Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spirit and Cooperation - Students shaking up an Inwood Auditorium

What an amazing first day! As we began filing students in for their first after-school dance lesson, we could feel that excitement was in the air. After introducing ourselves and handing out nametags, we were ready to commence the interactive lesson.

Immediately, we began shaking different body parts, including hands, shoulders, hips, knees, feet, and elbows, both close to the floor and up on our toes. Once the wiggles were out, we sat down to come up with rules altogether - safe bodies, understanding activities, and safe hearts were some of the categories we covered (parents, go ahead and ask your child what ideas they helped contribute to our rules.) Together, we were able to establish the agreed conduct for the class.

After finding open spots, we practiced making shapes and dancing in one perfect spot, both of which help with physical control and balance. All the students learned to solve movement problems, such as moving at different levels (high and low), different speeds (slow and fast), and with different parts of the body, all without bumping into each other.

At the end of class, the students showed great team work and cooperation in traveling across the floor in lines together.

Activities to try at home:
-  Play with high shapes and low shapes and holding them for eight counts.
-  Improvise an 8 count dance based on moving these parts of the body: hands, head, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and feet

Dance Vocabulary:
-  Perfect Spot
-  Side-Slide 
-  Low shape, High shape
-  Stand Tall
-  For first graders, there is an additional word: Kinesphere

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