December 27, 2017 - Olivia Mode-Cater
Dance Ed Tip # 16:
Create movement cards!
1. I use the movement cards as stimuli to improvise across the floor or as a group in general space. This makes young and novice dancers of all ages feel safe, because it gives them a lot of structure. It pushes their comfort zones in improvisation and makes them embody actions that they may not normally chose (like wiggle, grow, sink, melt, explode, etc.).
2. The movement cards are also a great way to jazz up freeze dance. Teachers often use freeze dance as a reward at the end of a dance class; however, once the students have learned how to stop and go based on an auditory cue they don’t gain many other skills in freeze dance. Therefore, adding the movement cards into the game pushes their technique, creativity, and problem solving. Before playing I announce to the students that the dancer that freezes the quickest and fastest gets to pick the next card. This creates lots of motivation in the class and can be a great reward for good behavior at the end of class. Another suggestion: encourage students to embody the card in multiple ways. Students of all ages can get stuck doing that action the same way over and over. Therefore, prompting them to change it up or focus on a certain body part can encourage more interesting movement invention.
3. The last way I use these in terms of improvisation is to build vocabulary. As students pick and embody cards they often will stop and ask, “What does this word mean?” This especially happens with my elementary dancers and ELL dancers. Physicalizing the verb makes it stick in their brains allowing them to expand on their vocabulary.
- Index cards
- List of verbs