Tag Archives: cross-curricular

Carnival Comparisons

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IMAG7055This term Alix and I worked with Year 1 at Miers Court Primary. The theme was Carnival Comparisons and we had a very colourful time.

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.

Miers Court Puppets

 

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!

IMAG7107Today was the show and the dancers were amazing. They did three performances in total, one for the camera, one for the reception classes and one for the adults, for them that was the most exciting!

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!

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Music Through Time 2015

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This term I worked with Year 5 at Miers Court Primary School, but I didn’t have to write a new scheme of work because I was asked to use the one from last year. Last year I worked with Year 5, now Year 6, and had a fantastic time so I was really looking forward to doing the same theme again!

Vogue

Vogue

 

We began by watching a video showing how fashion has changed over the years. You can watch it by clicking HERE. The dancers were excited to see what people wore ‘back then’ and to see what their parents might have worn ‘in the old days’! The aim became to make a dance like that, but with dance and music through time instead.

 

 

Of course I had to complicate things, so as with last year, I added Dr Who aliens into the mix! They were incorporated into the warm up (a circle warm up using movements inspired by alien of the week), cool down (The Weeping Angels game!), the team names (the Judoon, The Krilitanes, The Weeping Angels, The Darliks and The Oods) and into the last section of the dance (Mars from Holst’s, The Planets Suite).

The Tardis - A huge group shape

The Tardis – A huge group shape

We worked on the dances for six weeks using different music each week and choreographing as a whole class, in small groups and as individuals. It was a very creative time with lots of movement exploration and experimentation!

We ended up with two fantastic dances both including Dr Who’s Tardis and many different dance styles. Below is an Auto Awesome video about the process!

You can read more about last year and see their video by clicking HERE.

 

 

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A World of Dance

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World DanceTwo schools are ending the term with a big, World Dance, bang. St Mary’s Primary School and Hoo St Werburg Primary have both organised a whole week of dance workshops that represent the diverse and exciting world of dance.

The first week of workshops was held at St Mary’s Primary School where Steph, Karen, Gemma and Sophie all went in to lead workshops. Every pupil had a go!

Reception used the book, Tydilik, and a video about a cockatoo to learn about Aboriginal Dance.

TRS Teacher, Sophie said ‘I was with reception in the afternoon. We watched a video of an Aboriginal tribe performing a dance about a White Cockatoo. When we got into the hall we tried out some of the steps we had seen and put together a dance. Comments from the class included ‘I like the flying jumps’ and ‘My favourite bit was the funny knees!’

Year 1 had a workshop about Aliens, not quite of our world, but if they’re there we’re sure they’re dancing somewhere!

Year 2’s topic is Britain so Sophie taught them Country Dancing, she said ‘I had an enjoyable day at St Mary’s, staff and children made me feel very welcome. I first had country dancing with year 2 and both classes were focused and got their head around the fancy formations and changing partners! I split the class half and half for everybody to have a chance to perform and watch. Comments from the audience included ‘how we stand in little groups looks good’, ‘I noticed we made a cross with our arms when we went round’. When asked what their favourite part of the dance was one girl said ‘I liked changing partners’.

50s-danceYear 3 had a Rock ‘n’ Roll workshop with a twist, it linked to their topic, The Rainforest so they ended up with a fantastic Rainforest Rock ‘n’ Roll Party!

Year 4 brought in their wellies and did Gumboot dancing, a very loud African dance style.

Year 5 had a South American themed Samba Dance lesson and last, but not least, Year 6 did STOMP, full of rhythms and sounds, this was a very loud session too!

“The Year 4 classes were so musical and rhythmic and the excitement of the wellingtons helped them even more with their expression.”
Steph, TRS Teacher, February 2015

The TRS Teachers, School Teachers and Pupils all decided who they thought had worked hardest at their dances. These small groups performed in a celebration assembly at the end of the week.

“Dancing was great, I tried to pop in on most sessions.  Everything went well and all seemed to run to plan. I’d be more than happy to run something similar next year, finances permitting.
Thank you for all of your help with organising the week, really helped me out and was a great experience for all.”
Miss Jessup, Teacher at St Mary’s Primary School, February 2015

 

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Following the fantastic week at St Mary’s Primary, some more TRS Teachers went to Hoo St Werburg Primary School.

Foundation Stage had a theme that we’d not done before, China. Year 1 did Country Dancing and Year 2 had South American dance, both with Gemma.

“The children were really well behaved and concentrated well. They had nearly an hour and did really well.”
Foundation Stage Teacher at Hoo St Werburg School, February 2015

“The dance sessions today were fantastic, the children seemed to really enjoy it.”
Mr Tyler, Teacher at Hoo St Werburg Primary School after the first day of classes, February 2015

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Over the week Year 3 did Australian, Aboriginal style, dances with Steph and Clare (see the photo on the right), Year 4 danced The Charleston, Year 5 The Samba and Year 6 had Butoh, a Japanese dance style.

“I was really impressed with the dancers’ ability, they picked up steps really quickly and I even had to add extra steps for them.”
Clare, TRS Teacher, February 2015 

At the end of the week there will be a performance assembly to celebrate all the dances that have been learnt!

 

More about what we offer schools can be found HERE.
We are happy to help schools timetable events such as these world dance weeks. We take the stress out of making sure each class has the opportunity to take part and we make sure that each class has the most suitable dance teacher for the style or topic they’ve asked for.

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Medieval Castles

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This term I’ve been working with Year 2 at Miers Court Primary. Their topic for the term is Medieval Castles and, in dance, I chose to focus on parts of the castle and a Medieval style sequence dance that the pupils could perform at a special event at the end of term (more on that later).

Castle Parts
Battlements, towers, buttresses, draw bridges and moats, every part of the castle had a movement or shape in warm up and a different movement or shape for cool down. There were also bows to “THE KING” and Jester jigs. I was pleased to hear from Miss Baldock, one of the year 2 teachers, that whilst in the classroom learning about jobs in the castle, the children were able to tell her what the Jester’s job was.

CroppedIMAG4411Sequence Dance
I taught some sequence dances, The Pavanne, The Circle and The Chain that I adapted so they could be performed as one dance. At the end of term there will be a medieval style Banquet held for the Year 2 classes. Entertainment will be the dances they’ve learnt and choreographed with me.

Photo: Ready for the Pavanne

Freeze Frames
In groups, The Great Hall, the draw bridge, the ramparts and the portcullis were turned into freeze frames. Year 2 learnt that to make a good freeze frame you need to use different levels, facial expressions and interesting hands and feet. Then they added linking movements to turn their shapes into a motif.

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I’ve had a fantastic time working with Year 2. I think they’ve learnt a lot about medieval castles as well as dance. They’ve come a really long way. The first week they found it hard to do the step together in The Pavanne. By the end they had a whole dance of step togethers! They should be very proud of themselves.

The photos are in our gallery (http://www.therightstepdc.co.uk/gallery-2/medieval-castles/) and here’s an automatically created video, an Auto Awesome, about the project.

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Music Through Time

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This term I’ve been working with Year 5 at Miers Court Primary School. We’ve had a fantastic time exploring music of the past 100 years, with the help of Doctor Who, of course.

The first class began with a warm up about the various aliens in Doctor Who. Soon the dancers were making shapes and travelling like Judoon, Weeping Angels, Cyber Men, Darleks, Krillitane, and The Ood. For a few weeks we only used these shapes and movements in warm up, but by the time we’d finished the dance, everything became clear and we had managed to include all the different aliens in the dance.

There’s so much music to choose from over the past 100 years. I had to be ruthless and pick only 5 songs! I chose songs that were very different from each other and that already had a movement style linked to them. I mixed all the songs together, along with the Doctor Who Theme Tune to make the music for their performance.

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Week One – Vogue by Madonna, 1990
I taught a voguing motif and the dancers embellished it with their own ideas. They soon noticed how closely they had to listen to the music and each group work really hard to keep in time with the other. I was pleased to see that from the first class all the dancers were concentrating hard and excited to get on with it.

Week Two – Thriller by Michael Jackson, 1982
We made up a motif as a whole class. There were all sorts of grotesque zombie inspired movements. I think this was the favourite song for most of the dancers. Something about it seemed to appeal to them!

Week Three – The Twist by Chubby Checker, 1960
This time we did some improvisation and then each group decided on their own structure. The rules were that each person had to do a short solo at some point, but they also had to include twisting as a group.

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Week Four –  Sing, Sing, Sing, 1937
The hall space wasn’t available, but the sun was shining so we went outside and I taught the dancers some Swing Dance steps. The dancers had dance with a partner or in groups of three this time. They were so imaginative and I especially liked that some of the boys took a few football foot work exercises and adapted them into Swing Dance.

Week Five – Mars from The Planet Suite by Holst, written between 1914 and 1916
We didn’t use a dance style this time. Instead the dancers used the shapes and travelling movements from our warm up and at some point in this sequence they had to turn into their group’s alien.

The final week was our last rehearsal. By this time we’d put all the separate bits together and the dancers had worked really hard to remember everything. The classes watched each other and Year 2 joined us to watch as well!

The dancers performed so well. Both groups finally managed to stop talking as they danced (they did this accidentally in most rehearsals because they were so excited to get it right!) and the audience really enjoyed seeing so many different dance styles in one performance. The Year 5 were very proud of themselves and I was very proud of them.

I will be back in September to work with another year group and if they’re half as good as the groups I’ve already taught, they will be fantastic. I can’t wait!

To see all of the photos please go to our Photo Gallery.

Here’s a video that was Automatically created using randomly selected photos and videos.

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Maths and Dance and Such a lot of Feedback!

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Lorraine went to St Nicholas Infants School today to lead some cross-curricular dance workshops with a Maths and Dance theme! Here are some of the things the participants and their teachers said about the classes.

Comments from Class 1 (Year 2) after their Maths and Dance class
‘I liked my group doing the turn.’
‘Liked it all, was a good thinking game and fun as well.’
‘Liked going round circle saying names and going fast.’
‘Liked group balancing and turning.’
‘Great warm-up [think they mean the games as we didn’t do a normal warm-up’

‘That was brilliant! The children loved it. Was great to see how easily they could learn a sequence in a group, without pressure. We will use the station idea in our next session [country dancing].’
Year 2 Teacher, St Nicholas Infants School, June 2014

 

Comments from Class 2 (Year 1/2) after their Maths and Dance class
‘Enjoyed the jumps.’
‘Liked all of it. Liked watching group doing the snake move.’
‘Liked making shaped and ‘can you’ game.’
‘Wonderful. It was really fun. Especially spaghetti and meat balls [from the ‘can you’ game]’
‘I liked the station moves.’

‘I loved watching my class working as a team, and without speaking!’
Year 1/2 Teacher, St Nicholas Infants School, June 2014


Comments from Class 3 (Year R/1) after their Maths and Dance class
‘Liked balancing and low shapes.’
‘Liked turning.’
‘I liked everything. I liked the spinning.’
‘I liked balancing.’ 


Class 4 (Reception) after their Maths and Dance class
‘Liked the balances’
‘The lying on the floor, and spiderman picture’
‘Liked picture of girl balancing’
‘Liked picture and move for spiderman’
‘Liked the spin’
‘Liked the jump. Really high.’

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Mighty Metals!

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Last term I worked with Year 3 at Miers Court Primary School on a cross-curricular dance project designed to enhance the pupils’ learning.

The Plan
Each year group in the school has a different theme to focus on each term. Last term, the theme for Year 3 was Mighty Metals so, using a cross-curricular approach, we explored magnets, metals, forces and movement.

Miers Court Mighty Metals

 

The Process
We began by watching Honda Cog, a fantastic video that shows how parts of a car come together in an unusual way to make a car start. From this we got lots of ideas for words that describe movements. There were six groups and they each created their own production line, passing their group’s chosen object down the line of people in an unusual and interesting way. After a few sessions we ended up joining all the groups together to make one, very long production line. It was very impressive and all the dancers did so well to keep going throughout the long dance. One class even came up with a plan to make a robot!

 

The Performance
There were four weeks to get ready, on the fifth week was the performance! The year 3 classes performed to each other, to the year 5 classes and to staff who included the Deputy Headteacher!

The rehearsal on the day was tense and very busy. At the last-minute a robot dance, choreographed by everyone in each class together, was added for a spectacular ending.

The audience arrived and were asked to sit right in the middle of the hall, very unusual some said. It worked perfectly for the performance though, the audience were surrounded by the robot production line and then, towards the end, the robots came towards them, dancing, before collapsing to the floor, all tired from the hard work!

The Video
We were very lucky because Clare, The Right Step’s Social Media Guru was able to join us to film and take photos. You can find the photos in our gallery or on Pinterest, http://www.pinterest.com/therightstep/mighty-metals/

Here’s the video…

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