Glenageary Killiney NS 2nd Class, Artist Robert Connor, Teacher Nicola Cummins, Eleventh Dance Session – 4 March, 2019

“We learned about movement and phrase. We put 4 movements together to make a phrase.  Our groups movements were cross arms, jump arms, fist cross, boneless, shaky hands and wavey arms.”    Jasmine

We started again with the warm up to How Deep Is Your Love and then and then into our stretching sequence.

We spent time going over the set phrase to Faith particularly practicing the simplicity of being with the rhythm in the two-step and then adding the shoulders with the one, two, one,two,three rhythm. This same rhythm carries on into walking the figure of eight and then the rhythm changes for the quick Grapevine throw movement.

I wanted the students to begin working on making their own compositions in a process of working together in small groups. I discussed with Nicola how best to divide them whether to self-select or randomly assign the groups and we agreed to do it randomly. So we had everyone line up in one long line and with the all the boys together at one end of the line in the girls at the other and then I asked everyone to close their eyes and with a tap on the shoulder each person received a number between 1 and 7. Then we grouped the ones together, the twos together, the threes together etc so that we had 7 mixed groups. We made sure that each group had adequate space.

We first had the students take turns in their groups, each one being a leader and the others copying, their movement so that in each group each person had a chance to lead and suggest their movement.

I took a moment to work with one group to demonstrate to everyone how to consider making a sequence of their own movement and also to consider how they might put it in the space. We started with one person’s movement and made sure everybody could do that person’s movement. Then went on to the second and the third and the fourth, each contributing a movement that we practiced until they could perform all of the movements one after the other in sequence.

We then looked at how each of the movements could move differently in space starting in a line and then they moved into a circle; in the circle they moved in toward the centre and out again and then they went around in the circle with the final movement. So we had made a composition of four movements and each had a different spacing.

The groups worked together really well. All the groups came up with movement and shared it amongst them so that they could all perform the movement of each other in a sequence. At the close I encourage them to find a short name or tag for each of their movements and to write them in the sequence so that they would have a way to help remember them.

The act of writing actually helps the memory.

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