New Tricks: YEAR 2 - Dance - Explore2

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.

Explore - Use fundamental movement skills to develop technical skills when practising dance sequences 


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 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.

Recount Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 3 ‘New Tricks’, and have students identify how Little J and Jacko trust one another, communicate, and determine their roles in the performance based on what they are good at (their personal strengths). Have students consider how trust, communication and collaboration are important concepts to remember when learning and performing dance. On the IWB/board, write these three terms as headings and ask the class to suggest ways that these concepts are evidenced in dance and their everyday lives.

As a class, build trust through playing the Minefield game, as follows: Lay out an obstacle course in the classroom or gymnasium. In pairs, students navigate the obstacle course (soft, safe objects). One student is blindfolded while the other student guides the blindfolded student safely through the obstacles using their voice and instructions. A variation of this game is where participants are not blindfolded but walk backwards.

As a class, build communication through the Human Knot and Guess the emotion games:

  1. Have students form teams of 5 to 8 students and stand in a circle. With eyes closed, stretch both arms into the centre and hold hands with the other students. As a group the students need to communicate and untangle their hands without letting go of their hands.
  2. Using a pre-set deck of cards with different emotions listed on each card. Two teams of students compete to guess the emotions acted out by the other team members.

As a class, build collaboration through playing Balloon Bop and a Three-legged race. Evaluate how well the students needed to cooperate to play the games. Have the students assess how playing games also mimick movement sequences, similar to performing a dance.

Show video/s of the Bangara Dance Theatre performing ‘Terrain’ and discuss how the dancers need to trust each other, communicate expression and emotion through their movement, and cooperate and collaborate to produce the dance sequences.