The METNS 6th Class First Dance Session – Getting into Action

dlr Primary Arts Blog, Session 2, 4 April 2014
Monkstown Educate Together NS 6th Class
Artists: Robert Connor & Loretta Yurick, Dance Theatre of Ireland

Today we had our first dance class at Monkstown Educated Together NS; we started with a warm up—and the warm up was dancing. We turned our feet and toes in and out, we clapped, we did swings and we practiced (in many different ways) balancing—even standing on one leg. And we even learned to make a horizontal line with our back while standing on one leg. We did a lot of moving! — some of it standing and some dancing on the floor.

For instance we pretended we were crabs on the bed of the sea, and we practiced moving sideways – like a crab – at a low-level, creating different freezes or sculptures when we arrived– and moving back again. We came up with all kinds of freezes and sculptures — for instance, we did a sculpture you make with your body with two hands, one foot and your head touching the floor; or another one was supporting yourself with only one foot and one hand. Or supporting ourselves showing only elbows and knees. We ended up doing amazing things.

We also learned a basic move from break dancing—which is on the hands and feet (or all fours) stepping the feet around the hands, keeping the head and hips front. We learned the beginning of a small “crab dance” that starts with us looking into an imaginary pool of water and disturbing the surface of that water which is so calm with our finger tips.

We also travelled across the floor, playing the Action Game; in our own way we each got to move across the floor (a long distance) in our own response to an Action word—whatever word was called out, we did! So, we rolled, ran, hopped, squiggled, slid, leapt, jumped, galloped, tip-toed, surfed, skipped, clapped, stomped, kicked and punched. We did the word POW and it is amazing how many kinds of POW there are. Then we combined Roll and Slide. So many ways to roll and slide. The last thing we did was we were each asked to pick our favourite 3 action words and we arranged them in our own way, in any order and moved across the floor with our own “choreography”. Then the person behind us had to guess which 3 action words we used. Sometimes they guessed perfectly, sometimes it was harder. We learned a lot of things watching too—and one of those is that if you want to “see” movement, you have to make it really big and clear.

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