Written by Rebecca, Company Director
I visited Maple class, years 1 and 2 at Kingswood Primary School, during Book Week 2023 and our book was Magic Beach by Alison Lester. The book is beautifully illustrated and together, the varied vocabulary and intricate pictures, promote imagination and excitement. I wanted to bring this magic into our dance lesson.
Before the class came in I made two masking tape boats on the floor. In front of them was the sea, made of fabric and some photos of waves. The dancers came and sat in the boats for our introduction.
Then we began dancing with Rock Pool Creatures, a warm up game, and a focus task, pass the sand. Of course we used the ‘sand’ which we’d passed expertly between us in imaginative ways to build a sand castle which we then jumped on and squashed! Lots of silly fun.
Then it was serious stuff… the first section of our dance! Using scarves to help with the idea of wave shapes and having looked at some photographs, the dancers became the waves. Bobby had already said this was his favourite part of the book! They whirled, twirled and surprised me. Well done dancers!
Next we were in the ‘tangerine boat’ that I’d masking taped onto the floor and I taught them some movements. The headteacher, who was watching, and I were very impressed by how they danced in unison, a new dance word for many of them.
We did some choreography together. Their task was to be imaginative and think of how to get to our island and then to think about what was on it. Joshua named it our ‘Everyone Island’ because it was made by all of us. They thought of some fantastic movements.
Right at the end we added our sand castle from earlier in the lesson and our ending position was a great big taa daa moment!
The dancers performed beautifully to each other and were brilliant as audience members and performers. The video of the dance is below.
We cooled down around a red lycra ‘fire’ to the song ‘Wade In The Water’ and had a moment of mindfulness thinking about our magic beach and the things we did so well during the lesson.
“I liked the rock pool animals bit.”
“Our beach was magical because of the waves.”
“I really like dancing and I’m good at it!”
I really enjoyed this lesson. Magic Beach was a fantastic book to bring to life, but the lesson was made even better because I know the children well (this is my daughter’s class) and they were all so excited to join in and dance. Well done to all of them.