Portugal Dance for' young movers The recording is available on the 'Best of Shenanigans' CD, Volume 1 or on Spotify, Apple Music and ITunes Traditionally, this dance was done by men and women alternating in a circle. The dance was modified for use in music education, at the Orff Institute. It is an excellent dance to use for hearing pitch, as well as allowing for a bit of creativity from each dance leader. Instruments • Play a bass instrument such as xylophone, marimba, resonator bars or Boomwhackers • Sing the part in solfa • Transfer to bass instruments • Play the melody an octave up on a glockenspiel or other instrument • Play chords on a ukulele or guitar
Another easy dance for young movers The recording is available on the 'Best of Shenanigans' CD, Volume 2 or on Spotify, Apple Music and ITunes This is a favourite Carnival celebration dance that is done in various different forms - a quadrille, in lines, with partners… When I use this dance in class, I have children in short lines, following a leader. Each time through the dance, the leader goes to the back of the line so there are no arguments over who goes first! This also gives young students valuable practise at spatial awareness because they need to move through space without getting in each other’s way, slowly and fast.
is a wonderful dance for reinforcing notation, so it painlessly leads us into composition and literacy! Ask students to notate what they think the basic rhythm pattern might be: ta ta ti-ti- ta Write this on a whiteboard in any colour - let’s say black. Perform it in a variety of ways - forwards, backwards, with different body sounds….. Then, underneath this pattern, in a different colour, (let’s say red), jumble the ta and ti rhythms to make a new pattern. For example: ti-ti ta ta ti-ti Perform this in a variety of ways, as above. Then students can choose the pattern they like the most. Perform both at once (introducing the concept of a score). Depending on the background knowledge of your class, you can keep adding lines, in different colours. Add in rests. Make the patterns longer for more able classes. From here, there are many different directions you can go. • Firm up the piece as a body percussion score for the class to perform; • substitute non-tuned percussion for body sounds; • add movement into the performance (on the spot, of course!) • add vocal sounds • split into small groups to create their own score and perform it. There is your assessment task for the term!!!
Hawaii A beautiful, gentle performance piece at any level This is a Sasa - a dance traditionally performed seated cross-legged on the floor. It is a dance about shells. The recording is available on the 'Dances for Children' 2000 compilation album (green, track 9) by Andre Van Der Plas Ukulele Watery soundscapes using xylophones, wind chimes - whatever you have available, as long as it remains sparse and subtle. Create a visual backdrop of the beach, the ocean….. including some lovely whale sounds in the introduction as students settle into place via IT. This is a beautiful, peaceful, engaging (and reasonably easy!) performance piece that is particularly lovely for a mixed age group. The bulk of the students sit on the floor and perform the dance. Other students who are not such keen singers can include the following:
Germany - for grade 4 and up Originally, this dance was only performed by men (i.e. Blacksmiths) but now we can all enjoy it together. This dance is especially useful for developing a feel for 3 beats in a bar (without needing to count!) and is easily modified to suit different age/ability groups. The recording is available on the 'Best of Shenanigans' CD, Volume 2 or on Spotify, Apple Music and ITunes Variations Perform the dance in a group of 4 (ie 2 couples) standing in a cross formation. One couple starts part A1 while the other couple waits. When first couple start A2, the second couple starts A1. When performing parts B1 and B2, the group can hold hands in a circle or can create a star by each dancer holding the wrist of the dancer they are following behind.
to have a bit of fun too. This dance has been enjoyed by many people, in many different circumstances, around the world. The music is freely available on YouTube. Just type in “Jerusalema dance challenge” and you will see many versions of this dance performed by such people as nurses in hospital wards, firemen in front of their trucks, high school students in their schools and more. Now it’s our turn to have some fun! 'Jerusalema' dance challenge - for older kids and our own fun! Who started the Jerusalema Challenge? The dance trend began in February 2020 when Fenómenos do Semba, a group in Angola, south-west Africa, recorded themselves dancing to the song while eating and without dropping their plates. Find on YouTube
right foot out front Beats 5-8 tap left foot out front Beats 9-12 alternate feet Beats 13-16 4 steps forward, bending down on first 2 steps then straightening up Beats 17-20 4 steps to the left (stepping sideways) Beats 21 – 24 4 steps (sideways) to the right Beats 25-28 4 steps backwards Start again If you want to change direction: In the section when you walk forward, on the last step, turn a quarter turn to your right and continue the dance. This way, you change direction plenty of times, which is great for spatial awareness and adds an element of challenge. 'Jerusalema' dance challenge Find on YouTube