This is our third year at St Mary’s Primary School. Their dance week is always fantastic and this year has been no different. The dance sessions are based on world dance styles or themes from the class room such as Weather or Aliens in Space! Steph, Sophie, Rebecca and Shanice have all been to St Mary’s this week. It’s been busy, but great fun. At the end of the week one group from each class will perform to the school, I’m sure the show will be brilliant.
Country dancing with Year 2
Both classes had fun learning short sequences of traditional English Country dancing. They did very well as the complicated patterns and changing partners can get confusing! To start with, to
get warmed up, we learnt some steps in a circle that we put into the sequences later. Then to get heart rate up and laughter flowing we had a follow the leader the dance with the whole class. We skipped and clapped along to the music as the leader led us around the room and then stopped to make an arch. The line feeds through the arches and a new leader is formed to start over again.
Both classes then learnt ‘This Old Man’, a dance which is danced with partners in a circle or line and at the end of the sequence you swap partners as country dancing is a social dance so you dance with as many different dancers as possible. Once they mastered this the first class learnt ‘The Black Nag’ and the second the ‘Indian Queen’. They were both longer sequences and had more complicated steps and patterns. However, both classes did extremely well and when watched their peers perform. They had lots of praise for each other and could see the patterns made which they couldn’t see when dancing themselves.
I liked the arches and follow the leader dance.
I liked dancing in small groups, it was easier as had more space.
I liked crossing hands with my partner and turning around.
I liked the heel toe dance as I knew the music (This Old Man).
African Gumboot with Year 4
African Gumboot is all about creating rhythms by stamping and making noise by hitting the sides of welly boots because the style comes from miners communicating with each other with secret rhythms as they weren’t allowed to talk. To start our workshop we walked in the space and, when I stopped, the class had to stop, listen to my rhythm and Echo it back to me. This really worked to get the class listening as I made the rhythms longer and complex.
“I think it’s good that the miners could do gumboot dancing when they were digging for gold because it’s really fun”
I then taught 4 phrases of Gumboot which had 4 different rhythms, we practiced and practiced so that the whole class had it and all you could hear was the rythm. The class then got creative! In small groups they chose one of the rhythms and made up there own. They had to think about making it look interesting so had to think of a formation to stand in. I was amazed at what they came up with! Brilliant ideas and most groups came up with a new way of making sounds. For example, sliding dragging foot along the floor. I wanted to use all their great ideas so we put an idea from each group to make a whole class dance to finish the workshop with a stamp!
I liked working with other people and coming up with own rhythm.
I liked learning about Gumboot dancing and the rhythms.
I liked putting it all together to make a whole group dance.
It was good to watch everybody’s dances.