Tag Archives: creativity

Santa Fun Run 2017

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By Georgie

Each year a member of The Right Step Dance Company warms up the Santa’s for their Fun Run and this year it was my turn!

I was extremely excited (and nervous) to do the warm up this year! I had seen various blogs, photos and videos from previous years and I loved seeing all the whole community come together for such a great event and cause.

When I arrived all, I could see where Santa’s of all shapes and sizes, some even included 4 legged Santa’s too! I then met Rebecca, Lawrence, Gaia (the youngest member of The Right Step, who came fully prepared in her uniform and Santa hat!) and our friend and photographer Nikki came along to support too.

Despite having some horrible rainy weather everyone was in such a happy mood. The DJ was playing some lively music and people were already up and dancing along. It was quite surreal seeing so many Santa’s in one place! The nerves had definitely started to kick in!

Then the DJ announced it was time for me to go on stage and warm up the lovely Santa’s! So up I went. The music started playing, and all the nerves disappeared! I began with ‘Moves like Jagger’ by Maroon 5 and I got them to sing ‘Moves like SANTA’ instead! Which went extremely well! Then as I looked out into to the crowd I saw a familiar face and I saw TRS Teacher, Clare, dancing along which was lovely to see her come along and support to!

20171118_134733We then went onto ‘Living on a Prayer’ by Bon Jovi. This was fantastic, seeing them throw their arms in the air for the chorus and I must say I was very impressed with their air guitars and drums!

Finally I finished off with a classic party dance… the Cha Cha Slide! Everyone got so involved and we had some lovely cha cha’s going on.

So afterwards they were ready and eager to go! Lead by the marching band they all set off through the town ready to start the race. We followed along and cheered the Santa’s as they all went past! Rebecca stayed and got some great photo’s and videos of the finish of the race!

I had an amazing time at the Santa Fun Run 2017, so thank you for having me and huge congratulations to the Rotary Club of Medway and to all the Santa’s for putting on such a fantastic event and raising money for a great cause!

 

Here’s the video!

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BBC Filming

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One of the care homes we visit, Hale Place, was filmed for a documentary by the BBC as an example of an outstanding care home. The staff and residents were asked to chose their favourite outside entertainment providers to come and be filmed on the day… they chose Active Armchairs (our seated dance sessions) and Nightingale Dogs. I went along with TRS Teacher and Active Armchairs Facilitator, Steph, on the day of filming!

20171025_095829When we arrived interviews were taking place in the garden. BBC presenter, Fiona Phillips talked to the manager and some of the residents’ relatives whilst we were there. Steph introduced me to staff and residents then we began class. Although it was an unusual class with various strange things happening for filming, it was mostly has normal and everyone had a lot of fun. Everyone kept telling me how much they enjoy Steph’s classes, it was a pleasure to hear. They call Steph ‘Dancing Queen’.

Steph’s great. The first time she came for a taster, I said you have to get her in every week. One lady didn’t join in with anything, but seated dancing she does. She loves it. It’s great for them all. They don’t all join in with everything, but they all do some. They love the choice and the music.
Mandy, Carer at Hale Place, October 2017

20171025_103207Steph used lots of props and they built up on the ‘silver puddle’ as the class continued. Egg shakers, pom poms, long elastics and scarves all had a place. There was lots of rock ‘n’ roll music because that’s the residents’ favourite type as well as some spontaneous singing from one of the residents and Steph. The most notable began ‘good morning, good morning, we’ve talked the whole night through, good morning, good morning to you’ and continued because everyone joined in. What a start to class!

I left with a huge sense of pride and enthusiasm for more Active Armchairs. What a way to go back to work… it was my first class since maternity leave! Here’s a video about our time there.

 

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Allotments and Waltz

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TRS Teacher, Georgie, went to Miers Court Primary School to work with year 5. They set her a challenge… use their term theme, allotments, and add in their music topic, Waltzing of The Flowers! Here’s Georgie’s blog post about her time there.

 

My final term at Miers Court Primary School was with year 5. They were looking at allotments and plants this term. Quite a tricky subject for me to begin with! Then the teacher also told me they were looking at ‘The Waltz of the Flowers’ by Tchaikovsky in music which got the creative juices flowing once more…

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The first task I set the group on was in pairs. They would take it in turns to lead one another, copying and mirroring exactly what their partner was doing basing their ideas on the stimulus: growth. Year 5 were fantastic at this, they jumped straight in with this task and had such fantastic ideas. I then asked them to create a small duet in their partners based on the movements they had just tried.

 

After the duets were done, we then created small solo’s. Again, using ideas that they had previously choreographed basing the whole idea on growing. Year 5 were a bit nervous to begin with, however they ended up creating some excellent solos!

After our duets and solos were finished I then taught the class a waltz. I had some very mixed opinions when doing this as we decided to be very traditional and have boy/girl partners! They picked up the steps so quickly and they really embraced the style. It looked beautiful watching them all dance the waltz and they were so in time it felt like I was at a real ball!

 

kajdbfWhen it came to putting all of the movement together for the show, the idea of the structure was based on the picture to the right.

 

We started with solos, which then grew into duets and finally, to finish off, we danced our waltz. The students were amazing. They were really supportive of one another and were so professional. It takes a lot of confidence to perform in front of an audience especially with such a well-known style of dance and they really pulled it off. I was so proud of year 5 and I know the teachers were as well.

Sadly, it was my last term at Miers Court Primary school and I just wanted to say a huge thank you to them for having me. It’s been such a pleasure and I would love to go back at any time!

 

Watch the video here…

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Life On A Farm

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By Georgie, TRS Teacher, Educating Dance Teacher and Active Armchairs Facilitator

20170524_143213This term at Miers Court Primary School I was working with reception class and their topic was “Life on a Farm”. What a great topic! The teachers had already asked me to do some sort of line dancing with the classes, which I was thrilled about!

But first off, we needed to do a warm up. We started off by walking around the room in various directions. In each of the corners there were 4 different animals; a cow, a sheep, a chicken and a horse! When I said an animal, the class had to go to that corner and do the action for that animal. We had galloping horses, skipping lambs, pecking chickens and some very slow movements for the cow! The children were great at really getting the movements of each animal, I almost forgot they were children! The chickens were definitely convincing!

Next onto the line dancing. I taught both groups 2 line dances, one was to 5, 6, 7, 8 by Steps. The children picked this up so quickly! And the upbeat music really helped them to get into the style of the movements. I then taught the “Fuzzy Duck Slide” as I thought this was very fitting to their farm theme. We performed this to a classic country song, “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus, and I must admit I was slightly stunned when some of the children new the song! They really enjoyed this song. So much so, they started to freestyle and play guitars etc. and it looked so good I kept it in for the show performance!

20170524_140608Lastly, in their groups they came up with a freeze frame based on a picture of a farm that I showed them. They looked really good! From there I gave each group a different animal (from the ones I used in the warm up) and asked them to create 4 movements for that animal. These classes had such creative minds and their movements were excellent. We put this altogether for our show.

 

20170524_140602Then came show day and the children had all dressed up. We had lots of farmers and lots of different animals, an elephant even appeared on our farm! They looked just perfect for the show. I am so proud of reception class, their performance was fantastic, they audience really enjoyed it and gave them a huge cheer. All the children left with huge smiles on their faces, and so they should after all that hard work!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Reception class at Miers Court Primary. They were an absolute pleasure!

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Year 4 Native Americans at Miers Court

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Written by Georgie Tedora, Educating Dance Teacher and Level Two TRS Teacher.

This term at Miers Court Primary School I was working with year 4. The theme this term was ‘Road trip USA’ which is such a broad subject I didn’t know where to start! Then the teacher sent me over the term plan and I saw they would be looking at Native Americans, great!

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We started each session with our road trip around USA for our warm up. I printed various landmarks from America and scattered them around the room. When I said stop the students had to go to the nearest landmark and do the movement that we all created to the dance.

 

Next, we got into groups and created our own totem poles using different levels and each child chose a different animal to be.  These turned out fantastically! Here are just a few.

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20170329_141830For the next few sessions I told the students about a festival that Native Americans used to celebrate called ‘Powwow.’ Which was a celebration of their customs and traditions. Powwow has dated back years but it is still done to this date. So, we were going to have our own Powwow! I taught them two dances, a male and a female. The male dance was called the traditional dance and was about the warriors stalking their pray. The female dance was called the jingle dance and was about healing and medicine. Year 4 did these so well and really showed the difference in the styles!

They then got into their own groups and created their own either traditional or jingle dance. We had a very good mixture and they really grasped the stories behind them well!

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Finally, a very important part of the Powwow is the drums. They create the rhythms to dance to. So that’s what we did, we created our own rhythms in groups using the parts of our bodies to make different sounds. While one group played their rhythm, another would dance to it.

 

Then it was Showtime! I couldn’t believe how quickly it had come around. The students had made so much material and they put on a fantastic show for the audience. I was very proud of them. I had a fantastic time celebrating in our own Powwow!

Here’s a video of some of the things we did this term!

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Book and Art Week

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St Mary’s Primary School invited us in to lead dance classes for every year group for the third year running. The school celebrates Book and Art Week with exciting workshops and unusual classes. Steph and Georgie went along to deliver a varied and extensive timetable of dance!

Written by Georgie, Level Two TRS Teacher, Level Two Active Armchairs Facilitator and Educating Dance Teacher

Wow! What a week I’ve had with St Mary’s Primary school and their Book and Arts Week! When  I saw the subjects I would be teaching I was so excited!
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Firstly I taught year 1 – Aliens and Space. What a great subject! We created our own rocket and flew into space. We explored space and had some great slow motion spacewalks. Then we spotted the aliens! After teaching the short phrase, they went onto group work where I handed them a picture of a different alien each which they had to create a starting position that looked like the alien. The children did this so well! Without even looking at the pictures I could tell who was who. They then created movements like their aliens. When we showed these at the end I was so impressed with what they had done and how much they had learnt and choreographed in that time. What a way to start my week.
Next was Year 4 and Gumboot dancing. I could not wait for this! As the classes came in, the teachers told me that they were very good at dancing and loved it. They were right! I started off with an ‘echo’ game where we would walk around the space and when I stomped the class had to echo back the rhythm I had done. Then I chose some of them to do a rhythm too, and some were very hard! After this, I taught them 3 gumboot phrases and then they had to create their own. We had such variety with these, they used different levels, cannon and formations! They had all practiced them to perfection which sounded and looked great!  The last part, I handed each group a set of gumboot steps to follow. But they weren’t allowed to show other groups. At the end they performed these too. I was quite cheeky and played a little trick on them. All the cards said the same thing! It was really good seeing how each group interpreted the steps!
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Then I had Reception class – Seasons and Weather. We started off with the 4 corners game and in each corner was a season, each having their own different action to help the children remember what season was what. I then taught them a phrase, using the different seasons and the different weather in each season e.g. snow in winter, sun/hot in summer. After they got into groups and decided on a season then created some movements for it. These were really good, we had sitting by the fire in winter and swimming in the summer! Lastly in groups I handed out some cards and we played pairs – what weather goes with what season. Most of them did this perfectly! I was really impressed!
Year 6 Street Dance was next. They learnt so much! I started off with body popping, which is quite hard in itself and they really grasped it. Then I taught them tutting, some top rock and finally a bit of break dance / floor work. They were very happy when I played the music (Ed Sheeran –  Shape of You) I heard a lot of whispered ‘yes’s’ when the song came on! And we put all of these styles of street together to make a routine. They looked great! Giving me some serious attitude and really understanding the different stylistic qualities of each part. They then added on their own routine in groups, and my they were a talented bunch! Each group was so good that I really wanted them to share with one another, so they ended up teaching each other their routines! Such a fantastic group to work with.
Lastly I taught Year 5 – Astronauts and Planets. As the year 1 went so well I decided to use some of these ideas in this one. We started of with a bit of friendly competition and they chose Girls vs Boys. They all wrote down each planet including the Sun on paper plates. I then took each set and really shuffled them up. They then had to put them in certain orders, and the team to get it write and put it in the correct order one the point! The first order was closest to furthest away from the sun, the boys did this in around 15 seconds! The next order was in order of size. The girls one this time which created a tie break situation. Lastly they had to group them into terrestrial planets and gas planets. Anddddddddd *drum roll please* the girls won! It was very close though. After I taught them a short phrase about exploring space, and again we started off in our own rocket position which they created and it looked so good! They then got into groups, chose a planet and had to create a short dance about that planet. Each group came up with such good ideas for their planet and they really went into detail. Year 5 knew so much about space they even taught me a thing or two!
I really enjoyed my time at St Mary’s Primary School, it was so lovely to see how all the children really wanted to get involved and I had so many thank you’s which was lovely to receive. I really hope I can go there again!
Steph taught Country Dancing and Space whilst at St Mary’s. Here’s some feedback about the classes.

“I really enjoyed that, I felt like I was in space!” Year 5 Pupil, St.Mary’s Primary School, March 2017

“The group work really challenged the students, they had some wonderfully creative ideas. I have 5 minutes of film to play back to them” Year 5 Teacher, St.Mary’s Primary School, March 2017

“That was fantastic, it took me back to my school days! We’ll try to remember it so we can keep doing the dance in PE. Thank you” TA about Country Dancing, St.Mary’s Primary School, March 2017

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Halling’s New Frock?

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In 2016 we launched a Christmas Facebook Competition for schools to have the chance to win half a day of Educating Dance classes. Halling Primary School won and chose to hold their free sessions during Book Week! Georgie went along to deliver the classes.

Written by Georgie, Level Two TRS Teacher, Level Two Active Armchairs Facilitator and Educating Dance Teacher

Hallings new Frock?

51gT8Mcf0-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Today I went to teach two dance classes for year 3 and 4 at Halling Primary School. As it was Book Week, I decided to focus on a book the year 3 class had been reading; Bill’s New Frock by Anne Fine (1980’s).
It’s a story about a boy who is your typical boy – loves football and doesn’t like girls, but one day he wakes up and he is a girl! He has to wear a pink frock and he learns throughout the day what girls have to go through. I know, a bit bizarre! The children knew so much about it they helped me understand the story better!
I taught a short phrase which explained the story, so we started off asleep and woke up as normal Bill. We then went to school, played football and headed home. When we went back to sleep, and this time when we woke up we saw the dress, and we were horrified! The children had such great facial expression for this part. I then asked them to help me to correct extra movements which included; throwing our dress on the floor, mum telling us off, and sulking in our dress.
Next they got into groups, and I handed each group a pink scarf. They had to make up their own movements using the scarf. They could dress up in it, do some of my phrase with it etc. When we showed the dances, they were fantastic! Each group had such different ideas, and we had some fabulous frocks!
Even though year 4 hadn’t read the book, they really grasped the idea of it and fully got involved. Some of them even said they were going to go and read the book now!
I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Halling Primary school and was so impressed with all their hard work.

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On The Wall!

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It’s always great to hear the good things said about our classes, but it’s even better to find out that a care home is so pleased with them they’re sharing photos of the sessions with residents, family and friends. This is what happened at Mayflower Care Home where Steph, Rebecca and Georgie have been delivering Active Armchairs, Circle Dance and Active Armchairs One to One. The photos below were found on the wall, but there are also some in the home’s brochure!

Active Armchairs in the main room. Steph is dancing with a resident as other watch. This is a great chance for the facilitator to get to know individuals!

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Active Armchairs One to One means that everyone has the chance to dance and interact with our facilitators. Here Steph has been invited to a resident’s room and works with an individual in one of the living areas as well. Such a rewarding time.

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Some more photos of One to One Active Armchairs sessions with Steph. This time there are some family members and friends present. Everyone is welcome to join in if they want to. There’s also a photo of some local school children doing cheerleading with residents. It’s great to see them dancing even when we aren’t there!

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And here are some of the things that have been said about our time there…

“That class was fantastic, all the residents enjoyed themselves, we cannot wait until next week.” Amy, Activities Co-ordinator, April 2016

“I found that, during the Circle Dance class, there was a story and I grew a bond with every resident. The circle and interaction are great for that and it gives the session a real feel good factor. One resident didn’t really fancy dancing at first, but after a particularly jolly piece of music that seemed to appeal to her she said “That was lovely. Thank you for coming. I like to dance and I can Cha Cha, you know!”. She grabbed my hands and was off. Another resident chose to stand to dance without her frame. The circle and supportive care staff allowed her to do this. I could tell how happy this made her. At the end of class she had to check with me that I would come back again soon. Introducing the Liquid Gold prop for cool down allowed staff and family members to dance with the residents. This always leads to beautiful moments. A son thanked his Mum for their dance. It was lovely to see.”
Rebecca Ashton, TRS Teacher after the first Circle Dance session, November 2016

It’s really nice to have so many things happening each week. We can build excellent relationships with the residents, staff and family members (some of whom regularly attend) and can tailor the sessions really well. We’re all looking forward to the sessions continuing for a long time.

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Street Detectives

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By Georgie Tedora, Level Two TRS Teacher and Educating Dance Teacher

This term I was working with Year 2 at Miers court Primary and I had already heard such great things about this school from Rebecca, no pressure taking over her wonderful work! Year 2 were looking at their local area and what they had around them and so we became street detectives!

We started with our warm up, ‘Inspector gadget’, where we incorporated some street dance moves. In the warm up we went on a journey to see what places we could find, we came across a; park, church, school, leisure centre, post office and finally a supermarket. Each place had a different action to it for example we stamped at the post office, and reached to the top shelf of the supermarket.

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We drew our own maps! After talking about the countryside (having squiggly lines!) and the town centre (having straight lines!) each group decided what map they would draw. They then created their dance by following their own maps. They used different levels to create movements from one road to another. Year 2 were very creative with this, we even had some frog jumps and army crawls!

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Our group piece was an element of surprise to us all. The children chose 4 places at random, and 2 modes of transport for our travel. We then choreographed our big routine using ideas from the previous dances but also some more movements of their own. We had a long supermarket line with one group and they were all scanning items at the checkout. The other group created a fantastic park, where some were the roundabout, some were swings, and even a climbing frame! The train popped up in both routines, but we also had a bicycle and a bus!

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We had so much material, when week 5 came along for our structuring lesson, the dance was around 10 minutes long each!

Show day came around so quickly and they were fantastic. Each group really performed, we had some great facial expressions when we were detectives! The children did so well to remember all their material and I am very proud of them!

It was such a pleasure teaching year 2, and I can’t wait to teach my next group at Miers court Primary.

Enjoy the video!

 

 

 

 

 

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Pound Shop Christmas Props

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Why we love the pound shop!
by Clare Wilders, Level Two TRS Teacher and Level Two Active Armchairs Facilitator.

As dance teachers we are always looking for innovative ways to spice up our dance classes. From using YouTube videos to show a piece of choreography, pictures so children can visualise the theme of our class, to props to give the actual dance element of the class more impact. In fact in our Active Armchairs classes, a prop is a compulsory element to the class, bringing an added element of interaction and assisting older people in maintaining their dexterity.

In an ideal world we would have an unlimited budget to use for our props, however as self employed teachers, we have books to balance, so a little creativity goes a long way.

Many an hour can be whiled away shuffling through bargains in the toy department, or as I was this morning, wandering up and down the Christmas aisle of the pound shop looking for potential Christmas props for my Active Armchairs classes next week.

I found some items with potential. I nearly bought a whole bundle of Christmassy cat teasers… with feathers, santas and little bells on each, only to find that they tangled up really easily just hanging up. Imagine the delay to my class trying to drag them out of my dance bag after they had turned into the inevitable spaghetti of strings and santas!

Finally I settled on a few random items showing potential:

In previous classes I have borrowed the TRS “Jingle sticks” with great success, and these are inspired by those, but a little different. Using a pool noodle, we could have a softer “stick” element so they could easily be patted against a hand or leg.

So far so good:

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I also found some wreath hangers that bore great gold bells… so of course the Cat got little curious:

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Things were looking jingly. A touch of gift ribbon, and the results are below. I can’t wait to try them out to “Jingle Bells” next week.

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