Dance: Exploring the elements of dance.

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  • Author :  admin
  • Date :  Jan 28, 2013
  • Views :  17975
  • Type :  1
  • Security:  image
  • Credits: 

    Janice Deans, Chief Writer

    Louise Saxton, Photographer

    Wendy Hulsbergen, Video Technician

  • Tags :  dance, educational setting, young children



This Dance Arts-POP outlines a unit of work entitled Metamorphosis which has been designed to allow young children to explore their ideas and understandings of the life cycle of the butterfly.  The unit is designed to illustrate how through dance children can access their expressive The vocabulary of natural movement includes:
space – the physical and symbolic area/range in which dancers move including levels, direction of movement or gaze, relationships/groups, shape/dimensions, movement paths through space and extensions of body parts into space. time – the speed/tempo of body movement and the rhythmic patterning of movements. dynamics – how weight, force and energy combine to influence the quality of movement. relationships – the physical, social and emotional connections made when participants create a dance.
vocabulary with purpose and form, respond to verbal cues, and use the This dance element involves isolation and co-ordination of body parts (e.g., head, shoulders, arms, hands, elbows, wrists, neck, back, upper torso, ribs, hips, legs, knees, ankles, feet); movements (e.g., swaying, swinging, jerking, twisting, shaking, turning, lifting, tensing/relaxing, pressing, gliding, floating, flicking, slashing, punching, dabbing, becoming fluid); body position and relationships of the body to the ground (e.g., shape or symmetry); ways of managing body weight in motion and in relation to others; momentum/collapses; and alignment. to represent their understandings of the life cycle of the butterfly.

As a creative art form, dance enables students to explore ways of moving, both individually and collaboratively. In this exemplar, the children demonstrate a capacity to embody the symbolic nature of dance through movements that allow for individual creative expression. For example, children use arm gestures to spin a cocoon to wrap their bodies in an imaginary silk thread, they consider how a closed and still body shape can represent life inside a cocoon, and they enact the butterfly's slow and purposeful emergence into the world with light wings that expand and contract.

Dance is an art form that blends the body, mind and emotion in nonverbal meaning-making, using movement as the medium for expressive and aesthetic communication. For the young child, dance play provides an opportunity for the interpretation of ideas, feelings and sensory impressions, expressed symbolically in movement forms through the use of the body. This is done using the following: the elements of dance and movement vocabulary. is the modality represented, with children exhibiting a capacity to use playful exploration of the elements of dance to support their learning about the concept of the butterfly's life cycle, particularly metamorphosis. Children are involved in a range of creative and critical thinking activities that exemplify holistic learning and at the same time colour their explorations with aesthetic and emotional sensitivity.

Using a dance framework that includes creating, making and appreciating, young children bring into focus their imaginations and familiar play activities to organise and enact movements that express thoughts, ideas, conceptual understandings and feelings.

This Dance Arts-POP presents an overview of how dance, music, language and drawing work together as integrated expressive forms to provide children with the opportunity to simultaneously explore a number of powerful learning modalities.

This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.