Art has become a key part of everyone’s day whilst socially isolated at home. It is great for well being and learning. It is very therapeutic. Although dance is an art form in it’s own right, the TRS Teachers have thought of some ideas for how dance and art can be brought together.
As always, please adapt the ideas to suit yourself and the people you’re with. The ideas are great at any age, for any ability, but always need adapting to make them the best they can be for each individual. Don’t forget to warm up sufficiently before dancing too!
Paint a Body…
This can be done with the whole body of parts of it. If you’re using the whole body, you need to find a big piece of paper such as rolled paper or unfolded boxes. Draw around the body or body part whilst it does a dance move or interesting gesture. This is a great way to learn about body parts. You could try codified dance steps such as a plie lying down or against the wall. You could do a sequence of three gestures to tell a story like in Kathak. Once you have the shape drawn, decorate it in some way with paint, pens, pencil, chalk, any medium you like!
… Or Send a Hug
This is a really nice extra thing that could lead to a chat about feelings, very important at the moment. Instead of drawing round a dance move, draw around the top part of the body, with arms outstretched as though about to give a hug. Cut out, decorate and post to some one you would like to hug.
Foot Print Painting
Make your art floor… get a big bit of paper, join some paper together, open a cardboard box, use a paper tablecloth, lay down some opened and flattened bin bags, newspapers etc.
Once you have a suitable floor, put some random blobs of paint on it, turn the music on and dance through the paint! You could improvise or do a dance you’ve already learnt or have choreographed. You could use one of our videos if you want. After the dance you can see your pathway (that’s what we call the path taken through the dance). Is it varied? On the spot? Do you use all the space or only a little bit? What a great way to see if you’ve made a good use of the space.
An adaption for those who can’t walk. Ask someone to put the paint and paper under your feet. It feels amazing to have paint under your toes and you can still see what pathways your feet take during a dance.
Make a mask that turns the wearer into something different then move like that character. Animal masks work really well, but you can also try things like Zoro, Spiderman, The Lone Ranger or Lady Gaga (in the photo). You could make up characters as well.
Paint what you find
On your next exercise walk, or in the garden, search for some unusual things to paint! If you’re doing this with children you can describe how you’re searching in different ways (high, reaching or stretching etc) to help develop their vocabulary. Once you’ve found the things you need to paint them and display them in whatever way you feel. This could be a bright, colourful display for a care home.
Croquis is a French art form where the model moves and the artist sketches quickly. We held some Croquis events with artists Richard Jefferies and Marissa Mardon in 2014.
You could hold your own event and adapt it in your own way. For ours we had a dancer in the centre of the room and the artists, using whatever medium they wanted, around the edge. There was a different theme each week and the artists drew what they saw. Sometimes drawing the body, sometimes the movement, sometimes the space in between.
Use your imagination to make it interesting. Find out more and get ideas from our Croquis blog posts… https://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/category/croquis-events/
Chalking Outside or In
Grab some chalk, whatever you have, but the bigger and chunkier the better. If you’re heading outside you can chalk on so many services. If you’re inside chalk works well on black paper, card board boxes or normal black boards. Some music playing in the background could provide to some interesting inspiration too.
Turn the Music Up
This goes back to our first Everybody Moving blog post, but with a difference… Paint with the music turned up and see how it affects your mood. You could try specific pieces of music. TRS Teacher, Jenny put The Gruffalo soundtrack on for her children whilst they painted these with brushes and straws (blowing the paint).
Body Part Challenge
Have you ever painted with your elbow or knee!? Why not give it a go!?
Dance in The Sand
Like a zen garden, but with dance. Such a fantastic sensory idea. You can do this in a large sand pit with your whole body, put a box or tray of sand on the floor under your feet whilst seated or have a tray of sand in front of you for just your hands. Cat litter trays and tea trays with high handles make good mini sandpits. Put the music on and see where it takes you. Make patterns whilst dancing and see what happens.
We also have a Pinterest board that links art and dance. Take a look here… https://www.pinterest.co.uk/therightstep/art-and-dancing/
For more Everybody Moving ideas to keep you moving throughout the day please see our other blogs and videos…