Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dramatic Play and Dance

I miss movement class with Iris. I think we all do and with the recently dreary weather, we are in need of lots of indoor movement at TPH. While Iris may be on hiatus, the preschoolers have found myriad ways to incorporate movement into our indoor play. Movement classes that I have recently conducted incorporate yoga, silks, and lots of imagination. In one game the children pretend to be sleeping and then choose an animal to imitate when they wake up. Yoga consists of a child choosing a stretch to hold for 10 seconds. However, the most creative movement ideas have come from the PSers and it has emerged in the form of DANCE!

In December I attended a dance recital that IO and EB performed in. The weeks leading up to the show and the following weeks were filled with enthusiasm for dance. IO often helped MR achieve different poses. Recently KO has demonstrated an interest in dance as well. This past Wednesday, SC IO, EB, TC and KO were inside with me and decided to instruct me on dance moves. "This is first position, now bend your knees for a plie." IO showed me. At one point KO approached IO, bowed, kissed her cheek and took her hand for a dance. SC and TC were interested in instructing me as well. SC waved her hands slowly back and forth and pointed her toe. TC eagerly asked, "Do you want to see my dance move?" He chose to jump and move his arms like wings.

Taking a cue from all of the dance hype, I offered the back room for dance performances. 3 kids at a time chose a song and danced together. Play in the back room usually incorporates dress up as well. I have noticed that dance helps the PSers explore coordination, music and performance. However, I have recently noticed how dress up and dance help the PSers practice teamwork as well. Here SC helps K prepare a dance costume:

IO is also very enthusiastic about helping other dress up. She often helps MR prepare and, here, she helped KO find a costume.
Here, TB helps TC find a dance outfit:

MR proudly displays a silk G helped her tie on:

Moreover, since we take shifts in the back room, the three present PSers learn to work as a team. K approaches SC and askes, "Do you want to dance with me?" and they coordinate a dance together. Or G and K decide to toss silks in unison for their dance performance:

The PSers also help keep track of who has and has not taken a turn in the back room. "TS hasn't had a turn" SC informs me when a space in the back room opens up and then goes to invite TS to dance.
We have been making some BIG movements indoors and our back room has been full of drama and dance! As I try to incorporate these interests into our days at school, I am continually encouraged by the learning that unfolds within movement and performance. The PSers are sharpening their joining and communication skills as they create performances together. From teaching each other dance moves, to costume design, to cooperative choreography TPH is learning to love dance as a community!

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