We had a huge amount of fun in 2015 and already have plans for 2016, but before we get to stuck in we thought we’d have a look at some of the best things we did in 2015!
Categotry Archives: Schools
This term I worked with Year 4 at Miers Court Primary School and our theme was Saxons and Vikings! They were a fantastic group, but I knew that because I taught them last year as well.
We got stuck in straight away and in the first class the dancers choreographed motifs about Saxon job roles in small groups. They were surprised to learn that had they been growing up in a Saxon village they would have just a few years until they had to take on one of the jobs.
The second session focused on Saxons in the evenings… Story telling, the great fire for heat, cooking and light and the celebration.
Then there was a battle. We used call a response to choreograph a motif across the hall.
In the final few lessons we focused on Viking Gods.Each group had a different God sheet and had to show that they were Gods by performing their movements in a strong, powerful way.
I knew these groups were great at choreography because I worked with them last year. They didn’t disappoint! I made things more difficult for them this year by giving them lots of contrasting themes and asking them to thing about how they performed each one. They also had to think about transitions and there were many fantastic ideas for this including giants from the stories, flying up to the Gods and walking through the mist (something they were also doing in drama).
The dances were a team effort, even the teachers got involved and, when I was filming, I noticed them doing the movements with the dancers out of the corner of my eye. Excellent work!
At the end of term parents, friends and siblings came to watch the dances and the performance was excellent. All I did was turn on the music and thank the parents for coming. The dancers knew exactly what they were doing and were fantastically professional about it all.
We did do some silly things in the lead up to Christmas though, you have to enjoy the end of term! We introduced the Saxons and Vikings to Christmas and the dancers wore silly hats to perform their dance for the cameras. The video made it into the Miers Court Primary School advent calendar (number 10) and here it is to view as well. If you like it, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
We’ve had a fantastic year and couldn’t fit it all in, but we’ve had a good go. So here’s our Christmas newsletter! Try Ctrl scroll to be able to read it better. If that doesn’t work we’re happy to email or post you a copy.
This term I’ve been working with Year 2 at Miers Court Primary Schools. The theme was Medieval Castles and I’m so proud of how hard both groups have worked, it’s been fantastic.
We began learning castle parts using our warm up and cool down. Each castle part (battlements, buttresses, ramparts, drawbridges, the moat and the great hall) had its own movement, stretch or shape and we even had a Jester dance move and bowed when The King arrived. We played a game to make freeze frames about different parts of the castle and used the countdown music to make it more exciting.
Soon we had plenty of movement material all about castles!
We did more than that though. Each lesson I taught the dancers a little section of Tudor themed dances. In the end we had The Pavanne, The Chain and The Circle. I showed them pictures of the clothes the Very Important People (VIPs) might wear to dance in the castle and they learnt how the clothes would affect their movements.
Towards the end of term we put everything together to create a dance. They’d worked so hard that it was a lot longer than I’d expected. We had a practice show which was filmed (the video is below!) and some school staff watched too. Miss Bulldock nearly cried because she was so proud of her class!
The last week was show week! We had a short rehearsal and then performed to adults and some younger brothers and sisters. Some school staff even crept in to watch. The performance was made extra special because the children had dressed up in Medieval costumes for the day. They’d had a banquet in the morning, made castles and then came to dance. A busy day!
I’m really proud of both classes. They worked really hard to choreograph and perform their dances brilliantly then they sat and watched each other as though they were a perfect, grown up audience.
Here’s the video of one of the rehearsals. It was automatically created using some of the photographs and footage from that day!
In the Summer Term of 2015, Level Two TRS Teachers Alix and Shanice worked with the Reception classes at Miers Court Primary School. This was Alix’s first time working with a cross-curricular Approach, though she’s taught many many lessons working to a specified theme. Shanice came along to see what cross-curricular dance is all about and, by the end of the sessions, she decided it’s something she’d like to work on in the future.
Here is what Alix had to say about it.
Shanice and I have just finished our cross-curricular classes at Miers Court Primary School and we have thoroughly enjoyed working with both the school and the children.
The classes focused on ‘Journeys’ so we took all of the Reception year on a fantastic journey to a hot dessert island so they could find treasure.
Firstly we had to go on a few other journeys before we could reach our destination. We visited the beach where we started our adventure. The children played in the sand, rubbed on their sun cream, enjoyed ice creams and even ensured our hats and sun glasses were on to protect us from the sun. Next we stepped into the sea to go on a number of boats. We went on a rowing boat, a canoe and on speed boats that were very fast. On our boat journey we saw many sea creatures. The children enjoyed pretending to be a shark, octopus, crab and fish.
At last, after our speed boat adventure, we stepped onto our very quiet, beautiful dessert island. The children searched behind palm trees and even used a map to find the treasure! We eventually found the golden treasure and the children were so excited they created a disco dance to celebrate!
The children worked very hard and were committed in all of their sessions. They were supported by their teachers which was lovely.
The lovely reception classes even created their own moves for the dance and performed the whole piece with lots of energy.
Shanice and I were very sad to leave, but we hope Miers Court enjoyed the dance. Well done Year R, it has been a pleasure!
I’ve been working with Year 2 at Balfour Infants School for two years now and I’ve seen them transform from a timid Year 1 to fantastic dancers in Year 2.
I remember the first session in year 1. The girls all got their socks muddled up because the patterns were so similar. It didn’t take them long to get into the dance routine though and by the third week they were prancing about making up dances.
Over the two years we’ve used themes such as Ice, Magical Creatures, Aliens (a very popular Dr Who based theme!) and Carnival. The dancers have learnt choreography and choreographed so many of their own dances too.
In one of the very first classes we used a giant elastic for warm up and they were enjoying it so much that I took some photos. The photo to the right is one of the first photos I ever took of this group!
The end of year performance is a chance for Year 2 to show bits of their favourite dances. I let them choose and then mix the music together to create a very long piece. We then work together to remember the dances, because some were a very long time ago by this point, and create transitions to make sure the different themes flow together smoothly.
This year both Year 1 and 2 also worked with another TRS Teacher, Katie in term 6. They had learnt the chorus to the Frozen dance with me and then Katie helped them choreograph the verses. As Year 1 had worked so well they were invited to join in with the performance as well. The photo to the left is the ‘Let It Go’ bit of the chorus!
I’d like to congratulate all the dancers for their fantastic performance. They worked so hard and deserved the big round of applause they received at the end of the dance! Really well done to them all. I hope to see the Year 2s at Balfour Junior’s Dance Club when they move up. I like to go and visit, see how they’re getting on with Alix!
Below is a photo of me with the dancers after their first performance and below that is a video of the dance they did. Enjoy!
So this week we we were in Greenvale Infants School studying the differences between dances from the North Eastern (in relation to England) and South Western parts of the world as part of their geography workshops.
The whole school was involved with a series of classes held over two days in which we learned elements of a Russian and Hungarian dance notably the Sappoggi and Czardash respectively as well as elements from the Dominican Republic and Cuba with our Merengue and Salsa dance steps.
The aim was to compare the two styles, and actually as a dance teacher this was quite interesting for me too.
I noticed that the basics were very similar… the Merengue two step was very similar to the Czardash, and the basic solo Salsa step a much lighter version of the Sappoggi step. So we then looked at the differences.
A big difference was in costume… with the Russians and Hungarians wrapped up nice and warm agains the elements, and the Latin Americans wearing… well very little actually! I guess being so hot, warm, cosy clothing would not be conducive to dancing. I also noticed that possibly as a result of this, the slavic dances were very much about the costume… such as the dusting snow off the boots in the Sappoggi or the showing of rings on fingers in the Hungarian dances. With Latin American dancing it was still about the costume to some extent with fabulous headdresses or feather skirts being shaken and shimmied, but also very much about the movement of the body and arms.
I will say that much as I love teaching the Hungarian and Russian dances, as they are so strong and proud, I found that the minute I put on a spot of Latin music, the whole room erupted into wiggles! It was fantastic! I wish I had had a video… something about this music just makes you want to wiggle. Which the children really enjoyed.
What a great fun way of learning about two different parts of the world.
We need someone enthusiastic about providing dance for children and young people to join our office team!
The Right Step’s Schools’ Dance Coordinator will work with the Programme Director to coordinate an inclusive, diverse and artistic programme of both regular and one off events for dance in schools (EYFS upwards).
Please email Rebecca for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for applications is Monday 3rd August. Interview details will be announced by Friday 7th August and will be held from Monday 10th August. Start date will be as soon as is suitable following interviews.
In the Medway Messenger on Friday 12th June 2015
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The blog post is here… http://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/2015/05/20/carnival-comparisons/
And the video is here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=27&v=Q7wTPDhzgjQ
We took inspiration from three carnivals, Rio Carnival, a carnival that has non stop dancing for a whole day, Nice Carnival, possibly the oldest carnival in the world, and Notting Hill Carnival, the biggest carnival in Europe. The dancers choreographed most of the movements and used colourful feathers as props.
Nice Carnival uses lots of giant puppets called Grosse Tetes (French for big heads). I taught the dancers a short motif that they danced in partners, one as the puppet and one the puppeteer. I was really impressed with how they understood the concept. They even choreographed their own dance moves.
In the fourth lesson we took all of the carnival dances (motifs) and squashed them together to make a long dance. We only have four lessons per class, but the dances were over five minutes long. They remembered them though!
Alix filmed and took photos and here’s the result! I had a fantastic time working with Year One, I’m sure you can see why!