The fun and encouraging atmosphere continues however the technical element increases, as we concentrate on posture and foot placement. As well as the elements of music, imagination and free movement, we also explore working in groups or with a partner and memory recall is now regularly called upon. 40 minutes duration.
1. Balance and Posture
We focus on tall backs and ‘Geoffrey Giraffe’ necks to practice posture and develop muscle memory. Students now focus on holding this posture for longer periods of time and using it to assist with difficult moves such as arabesques, skipping and basic dance turns.
2. Working as a Group
Students are challenged to work as a team with their fellow dancers during group activities such as cannons, conga lines and forming circles unassisted. Teamwork is also practiced during imagination time, where students create a scenario, place and characters as a group.
3. Animated Faces
There are many opportunities in this age group to practice basic facial expressions, especially during our performance dances. Students are challenged to create more advanced facial expressions such as confused and mischievous, and their own silly creations! This is a great way for them to express their ideas and build confidence.
4. Solo Work
Students are coached throughout the term to perform certain items on their own, by performing pieces one by one. Gradually students are challenged to perform short dance sequences on their own, as well as improvised sol
5. 5…6…7…8 Intro
As a standard introduction to most dance exercises, this is an important skill for all dancers. Students are taught to count themselves in on the beat and to start their dance on beat one of the next bar. This encourages dancers to prepare their posture, faces and energy for the exercise and sets the timing of their steps.
6. Ballet Feet Placement
Students learn important jazz and ballet positions of the feet, including 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions. They are also taught how to correctly place the foot e.g. neatly pointed next to the knee, for skipping. Our furry friend BB Bear continues to help in this age group and students begin to learn to point their toes correctly and not sickle their feet (turn toes in).
7. Intro of Arm Movements
Basic arm movements and ballet arm positions are introduced, and students are encouraged to apply the correct technique to create nice lines with their bodies, e.g. shoulders down and elbows straight when reaching up above the head.
Students are taught the importance of having their own dancing space, standing on specially placed ‘magic dots’ during class to learn the suitable distance to stand from their fellow dancers. Students are further challenged to apply this concept of distance to other circumstances where the spots are not used, such as creating a circle or siting together on the parachute.
9. Memory Recall
Teachers regularly ask students questions about the steps they are learning and also the names of steps, to assist them in retaining information. Students are encouraged to sing nursery rhymes and the teacher will often ask students to sing parts on their own. They are also challenged to remember the ‘Move of the Week’ and to perform rehearsed dance sequences, without the teacher’s assistance.
10. Stage Confidence
Students are coached throughout the term to perform their work to the best of their ability using ‘big faces’ and ‘big dancing’. Teachers are always encouraging the students’ performance energy, by demonstrating their own high energy throughout every class. This is all preparation for a dynamic and fun display on ‘Family & Friends Day’.