Tag Archives: Dance with Props

Pom Pom Making

by

Written by Georgie, South Kent Franchise Owner, TRS Teacher and Active Armchairs Facilitator

We use pom poms in our lessons all the time. From cheer dance classes to Active Armchairs, these props are a favourite for all.

You can make your own quite easily, and here’s how…

Here’s what you need:

Cardboard
Scissors
Wool (any colour you like)

First cut 2 circles from cardboard. Make sure they are the same size, but the size is up to you!

 

 

Then from each circle, cut out an inner circle so that you have a type of thick hoop shape. 

 

 

 

Place both pieces of cardboard together, making sure the circles both on the outside and inside match up.

 

 

From there, get the wool and start wrapping it around the cardboard. Use a small knot at one point, put the wool through the centre circle, out and around the outside edge repeatedly, do this all the way around the hoop and keep going until you have filled the hole in the middle.

 

 

 

Once your pompom is full, using scissors, cut the wool all the way around the edge. Your pom pom must be full or the wool will fall out at this point. This should allow you to see the two pieces of cardboard in the centre.

 

 

Wrap an additional piece of wool between the two pieces of cardboard, pull it tight and tie a knot, making sure that the wool has come together in the middle securely. This holds your pom pom together and you can leave a trail of this piece of wool if you want to. Remove the cardboard and…

…you will have your own fluffy pompom!

Let us know if you give it a go! Here is a photo of TRS Teacher, Hayley’s dog, posing beautifully next to the pom poms she made! 

 

 

Related Images:

Recycle, Re-use and Revive

by

Written by Georgie and Alice

We have a talented team of dancers here at TRS but they are also very creative in other ways!

Alice, who has been a TRS teacher for a few years now shared this lovely way to recycle and reuse something that a lot of us have already in our own homes.

Alice’s TRS t-shirt was looking a bit old, but instead of throwing it out, she transformed it into a very useful bag for her props! And it’s so easy to do, here’s how!

How to Make a bag from a T-shirt!

Step One:

Find an old T-shirt

Step 2:

Turn it inside out

Step 3:

Cut off the ‘sleeves’ and a create a bigger neck line by cutting out the neck.

Step 4:

Sew around the bottom. (*additional option: to tidy up all the edges, fold them over and sew along the seams.)

Step 5:

Turn the right way around again.

And there you have it! A new bag to store props, dance shoes, or even your groceries!

You can revive any old t shirt. I know I have lots of old dance T-shirts that I still have lying away in a cupboard somewhere. We are loving this idea at TRS and we hope you do too!

 

 

Related Images:

Everybody Moving – Easter

by

It’s almost Easter weekend and there are a lot of things we would usually be doing, but can’t. Let’s find some new, active traditions to get us moving and learning throughout the day. 

As always, please adapt the ideas to suit you and the people you’re with. Many of our photos are of the children the TRS Teachers are with at home, but the ideas are great for adults, including care home residents, too. 

Hunts With a Difference

Hunts don’t have to be saved until Easter day and they don’t have to involve chocolate. You can hunt for other things and link it to learning too. 

 
Phonics Egg Hunt

The child writes the new words/sounds they’ve learnt on cardboard egg shapes, the adult hides them and the child finds them. You can adapt this for the child’s phonic stage, perhaps using common exception words (used to be known as tricky words), the spelling words for their year group or putting sections of words on different eggs and asking the child to make words when they find them. 

Number Hunt

Print some bunny rabbits and number them. Hide them in the garden. The child has to find them, count them and sequence them. They could re-hide them in order for you too. Maybe the bunnies have to line up in order so they can come back inside too.

You now have 10 or 20 little bunnies that can be used for all sorts of number learning. Older children could make number bonds to 10 (adding up to 10). You could extend that to make number bonds to 100 by using multiples of 10 on the bunnies. 

Inside Hunt

You can visibly hide things so that they can be found from a wheelchair or walker. Or you can make it a bit harder. Adapt to your group. You could hide printed things or cardboard eggs that have been decorated by residents. 

Dance Hunt

Every time you find an egg you make up a dance move and add it to the last, a bit like ‘what’s in the supermarket van’. By the end of the hunt you’ll have a whole motif (sequence of movement). You could combine the Dance Hunt with any of the ideas above.  

 

Chance Dance Egg

Draw a giant egg on an outside floor, divide it into segments and write dance moves in the segments. If you’re inside you could do this on a big piece or multiple pieces of paper too.

Throw a dice, ball, beanbag or other object and do the movement it lands on. You can put them together to make a motif (sequence of movement). 

 

Egg and Spoon

This idea was used by Active Armchairs Facilitator, Steph, to encourage partnerships and team work. Plastic eggs are essential unless you want to turn this into a very messy game! 

Whilst seated or standing still, pass the egg from spoon to spoon, person to person. See how many times you can make it around the circle or how many eggs you can have going around at once.

You could also try a traditional egg and spoon race or the not so traditional race of passing the eggs over the head and through the legs to get to the end of the line. You need a large household for that though! 

Make Egg Shakers

For anyone of course, but if you’re going to be holding one of our Remote Live Lessons over the coming weeks, these would be a great prop to have! You can get plastic egg shapes from Poundland, usually. There are places online too though. Try Baker Ross. Fill them with whatever dried things such as rice, lentils or beans you have available or include bells and other things that shake well. Tape them up with normal tape followed by pretty washie tape and, if needed at a bit of extra tape to cover the hole. An excellent prop to join your collection. Check out our Everybody Moving – Props Blog for ideas of props you probably already have at home. 

Dance Around The Kitchen 

Turn the music up loud whilst cooking something from the list…
Easter nests
Chocolate Eggs 
Slow cooker Easter fudge
Easter cupcakes with icing nests on top
Chocolate Bark

TRS Teacher Lou made some Chocolate eggs!

 

 

 

Bunny Feet

Make or buy some bunny footprints. Lay them in a pattern and jump or hop from foot to foot. This is a great way to teach young children how to jump. For older children you can set challenges such as do it on one foot or go backwards. You could also have a prize for the best bunny impression so think about those whiskered noses, paws and ears! 

 

 

Lots of Easter themed keep moving ideas there! If you would like to see more of our Everybody Moving Ideas you can read our other blogs. Perhaps you could adapt some of those ideas to make them Easter themed? Here are the links…

Everybody Moving

Mini Challenges

Dance The Tale

Magic Spells

Everybody Moving – In Care Homes

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

Everybody Moving – Props

Please keep in touch, we love to hear about what you’ve been up to. #EverybodyMoving 

 

 

 

Related Images:

Everybody Moving – Props

by

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

Related Images:

Everybody Moving – Families at Home

by

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

 

Related Images:

Magic Spells

by

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

Related Images:

Props Spring Clean

by

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!

 

 

Related Images:

Welly Walk, Welly Dance

by

Children love a welly walk. They love to be outside and they love to explore. Why not bring the welly walk into the dance class and extend the fun! Some things to try for schools, pre-schools, nurseries and when at home.

What is a Welly Walk?

A welly walk is basically that, a walk in wellies. Along the walk the children are encouraged to collect things they see. At this time of year that could be leaves, acorns, chestnut cases and other things that have fallen from trees. It often involves some puddle jumping and could include some leaf kicking.

 

Into Dance…

There are lots of opportunities for movement play whilst on the welly walk, but I’ve put together some ideas for in a dance class, continuing the fun and extending the learning. These things can be done with parents at home or with teachers at school.

Collections

Collect things from the welly walk and bring them into the dance class as inspiration or props. A leaf is great for a cool down. Ask children to sit or lay down comfortably, leaf in hand. With calming music on, they can copy you or interpret your direction in their way. You could begin with stroking the arms, don’t forget the elbows. You could do a tickley arm pit or chin. You can twirl the leaf between the fingers. It can be balanced on different body parts. There are lots of things that can be done during cool down.

Link to English

Use the welly walk to encourage the use of different types of descriptive words (float, swish, splash, slide) then choreograph a dance using the words. This is an easy way to help children be more creative with the types of movements they do. For example, if you ask a child to pretend to be a falling leaf it’s likely that they will reach up and then wiggle down to the ground. If you ask them whilst also reminding them of some of the words they’ve thought of, their movements will be very different. They might begin high up, swaying, twitchy, swoop and then get lower as they float, twist, fly and land softly. If you don’t have real leaves, conkers and twigs etc. for this you can get craft leaves that work well throughout the year!

Roots Game

Whilst on a welly walk, roots are great for inspiring movement, especially big gnarly ones that stick up out of the ground. When back inside you can play the roots game and remember what you did. Set up some bases around the space and at each base the task is different. Tasks could be root jumping (like a ski jump over something), root balancing (find something to balance on in a certain position or balance whilst walking along it), root hopping (a row of roots that need to be hopped or hurdled over) etc. This is circuits for dance and with a theme!

Gumboot Dance

Quite a specialist area, we have dance teachers who are trained to deliver authentic classes, but you could take some aspects of this African dance style into the dance class. Put wellies on and dance in them. Use the wellies to inspire stamping, clapping and welly slapping rhythms!

Acorn, leaf, muddy puddle game.

Get some pictures of these things and/or use your voice to announce each thing. Start slowly. Ask the children to improvise around each item, use descriptive words. See my blog about improvisation for more about this. Once they have some movement material for each one, speed up your announcements. A slow breeze to start with then speeding up so they are moving between each one quickly, switching movements fast and getting excited as they go. This idea could be used as a warm up or for a game anytime in the lesson.

Related Images:

Dance Ideas for New Friends

by

This month we’re focusing on friendship, new things and social inclusion so I had a conversation with the TRS Teachers about their ideas. Dance is a fantastic medium for making friends and learning about social interactions. 

It’s September and the schools are back, the children in our classes are meeting new people in their new classes and it’s a new school year, but we’ve talked about all classes for this blog, including Active Armchairs, because the social aspects of dance are present everywhere!

The TRS Teachers have shared lots of ideas for dancing around these themes below. I’ll also be writing a blog post about PSHE towards the end of the month and this will relate as well.
 

Meet and Greet Ideas…

Rebecca
Name and shape is a fantastic introduction game. It’s an old favourite that I first played when volunteering at Magpie Dance Company ten years ago! It works with any age, any ability and pretty much any theme! Its great for us dance teachers to learn names and to give all participants a chance to be in the spotlight if they want to.
 

How to play:
Everyone stands in a circle. Teacher explains that we are going to take it in turns to say our name and make a shape or do a little movement. Then everyone will copy the shape or movement and say the name back. As you go around each person can pass the turn onto the next person by gesturing that it is their go.
 
 
Georgia
“I like doing ‘Meet and Move’ we have selected movements and then travel around the space, when the teach shouts meet you find a friend (A different partner each time) and do the movement together and then continue. I have done this as part of a warm up where when we meet we circle a different body part starting from our head and then working towards our toes! By the end you will have danced with around 6 different people! for younger ones to make this clearer it can be when the music stops that you ‘meet’ with a friend to do the moments.”
 

Social Inclusion, how we can encourage it…

Steph
“I’ve been using the theme of holidays recently in Active Armchairs which has lead to some brilliant conversations and connections between participants. We have been sharing memories of places we have lived or visited, which has connected many people in conversation as they had visited the same place! It’s so interesting to hear how people have moved around in their lives, and lead to lots of revelations between the participants as they released that perhaps they might have even crossed paths before!”
 
Rebecca
Props are a brilliant way to include everyone in a session. I had a magic moment in Active Armchairs at Valley View Nursing Home and always share it with trainee facilitators…
 

“One lady has her table that when chooses to always sit at. The layout of the home means that she’s close enough to the seating area to see the tv and be involved with my sessions, but she is still comfortable at her table. She always sings and joins in with arms movements even though she isn’t in the circle. This is nice, but I thought she might enjoy it more and feel included if she joined our circle so I thought of some ideas. The prop that worked best was the giant elastic. I had excellent support from Dee the Activities Co-ordinator so we were able to work together. I laid the elastic out before the start and went to chat to the participant. I explain what we were going to do and asked if she would like to join us. Luckily she did and Dee helped move her to the main circle. It was a fantastic class and a real turning point.”
 

Jess

Parachutes are such a sociable prop. Call a colour and the participant runs underneath and swops places with someone else. Yoy could adapt to include a high five under the parachute.
 
Our ideas for the best props for social inclusion…
Giant elastic
Huge piece of lycra
Big balloons or beach balls
Knotted scarves
Feathers used for mirroring
Shakers for call and response
Parachute
 

Exploring Friendship…

Becca T
A nice dance idea is people bring an item to share or the teacher brings a small selection. E.g stone, feather, cube. The dancers explore the texture/shape/pathway/feeling of the item to make their own phrase. Progress: partner up and combine 2 items. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
 
Steph
I covered the theme of Friendship last term in schools. We discussed what we felt made a good friend, and then used those ideas to create movements. We made sure we danced with people in class that perhaps we didn’t know very well or were in different year groups and kept swapping partners throughout the dance. There were lots of brilliant buzz words like ‘supportive’ and ‘caring’ which lead to some lovely trust and support movements. Then together we put all of this together into a dance to ‘You’ve got a friend in me’ from Toy Story.
 

 

Related Images:

Cheer Dance Show

by

This term was Cheer Dance at Palace Wood Primary and it really has been a cheery summer term. They always make my day!
 
From the first session I taught the dancers about motions and formations and incorporated them into the dances. Once they had learnt what motions were in the first week, on following weeks they did their own as I did the register.
 
I gave them some formations to choose from and they picked some for their small groups.  Then they organised themselves and found the most efficient pathways between formations on their own. This was a challenge, but they did it and were proud of themselves when they realised how quickly they could do it.
 
Over the term they learnt two dances. For the first dance, as well as formations, they added some of their own choreography in small groups. For the second dance we choreographed a lot together as a large group. They are so supportive of each other and it was nice to work in this way.

At the end of term we invited family and friends to come and see the dances. Turn out was great and there was a huge round of applause at the end.
 
They are a really lovely group and have been a pleasure to work with. I’m looking forward to coming back next term, this time for Creative Dance!
 
Here’s a video about our term. We didn’t get to film the whole dance but the snippets of film and photographs show some of the things we’ve been up to.
 
 
 

Related Images:

1 2 3 4