|“Hot Sun” by Brian Gurrola|
Summer is in full swing and it’s been hot hot hot where I live for the past two weeks! If it’s summer where you live, I’m sure you are feeling the heat. I feel badly for my city neighbors who have been suffering from super heated subways and sidewalks… Make sure you’re staying hydrated if it’s hot where you live!
Because of the heat, in creative movement summer class we’ve been channeling “cool thoughts”. Here are a few exercises you can do with your classes:
1) Snowy Day Dances.
Maria explains it best in her blog entry with a ton of great creative movement ideas about snow, and using the book, “Snowy Day” (Maria’s Movers)
2) Build a Snow Man (or Woman) – group exercise
Split up into “Snow People” and “Builders/snow artists”. The Builders will create a snow person out of the Snow People by gently guiding and shaping each snow person into a shape to make one big snowman.
The first time we do this exercise, I assign each Builders a part, like “lower body”, “face”, “accessories”, to help them narrow down what they are creating. If your crew is really good at working together or you have a small class, then you might be able to skip the assignments and just let them create together.
Remind the Snow that their job is to hold their position, but cooperate if a new Builder would like to shape them differently.
Each of the Builders adds on the creation (stretching arms to create scarves, moving hands for buttons or even suggesting an expression for the Snow to make). Suddenly… Voila! you have a snow man! Switch the groups and tasks and repeat!
I love this exercise for my youngest creative movement class (ages 7-10), as it is a great introduction to group work and partnering in a fun way. This is a very hands-on activity… we learn about communication, leadership and cooperation.
My older kids get a kick out of it too and you can create some cool lifts (no pun intended) out of it. With my older ones, I skip the assignments and just split them into groups of 3-5 and tell them they need to create a snow man or woman using their bodies. Then we take turns showing our snow person and creating storylines about what the snow person does for a living, what he or she is doing at that very moment. A lot of fun!
3) Ocean Dances
Check out this page Ohia.com for a lot of great ocean-inspired creative movement exercises!
4) Storm Dance
Weather and nature is great for creative movement inspiration. My 5 and 6 year olds enjoy being seeds that blow in the wind and then turn into flowers when the sun shines. When we are flowers our roots are planted (either by sitting, kneeling or standing in one spot) and just our upper body moves.
Sometimes there is a big thunderstorm coming and our petals and leaves blow very fast (we sort of look like those inflatable tubes that wave all around). Other times it rains and we drip and droop. When the sun shines we stand up very tall and spread our leaves to catch all of the sunshine.
Other times we pretend we are clouds that float about the room. Our clouds can be blown by the wind together to travel in one direction or sometimes we float in different directions. Have fun creating your own weather dances!
5) Other “Cool”Summer Movement Inspiration
– Ice melting and freezing: great for “freeze dance”
– Floating in a pool or stream: oh no! there’s a whirlpool!
– Making shapes that divers make (cannonball!)
– Blowing in the wind
– Rain: light rain, heavy rain, being a flower or plant in the rain
– Fishing: being fish, being on a boat, fishing, being the worm, seaweed
– Fans: slow fans, oscillating fans, big fans, small fans
– Making Lemonade: adding sugar, ice, lemons, mixing
Music Suggestion: The David Sun Natural Sound Collection: Sounds of the Earth – Storm
How do you “stay cool” at dance class? Any summer movement ideas?