Categotry Archives: TRS Teachers

Magic Moments

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Collated by Franchise Owner and TRS Teacher, Georgie.

Magic Moments – All Hands May 2020

This All Hands Meeting had a bit of a different take on magical moments, due to the current circumstances, but that didn’t stop the TRS teachers reflecting and sharing what they have found magical in the past few months…

Georgie:

Just before lock down happened, my last session. It was at Singlewell Primary. It wasn’t my usual class, I usually had year 4 but they couldn’t make it so I had year 6. I had to make up my plan on the spot and especially with that age group, as I knew I was going to be teaching them at some point, I wanted to really engage them. So, I used the idea of the recent app ‘TikTok’ which has lots of dances on there and got the students to teach me. It was a really nice, relaxed, fun session just before all of the schools closed and was a great way to finish work, temporarily after seeing all those smiles and laughs.

Lou:

I was doing my class on zoom, and a participant asked ‘where was she’. He didn’t quite understand how I’ve come into the room. It really showed me how far technology has come.

Shanice:

Doing my first remote Active Armchairs session online. It was so lovely to do and seeing them onscreen still joining in with me was really impressive. I had lots of fun and so did they.

Melissa:

Your (the TRS Teachers) online community is lovely, your WhatsApp group is just really wonderful and great to keep in contact with everyone.

Hayley:

My magic moment is involved more with coronavirus, I have been helping out my neighbour and having lots of chats with him. I’ve recently made him some scones. It’s really nice to get to know him.

Clare:

I haven’t taught for The Right Step for a whole term as I was one of the first ones to have my class cancelled, but I have enjoyed really getting to know my neighbours and we have all become a proper little community and we are all helping each other out.

Jess:

When I was at Hoo, one of the participants wasn’t able to do dance the following term and she was listing off a bunch of reasons why she loved dance so much and how she really wanted to stay. It was just so lovely to hear.

Jenny:

My magical, magical moment is finding The Right Step. You guys have really helped me get my passion back because I had lost it a bit. The community you have and being part of that has helped me, personally, creatively and passionately and I have really got my spark back. And I thoroughly enjoyed dancing in a field with Georgie!

Georgia:

I think the magic moment for me has been seeing The Right Step posts, from 10 years ago til now. Its just been really magical watching the changes that have been made.

Rebecca:

My magic moment has been seeing Gaia (my daughter) having dance classes with Jenny and Clare. Its been wonderful to watch how much she’s enjoyed doing her dance sessions with you both.

 

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Jess in the Office

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Written by Jess Smith, Volunteer Office Assistant and TRS Teacher who was voted TRS Teacher of the Year 2019 by fellow TRS Teachers. 

At TRS we believe that volunteering should support the artist’s career and not be free labour.

I started volunteering in the office because I was debating to start a franchise and wanted to find out more about working in the self-employed office. I wanted to learn about invoicing, communication with organisations, filing and the general upkeep of a dance business. I feel I have learnt this while volunteering, and this could not have been done without the help and advice from Rebecca, Georgie and Georgia. All three of these lovely TRS office staff have informed me of details I needed to know, corrected me when tasks needed to be improved and guided me through my journey. I have been in the office since September 2019 and working in this environment with these lovely people has helped me make my decision to start my franchise. Thank you to all three of you. 

Whist working in the office I have learnt how to properly file when you’re self-employed. I did not have knowledge of working in a self-employed environment. I have learnt the intensive filing system behind being self-employed and the importance of keeping track of everything. I am still quite new to the system and was unsure on what I needed to do, being here amongst others who are already self-employed really helped me understand the system.

I have also learnt how to create invoices for businesses, ensuring the information is correct and concise. I have learnt to double/triple check all details whether entering information in to the company database or creating invoices.

I learnt how a dance business is run, how to have proper communication with other businesses and I learnt about invoices. I have understood more about how I can help the business in different ways, for example volunteering, offering help with general office tasks and providing support to teachers.

As a result of working in the office, I have gained more regular work and cover work. As communication occurs within the office, it is easy to identify a problem and sort a solution, occasionally the solution is to offer my time. I have offered solutions that may not benefit me but will benefit the company, for example offering to travel further to a new class and giving up my regular class as it may attract more teachers if it is within easy access.

In the TRS office we are talkative. We do love a good gossip. As we’re all dancers/teachers, we’re good at multitasking. It is very often we’re all chatting away while not looking at each other, working. We are all supportive and help to guide each other through difficult situations and offer advice and guidance, whether it be a home or work situation. We each have each other for support and that is what makes this a good office team.

My favourite thing about working in the TRS office is working with people who feel like my second family. The Right Step have the family feel where everyone wants to help each other, we all give positive vibes to each other whether it is with dance or non-dance related topics within our group chats, and we all try to meet up when we can, whether it be a sharing day or a meal out.

My least favourite thing about working in the TRS office is not being able to use multicolours when doing office things, I love making my writing vibrant and colourful. Since working in the office, I have learnt that not everyone likes multicolours on documents.

I would not be where I am today without the TRS office staff. Thank you for everything.

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Look After Yourself

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Written by Director of TRS SK, Georgie for the TRS Teachers and anyone else who is finding it hard at the moment. 

 

In these crazy uncertain times, we can forget one of the most important things… ourselves! Whether you’re a nurse, a carer, an activities coordinator, a teacher, a stay at home parent (who has now had to try and home school) or, like us, a freelancer. You need to make sure you are looking after YOU!

Everyone is juggling with things they aren’t used to, and that’s ok. You can make mistakes, you may even embrace these extras, but I wanted to help you make sure that you take care of yourself. Because at the end of the day, you need looking after, just like everyone else.

I’ve got together some ideas for you to try, they are simple for a reason. They won’t take much time out of your day, but you do need to allocate yourself some ‘you time’. Even if it’s 15 minutes at the end of the day. I guarantee you will feel the benefits of it straight away. The reason I know… I am in the same boat as you too. I started off in a panic, I was working ridiculous hours, racking my brain with all these worst-case scenarios and what will I do? All whilst bringing up my 8-month-old, and I did not give myself ANY time, and I started to burn out a lot quicker than usual!

This is why I wanted to do this, if I can help some people then that will be mission accomplished. If I help loads, even better! So here are my top ‘you time’ ideas:

  1. Read

I have always loved reading. However, I’ve struggled to find the time, and believe it or not, motivation, to do so. No matter what it is you prefer, whether it’s a fantasy world to get stuck into or a self-help book to help you find your way more. There are so many out there, and a tip from me… Reading before bed really allows you to relax your mind and take away all those thoughts that may go running around your head usually.

  1. Movie time

Yes, there are lots of people having to try schooling from home. But I have seen a lot of teachers say ‘don’t worry too much!’ and they’re right. Get the family together, or even on your own and like above get lost in a movie. Especially one you haven’t seen before. Put your PJ’s on, grab some snacks and literally relax on the sofa all snuggled up.

  1. Sing

That’s right. You don’t have to be the next Adele but singing really helps you to relax and loosen up. Put on your favourite record and sing your heart out!

  1. Dance

Now, being a dancer, this one was bound to come up. As above, turn the music on whether that be some 80’s pop or a slow bit of Enya. Just put the music on, close your eyes and move how your body feels. Let it lead you!

Remember when you were young and you would go to your room, put your favourite music on and sing and dance your heart out?! Why do we stop doing that! It’s a great way just to release ourselves and let go… trust me, give it a try!

  1. Draw / Colour

I’ll admit, I have never been great at art (my brother definitely got all of the talent there!) BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. Especially colouring / painting by numbers. There’s something wonderful about seeing a black and white piece of paper come to life. I’ve especially loved painting with my little one. Just exploring the colours and honestly, making a mess! There are so many colouring sheets available and it is unbelievably relaxing. You can also do these on your phone, but try to get away from the screen for a little while.

  1. Breathe

Yep, I literally mean it. Take 5 minutes out of your day. Find a spot away from everyone (and the weather has been lovely recently so even go in the garden) and just close your eyes, sit and breathe. This can be done at any time, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed. It will reset you and you will feel ready for the rest of the day.

  1. Cook

I’ll be honest, this one isn’t for me BUT there are so many relaxing qualities to just letting loose in the kitchen and cooking up your favourite meal. Or learn a new recipe. Perhaps you’re really good at cooking but haven’t tried baking? Bake yourself your favourite cake… perfect movie snack right there!

  1. Self care

Now all of this is self care, but here particularly I am talking about your body. Give yourself a facial, hair mask or even a manicure and yes this is for men too! Just as relaxing for everyone. Even a couple of cucumbers on the eyes for 5 minutes while you relax will help you feeling fresh.

  1. Learn something new

Whether that be a new language, a course you’ve been wanting to do for a while or maybe even knitting. This will really give you that ‘you time’ you need. Again allocate yourself time to do this. You never know, you may even find your new niche!

  1. Write

Coincidentally I am finishing with writing. Just pick up a pen (or on your phone/laptop) and write away. There doesn’t need to be a theme. You don’t need to write a story, although you can do! But especially at the moment writing has really helped to clear my mind. Get different subjects out of my head but relax me and I can easily get lost just writing and writing.

 

So, there you have it. A few ideas for you to make sure you start looking after yourself. And remember, no storm lasts forever.

 

If you would like to read more a little bit like this, our Stress Free Freelancer blogs were aimed at freelancers and their health and wellbeing. 
https://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/tag/stress-free-freelancer/ 

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Everybody Moving – Props

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Props are very important in our lessons and the TRS Teachers have lots of different things they can use. We even have the TRS Library Service where we share props so that there’s always something new and our lessons are always interesting!

Props are a great addition or inspiration for dance and movement play and there are things you can use that aren’t specific to dance.

If you’re a family at home you might be lucky enough to have some sensory play things to use or have props such as scarves, pom poms or ribbon sticks, but not everyone has these things so here are some ideas for everyday objects you can dance with.

The picture is of Steph’s prop collection. Steph works with people of all ages so there’s something for everyone! 

Dusters

Colourful and cheap, but make sure they’re clean! You could dance to ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ or songs about sunshine because they’re bright and colourful.

Hair ribbons

We use ribbons all the time for lots of different things. Orange and black for Halloween, Blues and silvers for a Frozen or sea theme, Multi coloured for flying kites with Mary Poppins. Hair ribbons work just as well, in fact, the ribbon we use could just have easily have ended up as hair ribbons. We also have ribbon sticks, large and small. Why not find some straight sticks in the garden or get some dowel from the shed if you can. Tie the ribbons on and you can do so much with them.

Socks

Odds, pairs or lots tied together, these could be an alternative to pom poms or even a fun prop on their own. 

Torches

Something for the evening when no natural light’s coming in. You can either give everyone a torch or take turns. Turn the lights out, put some inspiring music on and dance in the dark with the torches. You can also try shadow puppets, explained in the first Everybody Moving blog

Pom poms

Not the cheer dance pom poms we have, you can make these from cardboard and wool. There are lots of instructions online so find out how to make them, use whatever wool you have an dance with them. Leave a long length of string on to hold or use them like balls. TRS Teacher, Hayley has been making pom poms, her dog has been enjoying them too!

Tea Towels

A great alternative to scarves. Check with the person in charge of the kitchen first though! 

Wooden spoons

You can use these as rhythm sticks, tapping them together like Morris Dancers. 

Poufe

An alternative to a Pilates/gym ball. It could also be a mini stage if you have a suitable poufe and a small dance!

Dining Room Chairs

An alternative to a ballet barre. Some of the TRS Teachers have been delivering online ballet lessons and dining room chairs have become essential equipment!

Thank you to TRS Teacher, Clare, for sharing her photo of an online Bridge Academy Ballet Lesson.

 

Tights

Any tights so long as you have permission from the owner! They will end up stretched and out of shape. They can have holes in them, that doesn’t matter. You can use them like you might use a giant elastic in a circle, stretch them across the room to create a web or each hold two different pairs, have someone tangle them a bit and do a dance. They look fantastic as they move! The photo is of the spider web at Little Court for Halloween!

Pillow Cases 

Pillow cases could be used like scarves or you could put your arms inside and experiment with how they move. You could also sit down and put your legs into the pillow case and see how you can move. If you’ve got a big, safe space, you could sit in the pillow case and slide around the room on your bottom or tummy being caterpillars, worms or cars! 

Brooms and Mops

Be careful with these, but they do make fun props! Pretend microphones or dance partners or as walking sticks or umbrellas to use like in old musicals. 

Mop heads

The top of your mop can be a pom pom! 

Sponges

They feel similar to our fake snowballs and could be used in the same way. They squish well and then bounce back. They could be stepping stones, balls or for balancing. 

Material

We use all sorts of different types of material in our lessons. From Liquid Gold to stretchy lycra, a bit of material makes a great prop. You can use whatever you have. Maybe blankets or the big scarves that open up wide. You could use them like parachutes, as props to wave as a group, for games like keep the balls on or for many other things depending on the material. Be inspired by it!

 

We’d love to hear about the props you’ve found. Please share them with us using #EverybodyMoving

For more ideas, see our other blogs…

Everybody Moving

Everybody Moving – Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

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Everybody Moving – Families at Home

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With so many families stuck at home we thought we’d share ideas about how you can do movement activities throughout the day. Parents are doing a fantastic job home schooling and brain breaks are really important when learning. Also, young children learn really well whilst moving, just see our Educating Dance blogs to find out more.

Many children, and adults, are doing morning PE (us included!). This blog isn’t really designed for that, we will share some excellent PE session links soon though. This blog is about little moments of activity throughout the day for fun and for bonding.

A Little Boogie

Some of the TRS Teachers have been filming themselves dancing our participant’s favourites. Georgie has filmed I Love Rock and Roll to start with and there will be others soon. Participants from some of her dance clubs will recognise them so maybe they could teach the people they live with!

You can find the videos on our Youtube channel, therightstepdc and we have created a playlist called Everybody Moving or click on this link… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=381I6FzN7N8&list=PLVZOGYX_NfRnJ7BIb7zLlu6AkxihRbulB

Have a flick through to see what you can find. 

Paint a Dance

get a piece of paper, any size, and drop some random blobs of paint on it in lots of different colours. Play some inspirational music and let your body dance to move the blobs. This could be done with fingers and hands, feet or a paint brush! Maybe you could do a huge table sized family one?

Follow The Leader

Play some music and follow the leader. Everyone in the household has to copy the leader exactly. This could be a great way to sneakily get some chores done. You could use props too. We’ll be getting a list of props we have at home out soon!

Disco Dress Up

Find sparkly clothes, accessories and wigs. Use whatever you can find. Put the disco music on, turn it up and have a family disco!

Trigger Word

This one gives the adults some power! Think of a trigger word and choose a movement such as an octopus wiggle or freeze shape such as a star (arms and legs out). Whenever the trigger word is shouted throughout the day, the children have to do the movement or freeze shape. You could also do a run to the nearest wall when the trigger word is shouted.

Air Guitar

Put on some classic rock and air guitar your hearts out.

Make a Shape

Choose a shape announcer or take turns. Say a shape and see how you can make that shape with your body. Try using your whole body, not just your hands. We’d love to see them so please share your ideas.

Material Fun

You need a quite a large piece of material that you can hold onto such as a single bed sheet or large towel and a small ball, or a few balls. Each hold a bit of the material, put the balls on and see if you can keep them there. Balfour Infants School demonstrate in the photo.

Adapt an Action Song

Choose a fun action song like the Cha cha slide or YMCA. The challenge is to change some of the movements to make your family’s own actions!

Dance Game

Not strictly all about moving, but a really fun idea. Older children could design a dance board game for the family to do. Forfeits must be dance related. Our mini challenges blog might be inspiring. 

Just a few ideas. We will add more so keep an eye out. You can also read more on our other blog posts.

Everybody Moving

Everybody Moving – Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Props

 

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Magic Spells

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This is definitely ideal for those who love Harry Potter, but it can be for anyone interested in magic or who just wants to feel like a witch or wizard! 

This is an idea for people at any age, for any ability. Just adapt it to suit you and the people with you. 

Please make sure you have a safe space to do this in, warm yourself up appropriately and adapt everything to suit your needs.

You can begin by talking about Harry Potter or generally about books that include magic in them. This is a great idea for care homes due to the reminiscence and learning elements. It would also be fantastic for families who could have their own Harry Potter duel afterwards. There are also so many home schooling ideas that could be undertaken with Harry Potter as the theme. 

Cast Your Spells!

Each person needs a magic wand. This could be a stick from the garden, a lolly stick, spoon held backwards or, if your lucky enough to have them rhythm sticks. Some people may also have some really Harry Potter character wands at home if they’re big fans!

Next, learn some magic spells from Harry Potter. Think about the type of movements you would do for the result of each spell. Some people might know the real movements for the spells to. Swish and Flick!

Wingardium Leviosa – this spell levitates objects (or trolls) so swish and flick then hold your wand as you levitate the object.

Accio – the spell to bring things to you, you’ll have to hold onto this spell until the object arrives of course.

Alohamora – A little tap that unlocks doors.

Augmenta – Create water. Shake your wand as if water is coming out of the end.

Expecto Patronum – The Patronus charm to ward off Dementors. A big sweeping arm movement.

 

You can take this further by making up movements for how you might react to someone casting a spell.

Engorgio – make things larger

Reducio – make things smaller

Ridiculous – used for defeating a Bogart. This spell makes you look hilarious.

Expelliarmous – Disarming spell

Lumos – Turns the lights on, they might be quite bright!

 

If home schooling you could also think about your Patronus might be and why. You could draw it or make a model.

Reading is so important for all of us at the moment. Why not have a Harry Potter marathon and read them all!

 

For more ideas about how to keep moving at this time please read our other blogs designed to help people have fun and move throughout the day.

Everybody Moving

Everybody Moving – Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

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Everybody Moving

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The TRS Teachers are stuck inside and our participants are too. We miss dancing with everyone so we’ve decided to share some ideas for how to keep dancing through the day.

This is a series of blog posts and there will be more content to follow. You can also keep an eye out for other things we’ve shared before, such as the ‘Props Spring Clean’, ideas that will be useful for cleaning lots of different things. This is the first post and it will be followed by ideas for older adults in care homes and another for families at home

Why is this important?

The Government guidance is that everyone should exercise everyday. 0-5 year olds should be active for at least 3 hours a day, 60 minutes for 5 – 18 year olds and 75 – 150 minutes a week for adults and older adults. This is much harder when we’re all stuck inside together!

It’s not just the higher intensity activity that’s the problem though. We also need to avoid sedentary behaviour, or at least break it up with movement. This is where our blogs will help most. 

As most people are stuck inside our mental health is suffering and we need to do all we can to help ourselves. Exercise is an excellent way to do this and dance has other elements that make it even more beneficial such as music and socialising.

By releasing endorphins throughout the day you can keep yourself happier.

How Can We Do That?

Here are a couple of general ideas to get you going. We will share more as we think of them and will also have some blogs that are a bit more specific like our blog for people in care homes and for families at home. 

Big Ideas

We have written some separate posts about these three exciting ideas. Just click on the link and it will open in a new tab. 

Mini Challenges

Pick one or have a tournament. These adaptable ideas will mostly work at any age, for any ability. 
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

Dance a Tale

Something inspired by our love of books! Also at any age, for any ability, this one just requires a favourite story. We’ve given some examples to get your started.
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

Magic Spells

A fan or Harry Potter or other magical adventures? This one is for you! 
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

Use Social Media

Some of our dance teachers have been filming themselves doing your favourite dances and exercises from TRS lessons. Find them on our YouTube Channel and copy them.

If you know the dance from one of our lessons why not help someone you’re with learn it too?

There are also a huge number of other people who have classes on YouTube. Have a good search through. The team and their families have been enjoying Andy’s Wild Workouts, PE with Joe Wicks and play dough gym.

Lots of the TRS Teachers also work for other dance companies or have their own dance schools. They have been working hard to move their lessons online and you can now join in with them! Keep an eye on on Facebook for Bridge Academy (Clare’s ballet lessons), Make It Groovy (Jenny’s craft, story and dance lessons for young children), AMG Dance (a selection of dance for children and Dancercise for adults with Alix and her team) and Dance Vibes (Clubbercise and other exercise lessons for adults with Shanice).

Turn the Music up

An idea from Andrea Barker, Confidence Coach, who did some training with us a while ago. Turn up the music and have a dance, wiggle, silly time! Choose some music you can’t help, but move to. It really works and is so uplifting! You could try ABBA, Phil Collins, Disney Singalong, Queen, 70s Disco songs, Happy by Pharell, Can’t Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake or Sing a longs like Daisy Daisy and Lambeth Walk. TRS Director, Rebecca and her daughter, Gaia demonstrate in the TRS Office.

When the TV says…

The basics of this game might be familiar to some!

Allocate different movements to words. For example ‘Hello’ is a star jump, ‘Yes’ is air punch etc. When someone on the television says ‘hello’, everyone has to do a star jump.

You could also put a hat on the corner of the screen and do a move everytime someone wears it!

Bubble wrap pop

If you happen to have some bubble wrap, lay it on the floor or table, turn the music up and pop, pop, pop in as many different ways as you can.

For adults in care homes this is great for fine motor skills. For families, this will probably lead to some larger movements such as rolling and stamping.

 

 

Skiffle Band

Skiffle is a music genre from the US in the 1920s. Musicians used cobbled together instruments, some manufactured and some home made, to perform jazz, blues and folk music. It also involved a lot of dance.

For this, everyone needs some sort of made up instrument. They used to use wash boards! Use your imagination, this can be fun in itself. Then you just have a jam and enjoy the noise!

For young children, as Harleigh demonstrates in the photo, this is just sensory play. For older children, young people and adults this could lead to a performance of a piece if you’re clever!

Shadow Puppets

This can be done with hands only, actual puppets or anything else! You need a shadow wall which is reasonably plain and flat. You could do this in the evening when the natural light goes away. Turn the lights off and hold a torch behind the person being or holding the puppet. Admire the movements they create and the story they tell!

 

Now that you have some initial ideas, choose your favourites and give them a go.

If you’re home schooling, schedule the ideas in for brain breaks, as part of PE time or as just for fun things to do as a family. 

Next, try our other Everybody Moving blog posts for more ides and keep an eye out on our social media for more ideas, challenges and videos. 

Everybody Moving – Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

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Props Spring Clean

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Ideas from the TRS Teachers, compiled by Georgie, Director of TRS South Kent

With everything that’s happening recently, we wanted to create some useful blogs for you all. Our first one is all about cleaning props! It’s just a few tips and tricks, that the TRS teachers use, that we thought may benefit you as we know we are not the only ones using props in our sessions. Care homes and schools also use them as well as other teachers and parents. We don’t know if these ideas will kill the Covid-19 germs, but they will clean up your props.


Our first way of cleaning can be used for scarves, dusters and most materials (although please do check guidelines!) You can easily just put them in the washing machine! That way you know they would have had a nice deep clean and with the beautiful sunshine we’ve been having, just hang them up to dry! It also makes a lovely, colourful rainbow in your kitchen!

 

Another commonly used prop in our classes is feathers. Now these are very delicate, and we obviously can’t put them in a washing machine! So how do you get germs and things off them? It’s simple, place them in bags and freeze them! This will clean them up and keep them from getting ruined. Again, it also makes a nice colourful draw in the freezer!

Some other things TRS teachers do… simple washing up; you can get everyone involved by hand washing balls, spots and the other plastic props you use. The little ones at home would love that! And perhaps, even some residents!

As well as deep cleaning our props regularly from home, we also have ways to clean them on the go! Anti-bacterial wipes are a cheap and quick way to wash on the go, as well as using Dettol disinfectant spray.

There are lots of ways to ensure your props are clean and safe for all to use. The TRS Teachers are cleaning all of their props at the moment. We are not currently teaching and we want to stop the spread of germs so a good Spring Clean gives us something useful to do. 

I hope this has been a helpful little tool and you can always refer back to it. Look out for more helpful, handy blogs coming your way soon!

 

 

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Egyptian and Charlston

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Written by Georgie, Level Three TRS Teacher and Educating Dance Teacher

This was my first term at Singlewell Primary. I had heard lots of wonderful things from previous teachers and was excited to go, even more so when I found out the two themes for this term; Egyptian and Charleston! What a great way to rekindle my Educating Dance sessions than with two of my favourites!

Year 3 were doing Ancient Egypt in their lessons so they went for some Egyptian dance. I chose not to focus on ‘up-to-date’ Egyptian dancing, as this is mainly belly dancing and not my forte. However, I was very excited to introduce them to Ancient Egyptian dancing.

Firstly we discussed Egyptian Gods, I gave each corner a God, explained key parts and together we came up for movements. We had Ra; the God of the Sun, and we created a huge sunshine movement. Then we had Horus; God of the sky, who looked like a bird, so we did huge wings. We also had Hathor; the Goddess of love, we gave ourselves a hug. Finally Bastet; a feline creature, where we acted like cats, very proud showing off our coat. I loved seeing the ideas they created. Each week I would test them on names and meanings and the class got better and better each time!

We then worked in groups, I asked a student from each group to close their eyes and pick out a God. We had; Osiris, Ra, Hathor, Seth, Nut and Bastet. The groups each came up with a starting pose to do with their Gods, either with they way the looked or their God traits. Each group was so different it created a wonderful scene for the start of our dance.

The next task was done individually. I gave them the alphabet in Hieroglyphics and asked them to dance out their names. Some of them found this quite difficult as they had longer names! I also did it myself which was fun.

For the starter for this group we created a giant Pyramid (not all climbing on top of one another though!) We used different levels in lines and finished with tiptoes and points to make the top. Each week I challenged them to come into the classroom and make their pyramid before the music ran out.

We then learnt our dance to ‘walk like an Egyptian’. The class really liked this and they had so much focus when learning it. I also included a bit of ‘tutting’ as they use Egyptian like moves in this. The class enjoyed the modern spin that I put on that. The final part of the dance was done in pairs, they had to create strong Egyptian moves using ‘opposites’ as the theme. The class grasped this very well.

The last couple of weeks we put it altogether. Starting with our Gods, then creating a wall of Hieroglyphics at the back of the room. They then came forward and performed their names. Finishing with the walk like an Egyptian dance.

The last week I split them into two groups as we performed them to one another. It was great to see the progression and how much they had developed. It was a lovely start to my time at Singlewell!

 

Year 2 had Charleston for their subject, I was very excited about this. To start with I went over some very basic steps, as the full Charleston is a difficult one! We started with diagonal jumps, twists, flick kicks and crazy knees. This was their warm up, they would walk around in ‘Jazzy’ ways and when I tapped the tambourine they would go to the nearest corner and perform that move. This was a great way to introduce the style to them and they picked these movements up so quickly I was very impressed!

We then came to the centre and worked on the moves a bit more thoroughly, repeating move after move and then finishing with a simple Charleston. I started saying ‘step forward, step back’ and by the end of the 6 weeks they were all saying it too!

For the next few weeks I wanted them to create a ‘Speakeasy’ as their starter so, they would come into the classroom and, as quickly as they could, get into the position to hold it. We have the band, performers, audience and bar workers. They all created their own position, but it worked so well when you put it altogether. I couldn’t believe how well they remembered it the first week and by week 6 they managed to do this in just 15 seconds! I think that’s the best yet!

We then started our routine, which included all of the other steps as well as some partner work. It was great to see the development over the weeks, of how well they could remember the dance, as well as all of the moves. By the end they were facing their partners and going back and forth doing the Charleston. Definitely a proud teacher moment right there!

To finish the dance I had them get into smaller groups and put their own ‘mini’ dance together. However, the class did this so quickly, I had to give them a range of developments on the spot! Firstly, I asked them to create different patterns and positions to dance in. Some used triangles, others used lines and swapped through each other too. I then gave them the idea of using different levels, we had groups holding hands and turning on the floor! It opened up my imagination seeing all these wonderful moves.

By week 6 the class were complete professionals. I split them in half so we could do a show. It was lovely to see the support for one another and I really enjoyed seeing the outcome. They  were all so focused and worked so hard that I gave everyone a sticker at the end!

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December Shows

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This year there have been lots of festive performances and the TRS Teachers wanted to share the fun with you. Even if there wasn’t a show to friends and family, there will have been performances to peers within dance club. We love a show and a performance opportunity is essential to a dance class. So congratulations to every participant in our lessons who has performed this term. I know of at least 10 schools so far. Here are some words from the TRS Teachers and I about just a few. 

Palace Wood Primary School

Rebecca – I’ve been working with KS2 Creative Dance Club at Palace Wood Primary School since September. The theme has been The Lion King and we’ve looked at ideas from the films and the stage musical. By the show we had three pieces of music put together to make quite a lengthy dance. We even added Rocking Around The Christmas to the end and gave it a festive finish! 

We began with Timon and Puma. It was September so we explored friendships and greetings. The dancers, in pairs, used movements I choreographed for warm up as well as some of their own. Alongside this the group choreographed a dance altogether. They danced with feathers and movements were inspired by Zazu, a bird. Later in the term I showed the dancers a short video about how the dancers in the musical move like lions. They worked in groups, their prides, and choreographed dances as lions. Then, in the last ten minutes of the week before the show, we very quickly threw some moves together and danced to Rocking Around The Christmas Tree. By this point they were excellent at choreography and thought of some brilliant movements very quickly.

They were so fantastic in performance. Very professional, they concentrated, counted and smiled. The audience were really impressed and we were all very proud. Well done KS2!

Here’s a little clip of photos and videos from the final rehearsal and performance.

St William of Perth Primary School

Jess – The 19 performers at St William Of Perth performed their two dances in front of their school in an early morning assembly. For most of the group it was the first time they’ve performed, with more never having danced before. It was a very nerve racking experience but each dancer performed amazingly.

At the start of this term we were working on Rainforest animals, from tree frogs and snakes to tigers and sloths. We spent time learning how each animal moves and learning from each other, picking up ideas and exploring new movements. The class were separated into two groups who were given a small number of animals to explore the movements with. This allowed each dancer to work on their creativity, learn from their peers and gather new ideas.

A week before the performance we started a new winter theme, our song was “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let us snow!”. The dancers created the whole dance by listening to the lyrics and finding movements to suit. This allowed the dancers who were usually shy to have a big input, feel a sense of accomplishment and own part of the dance that was being performed by everyone. It was during this week, the dancers expressed an interest in performing their routines.

Performance week arrived. As the news of the performance was delivered, a sense of nervousness overcame a lot of the younger dancers, however with the encourage and support of the older dancers, everyone pulled through and performed together.

I am so proud of every single one of those dancers who overcame their nerves to perform two dance routines to their peers and class friends. Everyone did brilliantly. Well done.

Byron Primary School

Steph has been working at Byron Primary for many years now. Their club isn’t at a time that is good to invite friends and family in so they can be an audience, but this didn’t stop them! They did a video show and here is the fantastic result!

So a big well done to everyone, you were fantastic! 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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