Dance Notes 8th December 2017

Dance Notes 8th December 2017

A busy week!

Grade 2 students have been developing an understanding of the Dance Elements of tempo and levels. They were able to move successfully to music where the tempo changed, showing a change in how they moved. They were able to identify different levels in dance and create shapes using different levels. Adding locomotor movement to this activity will be their next step. Improvisation remains a firm favourite with this year level!

Prep students have been using the Dance Elements of levels and group dimensions, combining them with a Laban movement to create group shapes showing their understanding. Recently they have been listening to music and choosing a Laban movement to go with their tableau. They have also started exploring positive and negative space with quite a few giggles and discussions.

Some grade six students have volunteered to further work on their choreographed piece and develop it for performance in the Lunar New Year show. They started coming in during morning recesses to make this happen. Their commitment and enthusiasm are wonderful to see.

A short week next week and then on for the winter break!

Dance Notes 1st of December 2017

Dance Notes 1st of December 2017

Happy first of December!

Our grade six students finished off their performances on Monday, and did a sterling job! The films have been uploaded for viewing and can be accessed under the photo tab.

Grade 2 started this week and spent the first lesson putting into picture and word form what they thought when they considered the word “Dance.” Lots of interesting ideas ensued and some lovely drawings. They then spent a lesson investigating what a warm up would look like, some simple improvisation activities to get them moving and then a small cool down.

Some of the students suggested dance was”not for boys” which led to some interesting chats. You might be hearing about some of this at home. To help you talk about this to your children, I found these articles:

Professional footballers across the world have long taken ballet to help them become stronger and more flexible on the field – I danced with the local football team in my classes as a teenager, 35 years ago.

Grade two students were the first students who included Chinese dance into their pictures and writing – that awareness of the glorious diversity that culture brings to dance was fantastic to see. Over the coming weeks, stay tuned to see what transpires in the dance room for our enthusiastic students.

Our Preppies continue to show creativity as they explore how dance elements can be used with movement. Photos have been uploaded to this blog showing them as well, and their online portfolios have been updated with some shots from their dance experiences.

Not long til the break – have a lovely last few days at school!

Dance Notes 24th November 2017

Dance Notes 24th November 2017

Grade six are coming to the end of their Dance unit in the PE strand. Monday is the final class for four of the classes. They will be performing their self choreographed routines in front of their teachers! The fifth class performed today and did really well. The students have impressed me with:

  • The way they collaborate with each other
  • The kindness they show each other
  • The willingness to try different/unfamiliar genre (Across the five classes we have had Hip Hop, including one group exploring Popping and Locking, Contemporary, 1930s Jazz, Theatre Jazz, and Bollywood).
  • The way in which they look for different ideas and music
  • Their willingness to get up and perform for each other
  • The way in which they incorporated Dance Elements such as tempo, levels, use of space and direction, and choreographic devices such as floor pathways, canon and pauses.

The Learner Profile Attributes were all in evidence during this session, as were the Attitudes.

Prep students have been learning Dance Elements and in the last week we started dividing the Laban basic moves into categories based on their level of force and their rate of speed. Some interesting discussions about what constituted “fast” or “slow” and “strong” or “soft” ensued and some students argued successfully that a given movement could encompass more than one force or speed. The students next connected their decisions to music, listening to a piece, determining the speed and force of the music and then matching a Laban move to it.

The Early Years dance visits concluded this week with children showing movement in a variety of ways and posing in the most interesting way they could.

Music used a lot this week for interested parents were pieces from Act 3 of the Nutcracker and the fairy dances from Act 1 of Sleeping Beauty (both Tchaikovsky ballets).


Dance Notes 17 November 2017

Dance Notes 17 November 2017

Two weeks to talk about today – and what fun we have had!

Prep classes continue to practice combining movements using Laban’s theories of movement. They have also started learning about different dance elements and have been experimenting with levels and force. Check out the photo links as more photos and movies have been updated.

Grade six students have started choreographing in earnest. Most groups have chosen music and all have decided on genre. They are currently working on putting steps from the genre together, with the help of research and teacher suggestions. This week students started sharing with each other their progress. Showing what they have done each lesson encourages them to consider what they need to do and ways in which they can improve on what they have done. Some groups have asked for extra time at recess and lunch to work on their pieces – and this level of enthusiasm is great to see!

Pre-Reception and Reception have also had some visits from the dance teacher, where they have moved their body parts independently of each other and experimented with rising, falling, floating and dropping. They have danced and frozen in the most interesting shapes they could think of. These sessions prepare them for Prep and allows them to meet the teacher in the familiarity of their classroom. They run for a short period this month.

Included below is a link of some good dance watching! Enjoy! As always, photos and film are in the photo tab.



Dance Notes 3rd November

Dance Notes 3rd November

After a brief hiatus due to a family emergency, I am back and the students and I have leaped back into dance.

Grade six students are working on choreographing pieces. A number of genres has been chosen and the students are approaching their task with general enthusiasm and excitement. They have been researching music options and investigating different dance moves to fit their chosen genres. I am looking forward to seeing what they can produce! Look under the photos tab to find pictures of the grade sixes at work.

Students in Prep continue to learn qualities of movement according to Laban’s principles. They are figuring out how music connects to movement. They are expressing their understandings with growing smoothness and coordination. It won’t be long before they are investigating common dance elements!

Dance Notes October 13th

Dance Notes October 13th

It’s Friday the 13th!

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:

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!

Carole Saunders

Featured Image – a Prep student expressing a self chosen Laban movement to music.



Dance Notes 27th of September 2017

Dance Notes 27th of September 2017

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.

Preppies’ clips:

IMG_3428 2 great rehearsal!

This link shows fours and fives final choreographed pieces!

Enjoy the 3WLC and have a great Moon Festival break!

Ms Saunders

Dance News September 14th 2017

Dance News September 14th 2017

Another week!

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!

Enjoy the (long) weekend!

Dance News 8/9/17

Dance News 8/9/17

Dance this week has been loads of fun!

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!

Have a great weekend!

Carole Saunders