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!
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
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! 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.
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
Songs We Used for Choreography
- Let It Go – Idina Menzel – for a ballet / lyrical
- Love Is an Open Door – Kristen Bell – for jazz
- For the First Time in Forever – for lyrical / sing along
- In Summer – Josh Gad – for hip hop
- Fixer Upper – Frozen – for hip hop
Songs We Used in Class (for creative movement, games, and technique)
- Winter’s Waltz – Frozen good for across the floor in ballet
- Ice Dance – Edward Scissorhands – creative movement and free-dance
- Let It Go / Vivaldi’s Winter – The Piano Guys – good one for dramatic dancing, freeze dance
- Waltz of the Snowflakes – The Nutcracker
- Love Is an Open Door (Instrumental Karaoke version) – good for pass the beanbag, or warm-ups
Frozen statues game
Variations to develop the game