Toolbox

Dance to Express

 

dance

Type of Tool: Group Building Activity
Target group: target group is very wide, it can involve participants as young as 10 years old, but the approach and performance should be adjusted to the age of participants
Topic Addressed: using dance and traditional dance for non-verbal communication, expression, different topics can be addressed, such as: love, tolerance, conflict, spirituality, feelings, creativity..


Material / Equipment needed:
a big enough space for dance
music and – or instruments
flip chart or board for debriefing
comfortable clothes are an advantage

Duration: 60/70 min at least (it could be adjusted to 2 school hours, if the whole classroom works together or bigger groups)

Aims:
to express a given subject or topic in a group using simple dance movements, similar to traditional dance and perform it in front of others, so that others can also easily learn it and perform together
participants learn how to express themselves more openly, in a non-verbal way, they feel more confident and connected,
team work
cultural awareness (the tool can be made more complex by giving the task not only to create a “traditional” dance, but also an imagined culture - world, with their specific behavior, language, habits, dances, songs...

Description:
This is a tool for developing cultural awareness and emotional expression, creativity, team work and is also active physically, as it uses dance.

1. The facilitator(s) give a short, 10-15 min introduction (using power point presentation with images and/or videos) about the history and importance of dance and traditional dances. They motivate the group, stressing out the expressive importance of dance and, if the group is young, they could demonstrate one traditional dance. If they want to work on a specific subject (union, cooperation, conflict, love... they can also give introduction about the topic that will be expressed through dance).

2. They explain the rules of creating the dance (5 min). The rules are:
- each group should create a short dance, consisting of few simple movements, about a topic defined in advance (preparing for battle and being brave, love and seduction, a tribute to nature, etc...).
- each group should consist of 5-7 members
- they have 30 minutes for preparation
- they have to decide on the music they want to use (prepared music, drum, singing, sounds, other...)
- the trainer should be available to help and support the groups.

3. Each group shows their dance in front of the others and teach them their dance (5 min per group)

4. Discussion: the facilitator(s) ask them about their experience, group work, their suggestions, feedback, and make conclusions

Support

With the support of:

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