What key terminology is used when creating a dance performance for a primary school?

When we speak to primary school teachers around the country, lots ask how they can teach dance in their primary school without any previous dance experience.  And remember, you don't have to be a dance specialist to teach primary dance.

We've talked about finding the beat to the music, how to use the music, and the basic building blocks of dance, otherwise known as the 6 principles of dance.  In this blog I'd like to explore other dance terminology which you may here so you too can understand what it is and incorporate it into dance performances.  There are some really simple things that every teacher and one of the key basics are the 6 principles of dance.  This blog takes you through them in order:

So, let Gaye and Imogen take you through some really good tips on how to teach dance using the 6 principles of dance so you can find out what they are and use them to help the children choreograph their own performances.      

Scroll down to find a short video and supporting text to help you understand more dance terminology for your primary school dance lesson.  

Watch the short video to find some great quick hints and tips on some of the key terminology you'll find used in dance.  

Scroll down to read the transcript of the video. 

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Transcript from the video...

Key terminology used when creating dance performance

In this short movie, we're going to look at some key terminology for dance moves and show you how you can put that into practice.

Matching

Matching and mirroring go together, but firstly, we're going to look at matching and you need to be with a partner.  You need to stand side-by-side and everything you do is done together at the same time.

Are we ready? Let's go; one, two, three, four, one, two. And again, one, two, three, four, five, six. And stop. Perfect matching!

Mirroring

Now we're going to look at mirroring using the exact same move. You are now facing your partner and we working as if we were in a mirror.

We both start on opposite legs - are we ready?  Let's get one to three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. Lots time and stop. Perfect mirroring well done.

Opposite

Now we're going to look at opposite. We just done mirroring where we were facing each other. Now we're both facing the front, but still working on opposite sides.

Shall we have a go? Let's do it. Off we go. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, two more. Last one.

Unison

So next, we're going to look at unison. And this is when there's more than two people in the group. Everybody is doing the same thing at the same time. So let's have some more people, shall we? When we go one, we say, let's try it in unison.

Are we ready? One, two, three, four. What? Two, three, four, one. Two. Last time. One, two, three, and stop.

Formations

We're now going to look at formations. And this way you can make really simple choreography moves look really spectacular by just having people in different formations on the floor.

So, there are lines, diamonds, circles, semi-circles, squares, triangles, the list is endless, and you can really play around with this and have lots of fun.

Today, we're going to show you a line because there's just two of us.  Let's get into our formation, and first we're going to do matching.  We're both going to do the same thing at the same time in our formation. Let's have a go, one, two, three, four. One, two, three, two more. One, two, three. One, one, two, three. And stop!

Now, we could do the same move, but do it opposite.  I work on one side and Ryan works on the other side. Off we go; one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two. Last one, one, two, three. And stop. Perfect.

Cannon

Now we're going to look at the cannon.  There are lots of different ways of doing the cannon and we're going to show you a few of those ways.

This one is where one person does the move and then stands still, the next person carries on with the move and then stands still, and this carries on down the line for as many people as you have in the line.

Shall we have a little go?

The second version of the cannon; one person starts with the move and carries on repeating the move, then everyone joins in individually until everyone is doing the same move.

The third version of the cannon; the first person starts with their move, but the second person doesn't wait until they finished it, they may start halfway through or after one count. You can organize that before you start, but it really adds a whole new level of interest. We're going to show you the one where everybody carries on moving.  But don't forget, you can also do it where they stop as well.

Motif

And finally motif, this is simply a repeated pattern or repeated action that just keeps popping up throughout the performance which pulls together the whole performance.  

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