Dance Notes 12th October 2018

Dance Notes 12th October 2018

Our final week before the break!

Prep – pleased parent visitors with the way they lustily sang their favourite Halloween songs, quickly learned the words to a newer, harder song, wiggled “Dem Bones” and moved instruments of choice in time to the music. Thank you parents for stopping by, and a special thank you to the ones who were brave enough to join in!

Grade 2 – The final performances of Grade two were filmed. I am currently (as I type) uploading the performances on SeeSaw. The students also reflected on their choreography and how it connected to their paintings; students are uploading this themselves. For those who are less informed – this unit was a collaborative effort across Visual and Performing Arts, with Ms Benusa approaching it from an instrumental, music-making angle, Ms T developing visual perspectives and myself using movement, during their PE class time.

Kandinsky had synesthesia – he could see sound and hear colour – and so connecting all the arts was a way of honouring him in a deeper way. The emphasis was on process, problem-solving and student team work. The children had a lot of agency in their choice of pictures, their choice of movements and their decisions around the sequence. A great deal of research, both educational and in neuroscience, backs up this kind of work, and the PAVA team was thrilled to be able to realise that research so profoundly.

Grade 5 – While Monday MAP testing took out some classes, the students on Tuesday were able to try different kinds of improvisation, both revisits of ones with which they were already familiar as well as some new ones. Wednesday and Friday classes were devoted to self assessment and blog posting. Have a look online!

After the break:

Grade 4 and Grade 6 start their rotation with me. Prep continues, as I have them all year long.

Have a lovely break everyone!

Dance Notes 5th October 2018

Dance Notes 5th October 2018

And indeed we did manage to complete five days in four!

G5 performances for Physical Theatre happened this week, with guest teachers coming to class and students showing their pieces of work. There were some truly creative pieces. The film for the performances is being uploaded as we go, and has its own special link, so please go to the photo page on this blog to see them! Next week, G5 students will be reflecting on their work with the rubric they used to evaluate and plan their progress.

G2 “performances” are also undergoing. Student groups have been invited to share their Kandinsky interpretation with the class, and explain how their chosen painting inspired them. Some groups want to perform twice, which has been delightful. Film is slowly making its way onto SeeSaw accounts, but everything so far taken is linked to the photo page on this blog.

Prep has spent this week revising and revisiting Halloween songs in preparation for the coming events at the end of the month. We had a lot of fun with Do you Believe in Monsters, with students using some scary instruments with the beat of the song.

US and LS after school dance groups are rocking along, working with me to create dances they will be performing at the Family Fun Fair. They are very excited about their upcoming shows.

Finally, a note from our Performing Arts Department:

Friday Fun in the Forum – October 26

G3-G6: Do you like to sing, dance, or tell jokes? Then join the PA Department’s Friday Fun in the Forum performances at 11:10am-11:35am in the Forum October 26. To participate, please fill in the sign up form.  All participants must donate $20 in support of the DDD charity of the month. Can’t participate this time? More opportunities for FFF will happen this year, so start practicing!

Dance Notes 27 Sept

Dance Notes 27 Sept

Are we ever not busy?

This week was super short with the public holiday on Tuesday and Three Way Learning Reviews on Thursday and Friday for Grades 1-6.

Students in grade five are preparing for their in-class performances. They are finalising and rehearsing their pieces which range from 30 seconds to a minute long.  The final videos will be on their class photo page, so be ready to have a look!

Grade two students are also coming to the end of their dance session, and filming their moving Kandinsky pieces and having them reflect on their process and product is currently underway. These are also going onto this site, and as I complete my analyses, I am loading them up onto See Saw as well.

Prep students continue to have classes during Three Ways. I look forward to seeing some parents during The Observation period next month. I have been asking our marvellous Educational Assistants to take loads of photos this week, so look out for them on this blog as well as on See Saw, where I am slowly making progress.

I teach over 850 students so recalling names is particularly challenging! Bear with me as I ensure I have the right names with the right children.

Next week is another short week! Let’s see what we can pack in there!

Dance Notes 21st September

Dance Notes 21st September

Typhoon Manghkut blew its way by, leaving us with minor damage, and a shorter week. HOWEVER, we still packed a great deal into the three days!

Grade 5 students are preparing for an in-class performance for their teachers. Rehearsals are developing ideas and sequences, with students showing thought in their use of dance elements, their ability to organise their choreography for the best delivery, and their ability to consider their piece from the audience’s perspective.

Grade 2 students have been interpreting Kandinsky paintings through movement. They have been working on using poses and actions to demonstrate their interpretations. This week, students have been adding layers of understanding through their use of tempo, force, space and the use of unison and contrast. They have been asked to explain what part of their painting has been used for these extra layers.

Prep students have been developing their understandings of the 8 qualities of movement according to Laban. This week they worked on listening to music and demonstrating the quality they hear in the played tune. Some students heard different parts of the music and altered their moves accordingly, and explained why they chose their movements to the class. It was interesting to see how students interpreted the music through their choice of movement.

Lower School Dance Troupe met on Thursday, practicing for their up coming performance in November at the Family Fun Fair. They remain excited and enthusiastic about their dance and they look forward to “strutting their stuff” for you to see!



Dance Notes 14th September

Dance Notes 14th September

And curriculum night is in the bag! It was lovely to meet and re-greet many of you!

Grade 5 this week looked at how to introduce “Around, By Through” improvisational movements into their choreographed piece for Physical Theatre. They also were reminded to consider the use of the five Dance Elements and ensure they included examples of each in their sequence for dramatic effect. Students’ progress is added to the photos and film page regularly, so be sure you check it out!

Grade 2 this week was given the challenge of combining shape and movement when interpreting a Kandinsky painting. They found it difficult to combine these separate elements and more exploration will be occurring over the next couple of lessons. Students are working towards their Spotlight and you should see some of their pieces during the performance. They will also be filmed and the final results will be on the photo pages along with footage taken during the process. Some examples are also being added into their See Saw – keep an eye out!

Prep students learned some new songs this week, with a greeting song coming with actions and a short action song allowing them to jump, skip, hop, stomp or tiptoe around. They explored tambours and thought about the different sounds they could make by using their hands in a different way. Some students in Prep F had questions such as: If you tap with different fingers, will the different fingers make different sounds? And: Does it sound different if you tap the tambour on the inside? Ms Butler happened to be on hand and was able to explain how the stretch of the skin on the outside made the sound different to the inside, where the skin is not as stretched. Keep visiting the photos page on this blog for continued additions to each class folder – and keep an eye on See Saw, where you will see some evidence of their musical development as I upload!


Dance Notes 7th of September

Dance Notes 7th of September

Whooo-eee what a week!

Our fifth graders are developing their Physical Theatre pieces. Based on Hymn Hands and Chair Duets from Frantic Assembly, as well as other improvisations used by multiple professional physical theatre groups, these choreographic creations promise to be interesting. The students’ assessment rubric is here. Students are required to use this rubric to self assess (and they will also receive a teacher’s assessment on the same rubric).

Our second graders have started representing visual art through movement this week and are creating shapes and lines through moving with partners. The students use various pieces of abstract art as a stimulus for their creations. Coming up! Students will be combining shape and movement to create a chosen piece of art.

Our Preps are experimenting with making their movements more complicated – and singing “tap your head and shoulders with me” can be surprisingly tricky to say rapidly (especially with “tap your head and tongue”!!!) They are also incorporating the sounds of different vehicles into a familiar song, with rocket, aeroplane and truck being popular choices. Preps have also started exploring the different qualities of movement according to Laban. They are exploring a variety of percussion instruments.

This week the Primary school Dance Troupe commenced! Ten girls from grades 3-5 signed up. They have already decided on their performances so keep an eye out for them!

Have a lovely weekend!


Dance Notes 31st August 2018

Dance Notes 31st August 2018

Aaaaaand hello to the Preps, who started this week! They also started full days, and ASAs; a big adjustment!

Preps are combining dance with song and instrument use. This week they started by drawing about their thoughts, predictions and loves about music and movement – two examples are in our featured image of the week. Last year, I had visited and given students a taste of creative movement in their Reception classes and several remembered this. Students were able to show what they remembered (and learn new actions) in a series of movements that encouraged them to use their body parts separately and in different ways. It allowed me to see how they could cope with axial and locomotor movement, and their sense of balance. It also showed me their awareness of space. Our little blossoms, however, thought they were pretending to be a growing tree, a three legged table and that they were painting the sky with their toes – amongst other things! Preps also sang songs, one that allowed them to identify and move different body parts and another that allowed them to say hello like different animals. Several classes were introduced to one of the basic movements as identified by Laban. Finally, students clapped, tapped and used shakers to a steady beat.

Grade 2 students spent this week exploring how to recreate shapes and lines from abstract art using their bodies. They are exploring how their bodies can intertwine, superimpose and overlap to create the art they see. This has been both challenging and a lot of fun! In addition, they have been using warm up time to explore their recall of the dance elements – this has allowed for great creativity!

Grade 5 started preparing for their physical theatre piece. First filmings of their choreography happened this week. Over time, students will be able to track the development of their movement designs and look to see how to improve their work using the ideas they gain in class. The students were able to look at their assessment criteria which they will use to self assess and which I will use to assess them.

The LS Dance Troupe (starting next week) is filling up, so if your child is interested, get them to sign up! You can do so here

US has a dance squad on Wednesdays. Sign ups will take place during registration time, which is on September 12. If your child has a US sibling who might be interested, encourage them to join!


Performance Opportunities for PREP!

Does your child wish to perform during one of the Prep Assemblies? If your child sings, dances or makes music outside of school and is interested in sharing their abilities with their peers, then this is their chance! This form (highlight) gives your child the (optional) opportunity to sign up for a solo performance at one of the Prep Assembly dates.

Once signed up, you will receive an email giving you an audition time where your child can come and show me (Ms Saunders, Music and Movement teacher) what they plan to perform.


The performance piece must be 3 minutes or less. If playing a musical instrument, only one tune, please. Please sign up for no more than ONE of the Prep Assembly times. First come first served – there is room for three potential sign ups per date. Once full, a date will close. Closer to the assembly date, an email will be sent to you asking you to detail needs such as access to the sound system, any extra equipment etc to help us ensure your child has the best possible support.

Contact Ms Saunders at if you have questions.

Dance Notes 24th August 2018

Dance Notes 24th August 2018

And the first week is done!

Grade 2 students spent the first day considering what they know about dance and what might lie around the corner. They then revisited a favourite improvisation from last year. After this they looked at different art works, considering how line and shape helped create the designs.

Grade 5 students leaped straight into their physical theatre unit. The warm up was very challenging, but, judging from the feedback as they progressed, they had a lot of fun. The first improvisation was a focus activity, which they also found challenging. The second improvisation that required them to place their hands on each others’ shoulders, arms, heads and legs. Based on the professional physical theatre group Frantic Assembly, these improvisations are the foundation for the coming choreography and design.

A reminder that photographs and film are posted on one of the pages attached to this blog. They will be added to over the year, so be sure to check in regularly!

You can also follow LS performing arts on Twitter! Look for LSPerfArtsCDNIS !



After School Performing Arts Opportunities!

After School Performing Arts Opportunities!

Join the Dance Squad!

The LS Performing Arts Department is excited to offer an opportunity for students in Grade 3-6 to join the Dance Squad on Thursdays from 2.45-4.00. Students will be invited to learn some dance and choreographic techniques with the possibility of performances. All are welcome. Dance Squad starts September 6th. Interested students are invited to sign up here.

Join the LS Strings Ensemble

The LS Performing Arts Department is excited to offer an opportunity for students in Grade 3-6 who are already studying a string instrument outside of school to join the LS Strings Ensemble. Auditions will be held throughout the week of August 27. For more information and to sign-up for auditions check out the Strings page on Ms. Benusa’s PA blog.

Join the CDNIS Timbertones!

Do you love to sing? Are you in Grade 3-6? The Lower School choir, the CDNIS Timbertones, is looking for you! This year-long ensemble will practice every week on Tuesdays after school. Auditions will be held during lunch times the week of August 27. For more information and to sign-up for auditions check out the CDNIS Timbertones page.

Join the Beginning Band

Do you want to learn how to play a band instrument? Students in Grades 4 to 6 are invited to sign up for the Beginning Band here. No experience necessary! Rehearsals begin Thursday, September 6 from 2:45pm-3:55pm. Between August 20-31, interested students will select a given a day/time to try out the instruments and make their selection. Please email for more information.

Join the Intermediate Band

Do you already play a wind or percussion instrument? All students in Grades 3-6 are invited to join the new Lower School Intermediate Band. Rehearsals will be held on Wednesdays from 2:45pm-3:55pm after school starting on September 5th. Auditions will take place from August 21-31. If interested, please complete this sign-up form in order to join! Contact for more information.