Friday, November 30, 2012

Freeze Dance Fun

Snow dance
The cold weather makes my classes
excited to play "Freeze Dance"!
"Freeze Dance" is the first activity requested whenever we have a special day in class. My students know Freeze Dance as dance around the room and freeze when the music stops.

This past week in my beginning modern/creative movement class, we used our creative minds to come up with some new variations on Freeze Dance to try in class.

Here are some of the ways that we manipulated the game to be our own - hopefully some are new to you or inspire other new variations!

Shape Freeze

We've been using this version in our exploration of shape-making.

While the music is on, the teacher names a shape (circular, square, triangle) and the student must make that shape with a body part when the music stops.

Position Freeze

Similar to the Shape variation described above, but dancers must freeze in the position given - this was fun in ballet and jazz class.  Positions to try:  1st, 2nd and 3rd position, retire, arabesque, tendu, plie, lunge, etc.

This might also be fun to try with a class who is learning room positions and stage directions ("Freeze en face" or "Freeze facing upstage" or "point to corner 2").

'Dance Like This' Freeze

The teacher (or student leader) tells the class how to move during the dance part ("Everyone skip").  After each freeze, the type of dancing changes.  You can also give speed directives, such as "chasse really slowly" or "bouree quickly".

We like to play this in tap class for practice on our traveling steps:  running flaps, flap ball changes, shuffle hop steps, toe heels, etc.

Changing Music

Also know as the iPod Shuffle...!  After each freeze, change the song and dancers must move to the new song.

winter carnival ice scuplture 07
Now these dancers are REALLY frozen!
In creative movement, we played this after a few weeks of learning the concept of listening to the music and interpreting it in our bodies.  It really helped their improvisation skills.

You could also use this in tap or jazz class to work on rhythm and finding the beat in each new song.

Partner Freeze 

Dancers must freeze with a partner when the music stops.

You can give conditions such as "freeze connected to another person", or "Freeze in a group of three".  

I like to mix this one into the other types - "freeze in a round shape with another person", etc.

Beat the "I'm Out" Blues

For my younger classes we don't "get out" in any of the above games - we just play for the fun of it.  For my older students, they really like the games when there is a chance to be eliminated, so we play that way.

Sometimes my classes age 6-8 request to play the "out" version, but some students get very upset from being "out" whenever we play a game like this.

I like to soften the blow by letting them come over to the music player and telling me when to freeze the music next.  Or if they are a particularly enthusiastic class, they can also come up with some new ways to freeze.

What is your favorite movement or dance game to play in class?  Share in the comments!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November Blog Challenge: 10 Things You Are Grateful For

New blog challenge badge for your blog!
Just in time for Thanksgiving, here is November's Blog Challenge.  Talking or writing about things you are grateful for can make you happy, more optimistic and less stressed (I can back that up).

I was inspired by this post by Marie Forleo, who is my business idol / inspiration / mentor!  In this post, Marie talks about gratitude and the positive aftereffects (if you have a chance, check out her video - its worth a watch). Also check out this article by the NY Times about the positive effects of keeping a gratitude journal.

November's Blog Challenge Mission:

Write a list of ten things you are grateful for.

Then let the happy feelings wash over you :)

How to Participate: 

If you have a blog:
1) write a post sharing your ten things, then share or link to your fall post (it doesn't have to be a new post if you've already written something that fits with the theme).

 2) Then make sure you leave a comment with a link to you post so we can all read it!

Don't have a blog? 
No problem!  You can participate by leaving a comment below, tweeting @thedancebuzz or posting to our Facebook wall your list of ten things!

I'm getting my post ready to go and am looking forward to reading all of your thankful things :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

NMM: Where Is My Mind (Pixies Cover) by Maxence Cyrin

Just discovered this haunting piano cover of the Pixies tune "Where Is My Mind" by Maxence Cyrin.

And bonus: at 2 minutes 47 seconds... you don't even have to cut it!

Grab it on iTunes
Where Is My Mind - Novö Piano


Monday, November 5, 2012

NMM: Contemporary Song & Video Playlist

A few new songs that I've been loving in class and some videos to go along with them:

"Great" - Tony Robbins - free download here - this is the song from the Purina dog commercial that might have made you cry.  I think it would make a nice contemporary dance:

Try - P!nk - I didn't know she was such an awesome dancer - check out the video:

And my final song / video combo is: Capital Cities - Safe And Sound - you could use this techno song for warm-ups in jazz or tap, but I just love this fan-made video. Its a mash-up of historical dance moves juxtaposed with war images. I dig the old dance moves against the song:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...