How to make a dance with a group of children (in this instance, ages 6-7) and share leadership successfully?
No matter what the concept or the prompt (poem, word cards, image, etc)……you can use these strategies to build the dance together, get buy-in and ownership from the group, and keep the PROCESS central (with the PRODUCT as an outcome)
- Collect movement ideas from the students: Let’s use Veronica’s leg swing and Mei Lin’s arm swing.
- Ask, don’t tell: Veronica, how should we swing? How many times?
- Share leadership: Let’s follow Veronica for this part, the cue will be when she starts.
- Ask questions that spark variety (based on your aesthetic sense of what the piece needs) – Where shall we start? Together or apart? Where shall we go next in the space? How can we change levels? Do we all have to be on the same level? Can some be high and some low?
- Note opportunities for technical teachable moments: Sitting up from lying down could be an abdominal challenge. What tip could acknowledged the challenge? Could they connect and help each other up? Go more slowly and with intention, focusing on the abdominal muscles? Use their hand reaching forward or on the ground?
- Duration: How many times? What’s the cue for ending that section? You can also share the cuing with students, each one taking leadership for a different part (as suggested in 3.)
These are some things that came up today. The list could be longer. Share your own thoughts.