Written by Rebecca Ashton, Company Director
This term I’ve been working with Year 3 and 4 for dance club at Byron Primary. It was a smaller group and they were really enthusiastic and imaginative so we were able to work as a team to choreograph lots of different things. Today we had our show and I was so proud of how the children performed, but more about that in a moment.
We began our dance sessions in January and I’d obviously spent too much time in the kitchen over Christmas because that was our theme… Dancing in the Kitchen! The warm up game was about objects in the kitchen such as kettle boiling runs and scissor jumps. We balanced plates on ourselves, played Healthy vs. Treat (a game inspired by Heroes Vs. Villains during Take My Teaching Training a few months before), rolled and wiggled like spaghetti and did pizza massage for cool down. We even had pancake day to celebrate and I brought in frying pans for that!
For our main focus I write out and printed recipes. Each instruction had a relating movement and together they formed a dance. I taught them one based on baking a cake, then they went into groups to choreograph their own. There were sausage rolls, potato wedges and iced biscuits! I was so impressed with their creativity and team work. They really thought outside the box when thinking of the movements they wanted to represent each instruction and there were lots of great surprises.
We then put the recipe dances together to create a dance and the dancers chose the chef hat starting position, whisk transition movement and hiding in the oven ending position. All created by a dancer and chosen as a team.
This spilled over into our second term and then it was Book Week so I shared some of my Magic Beach ideas with them from that. They loved experimenting with the stretchy green seaweed. Oscar had enjoyed the spaghetti exercise so much that we had to do something similar so this became waves. We also made group shapes like boats and the team choreographed a short sequence of movements together based on the idea that anything at all could be on the magic beach!
After this I taught them a dance about waves. To introduce this theme we did more waves across the room, they were now very good at adapting to the different focuses and adaptions I gave them each time, and made shapes and movements like the different types of waves in my photos. We also learnt a body wave.
They learnt the waves dance really quickly, but took to it so well that they finally decided they wanted to do a showing for parents. I’d been trying to persuade them since the in the kitchen dance as they were so fantastic, but they were a little nervous. I’m really pleased they chose to perform. They chose to show the wave dance, the improvised waves across the room and the Dancing In The Kitchen dance and they did such a great job. They practiced hard, but it was worth it in the end! I’m sure the audience members were impressed too! Right at the end they took a bow and received a big round of applause. Well done dancers!! What a way to end a great term of dance club.