Monday, May 10, 2010

Thank You Sun!

Have you danced outside with your little ones this spring?  It is warm enough now without being too hot, cool enough without being too cold and breezy enough without being too gusty.  It seems to me to be perfect weather to feel the space, the air, the ground and the sun. 

When I teach outside, I define the movement space with cones ( but you can define the space with anything you have on hand.)  This way the children have definite boundaries and I don't have to go chasing anyone.  Obstacles to be aware of:
  • wet grass/cut grass
  • bright sunlight
  • bees, bugs, butterfly distractions
Have a dance space already in mind to before you take the kids out, preferably with a shady area.   Be prepared if the ground is wet to have an activity that does not require sitting, rolling,etc.  If the grass is dry, roll away!

Thank You Sun Activity
For those of you who have a yoga background it is great fun to do sun salutations outside.  Reach up and arch up to the sun and yell thank you sun in the beginning and the end of each salutation.  If you don't know the sun salutation make up your own thank you dance or stretch.

Ask your students:
  1. What is the sun's job?
  2. Where is the sun?
  3. How does the sun feel on your body?
  4. What is the sun like today? (Can you feel the sun today, is it cloudy, bright, etc.)
See if your students can stretch their bodies in all different directions and have the sun hit every piece of their bodies. Their noses, knees, elbows, chins, backs, bellies, shoulders and toes.  Reach up towards the sun, face to the sky and yell "thank you sun!"

Dance BIG
This is a great time to move big.  I usually don't have the opportunity to teach in a large enough space to accommodate the entire class running, leaping, jumping at the same time.  I usually have to keep tight control on how many students can move through the space at one time.  But outside there are no walls, ceilings and doors!  I love to watch full movement without constraint.  And it feels different to the students as well.

Have fun feeling the wind between your finger and the sunlight dancing on your knees with the children in your life!


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