Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dance Class Goes Into the Woods

I feel like we cover so much in our lessons that I'm trying to just post highlights and the activities that go along with our weekly theme.  

For this lesson I planned activities that coordinated with our weekly music lesson.  In our music lesson we began working on eighth notes and so to go along with this I added moves that could be performed using this rhythm as well.

During warm up we started with our typical exercise with hula hoops placed in different points of the room.  If you have been following this blog you may now understand that the hula hoops placement was a broken down step into understanding points of the room.  When marching to a hoop that held another form of prop (number, note, picture, shape etc.) 

Today we used our pie illustrated whole note, half note, quarter note and eighth note in points 2,4,6 and 8.  

The notes and moves

whole note - Windmill
half note - hip rolls
quarter note - arm reach
eighth note - shoulder shrugs

When teaching small children it is important to keep them moving and having fun so that they will not grow bored.  As I begin implementing exercises to build their aplomb and muscle strength I spend only a very short amount of time in this section of their lesson.  For now I am doing 3 exercises performed 3-4 times each.  I am also very hands on because I want them to learn to do this right, so if their form is less then perfect it's because I was behind the camera rather then where I should be.  

all exercise should be done in a parallel position (no turn out)

We start by sitting nice and tall, belly in and arms in front of us.  
she needs to drop shoulders and lift chin
Then we roll our spine and round out our backs

We lift curved spine and straighten. repeat 3-4 times

Side note:  During our school time we have used this exercise as we work on the vowel sound "U".  We begin sitting tall and then the "U" (on it's side) punches us in the gut making us say "uh" and then our form changes giving us the curve in our spine.

Our second exercise is leg lifts.  The real goal in this exercise to keep your spine glued to the floor with you belly pulled in.  There should be no space between you lower back and the floor.  Lift one leg keeping it pointed and stretched.

Then slowly, with control, lower leg to floor.

Coppelia is not as naturally flexible as her sister so I only have her lift her leg to the point where it begins to bend. 

The third exercise is a sit up.  Rolling one vertebra off the floor at a time slowly roll into pulled up sitting position.

As our lessons continue, skills strengthen and their attention spans grow I will be able to build upon these exercises as well as add new ones.

During our x-floor time we used music from "Into the Woods" to help us move like the characters

Princess walks
Little Red Riding Hood skips
Wolf (Hello Little Girl) 
his song changes and it gave us two different movements to work with
slides and step side cross front

In our weekly music lesson we played with a very common rhythm found in this musical.

We decided to use this rhythm to play with choreography.

For our ballet/creative movement time 

option 1
gallop 6x to the left, skip forward 2x
gallop 6x to the right, skip back 2x

option 2
gallop 6x to the side, skip forward, skip backwards

Moving to our tapping time I let them first tap out this rhythm on their own.

This little exercise proved to be tons of fun!

We then used some choreography using a cramp roll

step right toe up, step left toe 3x (6 cts - 6 quarter notes)
heel drop right, heel drop left 2x (2 cts - 4 eighth notes)

Hope you enjoyed our lesson!

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