New Tricks: YEAR 1 - Dance - Elaborate2
Little J dreams of being an acrobat in a circus when he grows up. With the help of Jacko and B-Boy, he practises circus tricks in the backyard after school. Uncle Mick, a search and rescue officer, comes to school to talk about his work. Little J uses his circus skills to demonstrate a search and rescue procedure.
Elaborate - Present dance that communicates ideas to an audience, including dance used by cultural groups in the community
Theme - CIRCUS
After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 3 ‘New Tricks’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about personal and social strengths, dance elements and techniques.
Prepare a safe working environment by uncluttering the area so students can move safely without bumping into each other, and the classroom furniture. Adhere to safe performance guidelines of the school and the education authority.
Explain to students that when playing sport or dancing, participants should use warm-up with stretching routines to protect their bodies from stress and damage. A warm-up and cool-down is an essential part of any movement lesson.
Revisit the theme of the ‘circus’ and have students identify the skills and tricks that Little J performs, such as hula-hoops, juggling, tightrope walking, and rope course. Discuss the movement skills needed for performing these tricks, such as, coordination, timing, arm extension, flexibility, balance, eye-hand coordination, step sequencing, etc.
As a class, view a selection of video clips of circus performers performing Little J’s acts, and ask students to note the way the performers move and the apparatus they use in the performance.
- Anthony Gatto performance in Cirque du Soleil's Kooza
- Circus Vargas 2013 Master Juggler
- Hula-hoop, circo Hermanos Vazquez 2015
- Masha Silaeva – Cirque du Soleil – Hula Hoop
- Most Thrilling – Ringling Bros Circus Tightrope Walks
- Tightrope Walking (Ringling Bros)
Have students mimic the movements of Little J’s circus acts without props. Group students according to the movements they chose to practise. Working together, have students coordinate a dance line where all students perform their act, and then all students perform as a sequence. Once students have practised their movements without props, introduce the props and ask students to practise using the props (hula hoop, tennis ball/s, rope/line, and mat to roll/flip on) as part of the movement sequence.
As a class, view:
Explain to the class that a ‘flash mob’ is when a group of people pretend to be going about their ordinary business in a public place, and on cue they begin to dance. The dance is rehearsed and timed to coincide with a lot of people in a crowded place. More people might join in.
Organise for the class to perform a Flash mob performance in the school grounds at lunch time. The students can perform their circus routines. The performance should consist of three separate very short dance sequences. Each sequence represents an aspect of the circus.
Review Ringling Bros. Presents Built To Amaze! Music Video before designing the sequence of acts.
Record the Flash dance sequences. Have students self-evaluate their progress with designing the dance for this purpose.