As it was the first day back after the break we talked through our regular warm up to refresh our memories and then danced it through. We went on to stretching, squeezing, circling and waving in our own way and then the deep stretches to “Heal Me”.
Today I asked whether they would like to review some of the dances we have done already or learn something new, and the majority wished to learn something new. So today I introduced the song “Faith”, by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande, from soundtrack of the animated musical film “Sing”.
We started by focusing on the Rhythm which is a 1, 2, 1,2,3 or slow, slow, quick quick quick and we started with shoulders that raise the right, left and right twice and then the opposite. We added the stepping to follow this rhythm with the two step, once to the right, once to the left and a double two step to the right and then same again to the left. This is followed by a walking a figure of eight pattern which the children were able to see very clearly because there is a blue figure of eight on the carpet just outside the door of the hall. Each side of the Figure 8 is stepped around in a 1, 2, 1,2,3 to get all the way around one side and then the other side. Then there’s a quick Grapevine to the right with a throw on four and then to the left and then 3 shapes of their choice – high, crossed, and medium/wide. It then goes into the chorus and each person gets to move their own way moving forward for 4 beats, back for 4 beats, dancing high for 4, dancing low for 4, a quick Grapevine with a clap lifting under the knee and to the left and then one big pose or freeze. We practice each of these parts with slowly and without music to try and ingrain the neuromuscular pathway and then we did a few times with music.
We spent the later part of the session improvising across the room having lined up in groups of 4 and using a piece of music they had chosen – “Firework” by Katy Perry. Initially skipping on the beat adding their own arms, changes of direction. We then added the idea of skipping for 4 and then changing the texture in the body as though you hit a wall of jelly so our movement went to a smooth slow thick texture for 8 beats and then resume skipping to the other side.
This change of quality and time was a strong example of contrast and how the imagination can feed into the many ways that they body can move and change instantaneously.