing what our oldest primary students can produce. Here is some visual evidence of the first lesson for a couple of the classes: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B2ZkCcw_G6oCd1hjWVAxLXFDb2s?usp=sharing
Prep students continued working on Laban movements and the different qualities of movement. Some classes have started exploring Laban, other classes are looking at contrasting the different qualities of movement. All classes are working on balance, flexibility and coordination.
A number of families have stopped by to talk to me during 3WLCs – thank you so much! It has been lovely to listen to the students share with their parents the joys and challenges of learning dance and to talk briefly about what the programme looks like.
I include a flyer that I handed out to a number of families. It has some information about the programme. Enjoy!
Have a lovely break!
Featured Image – a Prep student expressing a self chosen Laban movement to music.
Despite it being a three day week, we packed in a great deal. Our students in grade four and five finalised their dance pieces which they then performed in front of each other. These have been uploaded and are available for watching below. They can be pleased with what they completed!
Prep students are demonstrating confidence in using Laban’s 8 movements and have started thinking about how movements can contrast each other – heavy vs soft, strong vs light, tight vs loose and quick vs sustained. They have practiced connecting movement to music, exploring what they hear using their bodies in different ways.
Preps are showing a growing understanding of the different qualities of movement according to Laban and are using that in their free movement. Soon, they will be looking at how movement can be tight or free, heavy, limp, or buoyant, and the ways in which they can fill their space.
Grades four and five have started choreographing! The first time was chaotic, and at times frustrating, but the students learned that progress can be charted in a variety of ways, problems can be solved through compromise and consensus, body language is an important communication tool in dance and there is much more to creating a routine than simply adding steps. As Friday is a teacher PD day, some classes will be starting their choreographing on Monday – I look forward to seeing what ideas come out. One thing is clear, we have some very creative students at CDNIS!
Check out the photos tab to see more additions from this past week!
Prep – are in the process of learning Laban’s 8 qualities of movement – flicking, punching, floating, wringing, gliding, pressing, slashing and dabbing. They are associating kinds of music that can be used to help move in these different ways and are beginning to use their whole body in a given space to create movement.
Grade 4 and 5 – are developing a bank of steps that can be used to create a sequence of movements. Improvisation has been about quick changes and poses without stopping to think; this week we have started moving in slow motion so they can think about how their bodies move through actions. Most classes chose hip hop, one chose contemporary, so we have been exploring what these genres look like.
Look under the relevant tab for photos and videos!
This week Grades Four, Five and some Prep classes danced.
Grades Four and Five started their five week blocks this week. They were introduced to the idea of safely warming up and cooling down and were able to play with dance improvisation through a movement activity that required some quick thinking! They were also asked to write down what they thought dance was. Some of their ideas included:
Dance is a way to express yourself
Dance is exercise
Dance is how we can celebrate culture
Dance is team work
Dance is art
Dance is fun.
Students in these grades were invited, if they wished, to submit tunes for the class playlist – these are required to have clean language and themes.
In the coming lessons we will be finding a way to link to their current units of inquiry. This link will be an exploration of the Dance Elements, some step ideas and time to create!
Prep students started exploring Laban‘s eight kinds of movements this week, looking at how to float, flick, press, wring and punch in dance form. It was pleasing to see them adopt several movements into their free dance opportunities.
Film and photos are being posted on Twitter (lsperformingschool) and many will also be stored on this blog. Keep an eye on your child’s teacher blog as well as many teachers/assistants are filming too.
We’ve added a tab on to the list at the top of the blog. If you click on the dance tab, you will be taken to a list of links specific by grades. These will be updated at regular intervals so make sure you come back often!
Dance classes this week were off to a good start. Children were invited to explore the different kinds of movements their bodies could make, isolating body parts and moving them separately. Balance and control were investigated along with how music can change the kinds of movements they could use. This week the focus was on the younger classes, so the use of imagery and imagination was the vehicle through which children could experiment with movement. If your Early Years child comes home talking about being a rocking chair, a three legged table, a balloon or a caterpillar, you will know they have been dancing!
Next week grades four and five commence their first block of dance. After assessing abilities and setting expectations, students will be learning how to move their bodies with attention to direction, use of space and tempo. After looking at the Units of Inquiry, the students and I will determine what goals we can meet and will look at which dance genre will best serve us. Then it’s time to dance! Creativity will be encouraged through improvisation and safety and control through warm up and cool down.
I am looking forward to helping the younglings to “strut their stuff!”
For those who do not know me, my name is Carole Saunders and I have had over forty years dance experience, as a dancer, teacher and performer in a number of dance genres. I was new to CDNIS last year and had a wonderful year in Prep. Although I have mostly been a primary classroom teacher, I have over the years worked on crafting dance to be part of a Performing Arts curriculum, finally having the opportunity to teach dance full time in my previous school. Dr Kelly, our principal, approached me last year about developing a dance programme here, in line with Project Innovate.
So – why Dance? Why is it important?
Dance is an essential component to performing arts. When woven into music and drama it complements the other two strands and is, in turn, enhanced by them. Research shows that dance has a profound effect on the brain – and the link between dance and better overall academic performance has been observed for decades (I follow neuroscience – I find its findings in dance and education to be exciting). In many national curriculums, dance can be found in Physical Education as it develops strength and stamina, coordination and spatial awareness. In others, the artistic and aesthetic nature of Dance is honoured and it is found in Performing Arts. At CDNIS Dance is Performing Arts but some PE time is used to deliver the programme.
What will children in Dance learn?
Students will be learning how and when to move, and age and developmentally appropriate ways they can use their bodies to express themselves. The PYP concepts, attitudes and Learner Profile will be lenses through which the students will explore the dynamics of dance. Wherever possible, dance will link in to a Unit of Inquiry. At times, dance will be integrated with the rest of the Performing Arts so that students can explore connections between the different strands.
I am looking forward to working with CDNIS students and seeing how we can develop the programme over the year. I will finish off with a short article that came out a few months ago: