Thank you Georgie for compiling this blog post…
This year we had lots of wonderful Book Week sessions. We went back to schools we’ve been to before such as Halling Primary and Balfour Infants, but we also got to go to new schools to, like Rosherville Primary and Palace Wood Primary School. The TRS teachers has some wonderful lessons and they wanted to share their experiences with you, so here you go….
Rebecca Ashton – Company Director
“I opened The Whale by Vita and Ethan Murrow expecting to read it before planning my dance lessons, but was surprised to find out that it was a picture book! A really beautiful picture book. The artists have done an amazing job and I was excited to find lots of inspiration for the workshops with Year 4 at Palace Wood.
I already knew some of the dancers from dance club and it was lovely to see how excited they were to do dance during school time. We started off with a warm up about the things that are negatively affecting whales. 6 out of the 13 great whale species are endangered and it’s no surprise when you look into what their up against. We had a movement for each item such as frantically trying to get out when ‘Entangled’ in a net or doing stretches that cover your ears for ‘Noise Pollution’.
Next we did some improvisation and I was so impressed with how everyone did. Although many were shy to start with, once they got into it, they surprised themselves and were very inventive.
The choreographic task was about teamwork and the senses the two children in the book used to find the whale. They had to include certain things such as balances as starting positions and a movement to represent each sense, except taste (we laughed that we wouldn’t be tasting the whale!). For one class I asked them to do this in groups and for the second I asked them to work in pairs or threes. It was interesting to see the difference, they all did really really well and every single dance was very different.
They showed each other the dances and gave each other thumbs up to show they enjoyed watching.
To finish we had cool down. We made a long whale shape out of partner arches down the middle of the room. I led the class under the arches and we did a follow the leader cool down that finished in a line near the door.
The groups did really really well. We only had an hour for each, but if they wanted to, they could extend the dances and create a class dance using the movements from warm up to create a motif, the improvisation section to lead into their group work and their traveling movements to get into the cool down whale shape as an ending position. There are a lot of ideas that could be used for dance in The Whale!
I’d like to say well done to all of the year 4s. They did fantastically, I had a wonderful time and I hope to see them all again soon.”
Georgie Tedora – Level 3 TRS teacher and Educating Dance Facilitator
I have been going to Halling Primary School for dance clubs and events for some time now so when the opportunity for a Book Week session came up I jumped at the chance! Especially as their theme was ‘Fantasia – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ which is one of my favourite stories.
We started off with a simple 4 corners type warm up. Each corner had a different magical move to go along with the story. The students got really involved and made such big movements that they were very warmed up afterwards!
I then taught them a choreographed piece using the three main characters – The Sorcerer, the apprentice (in this case Mickey Mouse) and the broomstick. I taught the whole class the routine, which told the story and then they decided what part they wanted to play. We then had 3 groups and we put the entire dance together. They did amazingly, really getting into the characters and performing!
Lastly, we did a creative task in pairs. They chose who was ‘A’ and who was ‘B’ and had to take turns mirroring each other and being the leader. After some experimenting with movements, I then told them they had to decided who was the apprentice and who was the broom. They choreographed short dances showing the apprentice teaching the broom what to do, and then the broom misbehaving and not being a very good ‘human’. The participants got really involved and there were so many wonderful ideas. Each duet was completely different and definitely sparked more ideas for me in the future!
I always enjoy my time at Halling Primary, but this time I was blown away by their enthusiasm and ideas. Thank you for having me!
Jess Smith – Level 2 TRS Teacher and Educating Dance Teacher
Balfour Infants Year 2 – The Owl Who Was Afraid of The Dark
While at Balfour Infants we explored explosive movements to mimic fireworks and the movements of an owl. We had a discussion and practice of the different movements an owl would do. We started our owl movements with waking up, working together to stretch and practice our flight movements ready for our big jump down to the fireworks.
In groups we used different props to explore firework movements, we had egg shakers, scarves and liquid gold.
There were some great creative ideas when it came to creating the groups’ firework pieces, well done!
Balfour Infants Year R – Pirates
A day in the life of a pirate!
We worked together to choreograph our day, this included raising the mast, climbing to the lookout point with our telescope and treasure maps, using our canons to shoot down other pirate ships, fighting off the enemy with a sword fight, and hunting and digging for buried treasure.
There was a masking tape outline of a boat on the floor (and an X to mark the spot of buried treasure) to assist us with our positioning and activities for the day in the life of a pirate.
This worked really well as it helped with a visual representation of the tasks.
We had time in the class for the dancers to create their own day using the movements we had done already.
This led to some great exploring and imagination from everyone. Well done!
Rosherville Primary Years 4/5, 5 and 6 – Where the Wild Things Are
While at Rosherville we made our own journey to the Wild Things using exploration and imagination.
We rowed our boat, made our way through the forest by swinging on vines, getting ourselves out of mud and swimming through a lake.
In groups we created our own ‘rumpus’ using movements we had already done in the warm up and throughout the session, then headed back to our room by making our way back through the forest.
This was my first time at Rosherville Primary School and I was very impressed with the creativity and imagination from all year groups. Good job everyone!”
Louise Spearing – Level 2 TRS teacher and Educating Dance Teacher
This Book Week I explored the story of ‘The Lost and Found’ by Oliver Jeffs. Making the story come alive and taking the children into the book through movement. The adventure was set out by different sections around the room including an outline of a boat and magical snowball game corner. The children were able to engage with the book physically.
We built the boat on the floor and rose higher to make the side Then we moved our arms up and down and across the midline to ‘paint the boat’. In a seated line they rowed ‘the boat’ through calm and choppy oceans exploring fast and slow dynamics to the south pole. Arriving at the south pole, they were wobbling about, skating, swimming and belly sliding.
We did a Magical snowball competition to see who could collect the most snowballs. They had to put a scrunched-up scarf under their chins, waddle to the hoop and place it down until all snowballs were gone.
At the end of the session, I asked the children to create a little bit of movement to show their favourite part of the adventure, which they performed in front of the class. All year 1 were really engaged and creative when it came to group work. Well done!