3: Dance Camp: Frozen

Activities / Creative Movement

Melting & Freezing

We explored the movement qualities of melting and freezing by pretending to be Olaf melting in the summer or freezing with Elsa’s help.  We melted for 16 slooooooow counts, and froze again for 16 then repeated in 8 counts, 4 counts, 2 and 1!  We melted with a friend, froze into different shapes or poses, started on one leg, etc.  Lots of variations to be had with this one!

CONCLUSION

Worked well as a warmup. Note for myself from the RCS peer lesson was to ensure the theme carried through!! Thought that it was blatant then so this time its gonna be ‘smack you in the face’ obvious throughout!!!!

I love the movement quality melt. I think it is probably the most fun one to do and absolutely the most fun one to teach, mostly because you can talk about snnnooow (aka it’s no)! I had been focusing on the word melt but I realized that it is a really hard concept for young dancers to understand in their bodies.

I find the reason is because if you ask them to melt they will fall to the floor really fast, no matter how many times you practice doing it. While we practiced I had the idea to try just one body part instead of the whole body. This worked!

To show the contrast we sat down and just used our arms. I asked them to raise their arms over their head and then move them to their lap fast. Then I asked them to raise their arms again and all together we melted our arms. It took so loooooooooooooong. We repeated it a few times.

Talking about snow DRIPPING off of arms, legs, bodies also helped the quality. Then we got up and tried it with our whole bodies! I could see they understood the “melting” quality after I showed the what the opposite of it was. I was doing that teacher excited thing and this encouraged the to create a more suspended movement.

For the paired working bit, I used a story about Snow Friends  (aka me and Olaf)… I pair up the dancers and one gets to “make” a snowman out of his/her partner while the music is playing.  When the music stops, I look at all the beautiful snow sculptures  At the end, the sun comes out and we (snowmen) all slowly melt to the floor. The dancers of all ages played along and we got the soft, slow quality in this imagery!!!

I used this poem ‘Once There Was A Snowman’ to help sculpture production

Once there was a snowman who stood outside the door
He wished that he could come inside and run around the floor;
He wished that he could warm himself beside the fire so red,
He wished that he could climb up on that big white bed ;
So he called the North Wind, ‘Help me now, I pray,
For I’m completely frozen, standing out here all day.’
So the North wind came along and blew him in the door, and now there’s nothing leftof him but a puddle on the floor!

Journey to Elsa’s Castle

We pretended to be Anna and Kristoff making their journey to or from Elsa’s castle. I was using similar ideas to those used in the Scottish Ballet workshop ‘Hansel and Gretel’.  We did this by chanting “We’re going on a journey, we’re gonna go get Elsa, I’m not scared, I’m not scared”.  For the next part (“we can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, I guess we’ll go… through it!”), we encountered :

  • Deep deep snow – big slow marches to lift our feet through the snow
  • A dark forest – tip toes
  • A cold frozen stream – skating
  • A big tall mountain – climbing actions
  • An icy staircase – careful climbing actions

Until we got to the castle and knocked on the door and found… MARSHMALLOW (the snow monster)!  Reverse all the actions as fast at you can to go back to Arrendale and climb into bed with the covers over our head.

Creative Movement based on Scenes or Characters from the Movie

We did a lot of creative movement / free dance, based on settings and characters from the movie.  I’m not a Frozen watcher and actually not that keen on the songs either so I YouTubed clips from the film and used these to inspire the dancers who clearly knew these clips off by heart! We first described the scene / character, then talk about the movements the characters did (running, rolling, climbing, skating, etc) and then dance them using those movements.  At Primary 5-7 they are sooo creative and come up with movements with far more creativity that the secondary students. Some of my scenes:

Olaf In Summer – skipping, laying (sun-tanning), swaying, blowing dandelions, floating

Skating on Elsa’s pond – skating, twirling, sliding

Dancing like Marshmallow – “stompy”, angry, slow
Image result for snow monster from frozen
They also enjoyed pretending to be at the coronation ball, dancing like the trolls, pretending to be a snow-swirl created by Elsa, and of course, being Elsa. Which needed no imagery or persuasion.

Games

In addition to the usual run of camp games (Frozen statues (see end of this blog), 4 corners, relay races, etc), I added a few or tailored them to better fit our theme:

Obstacle Course –  various obstacles were set up around the room relating to the trip to Elsa’s castle.  We used cones to tip toe around like trees, a tunnel to go under, a gym mat to roll across, a “tightrope” (tape line on the floor) to walk on, ice puddles to jump over (little rugs)

Pin the Nose on Olaf – in addition to my cuddly Olaf,  I used an Olaf-shaped posterboard and had the dancers take turns being blind-folded and pinning their “nose” onto Olaf.  Since we had a large crew, we split them between two different groups so we could have two people going at the same time.

Life-size Anna & Elsa for photos!olaf They were used for a backdrop in pictures and the dancers loved “holding their hand” and just seeing them in general.

Red Light, Green Light, Frozen Variation– in our version instead of being a redlight/greenlight, the “It” person is Elsa – and freezes people when she turns around.  We used the terms “WINTER” for STOP and “SUMMER” for GO.  If anyone was caught moving when the “It” person said WINTER, they had to go back to the starting line.  First person to touch the “It” person gets to be “It” for the next round.

The Dance Camp is run through KA Leisure a half-day camp, where the students can attend for 5 days a week from 10am-1pm. On the last day of camp we do a performance based on an exert from each day for family and friends.

General Camp Agenda

9:50-10:05am – Parent Drop-off and Student Sign-in
10:05-10:30am – Warm-up and “Get to know you” activities – ice breakers include The Name game  (see below) as an icebreaker
10:30-11:00am – Dance class (learning choreography / technique)
11:00-11:45am – Craft Time
11:45-12:00am – Snack Time
12:00-12:40am – Dance class (learning choreography in partners / technique)
12:40-1:00pm – Games / Cool-down

Dance Camp Playlist

Frozen album.

Songs We Used for Choreography

Songs We Used in Class (for creative movement, games, and technique)

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Frozen statues game

My students know Freeze Dance as dance around the room and freeze when the music stops.

Variations to develop the game

1. Shape Freeze

For 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.

2. Position Freeze

Similar to the Shape variation , but dancers freeze in the position given.  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”).

3.‘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 to practice on our traveling steps:  running man, rock outs, etc.

4. Changing Music

After each freeze, change the song and dancers must move to the new song.

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.

Other developments could be working on rhythm and finding the beat in each new song.

5. 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.

6. Beat the “I’m Out” Blues

For my younger classes we do not “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.

NAME GAME

The Name Dance
To begin, we start in a circle.  One at a time, each student says their name with a simple gesture. I encourage the students to do whatever movement they want. I let them experiment with how they say their name – rhythmic, loud, soft, etc.

Going around the circle a second time; students may keep their same gesture or change it. This time, when a student does their name gesture, the class must echo them in both movement and sound.

The third time around, build the dance.  I link a few name gestures together and practice saying / doing them in a row. We try to make it all the way around the circle to finish the full Name Dance.

Extra developments
If everyone is still enjoying the Name Game, I try going faster, in slow motion, facing outside the circle or going in reverse order.

 

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