Dispatches from the Field: Dance Class

We’re off to a great start in the second week of Imagination Camp! Francesca, Maryam, and I are collaborating as Artist Teachers on our theme, 2D vs. 3D. So far, everyone in camp is developing puppet characters-they’re sort of like alter egos. In visual art, campers are creating what their puppets’ village and everyday dress looks like.

In movement class, we start by warming up our bodies and brains before diving into creative exploration and interactive movement games. Yesterday, in order to explore the different movements of the hands and feet, we remixed the hokey pokey by choosing our own body parts, verbs, and popular dance references.

Today, movement class was focused on exploring shape and quality. We came up with a working definition in the Bravemazing tribe: A shape is a picture or angle you create using the lines of your body and patterns in space. A quality is a type of energy you feel as you are moving.

I taped a section of the floor in four quadrants and together we chose a shape or quality to go in each quadrant: sphere, zig zag, heavy, and sharp. After exploring these quadrants and observing each other, campers had the chance to try on and shift between other modes. Identifying different qualities in movement will help us as we determine which ways of moving will be the best suited for the end of the week showcase.

My favorite observation from a camper today was that “everyone danced how they wanted to and didn’t care who was watching them.” A few others commented on how many different choices their tribe members made based on the same prompt.  Movement class is great avenue for children to make confident choices and to appreciate the nuances of the people who make up their tribe!