PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Dance Room Happenings – K-5th – 11/30

This week in dance, the kindergarteners have been exploring partner work in the 14-count dance. Using their newfound knowledge of locomotor and non- locomotor movement, these dancers learned how to create a connected shape, move in and out of personal and general space, take turns with their partners and count musically to fourteen. Next for these little dancers is “dance making” using the ABA format in the sandwich dance.

In first grade, students have been exploring “pathways”. First embodying through the general space, next drawing on paper and seeing the visual pathways and finally connecting shapes and words in a movement sentence. These dancers will finish the investigation of pathways with a movement map that they will create and travel.

Second grade dancers are finishing up their “zoo exploration” by studying underwater sea creatures. These students have begun to learn about dynamics and energy, and how the body can move in different ways to communicate different messages. In order to portray movement underwater, students needed to find a resistance with how they move. The images we played with were moving in a “jar of honey” or “pushing a piano across the ocean floor”. Next week, these dancers will apply their understanding of underwater movement to an “underwater sea creature boogie” in both duet and quartet format.

The third graders took a look at the syllables of their names. How does it sound rhythmically? How many beats? Next, they created movement to represent each of the beats in their name. Then they needed to share and teach it to a partner. The combination of syllables in both names becomes a small movement sentence that can be demonstrated in many different ways. Next, these dancers will look at certain parts of a sentence such as verbs and adjectives as action and descriptive words. How can they translate into movement?

Lastly, both the fourth and fifth graders are “knee deep” in the creative process. These dancers have been studying the hip-hop technique in combination with an “anti-bullying” theme. They have learned about the historical content of hip-hop as well as comparing it to the classical technique of ballet.  Students are mastering individual hip-hop steps including, the two -step, kick step touch, the arm and body wave and arm locking. While working on these skills, they are also thinking about what anti-bullying means and how it connects into the hip-hop community. The “cypher” is a community circle where hip-hop dancers can share ideas that they have been working on during training. This sharing space is rooted in RESPECT for one another.  A concept needed in all classrooms for collaborative work as well as in communities working to prevent -bullying. We will continue to talk about and practice respect as they work to create dances with each other.   Presently, they are creating 32 counts of movement to a song called “Hopeful”. Upon completion, each group will have contributed to a part of this choreography as well as working together as a class.

Also, on a side note – the fourth-grade dancers have been consistently practicing mindfulness and quiet calm bodies. At least once a week (if not more) these students are up to 4 minutes of quietly sitting (no sounds- lights out) in peaceful meditation. One huge accomplishment for these thirty-two very energetic bodies in one room. I am extremely proud of this grade’s progress.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ms. Diane