Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Share the Magic

I am working with a group of preteens/teens on a musical without much rehearsal time.  I hate rushing to teach a dance number because what I love most is teaching the craft of dance, blocking, staging, etc.  How would a character stand and why?.  How to walk backwards and use visual markers to sit on a chair without falling off.  This is the magic of theatre to me.  The mysteries revealed.  I feel short changed.   Anyone can learn steps.  But to learn to to move around the stage with ease, to SHARE the stage with someone else, to dance as one unit is what gets me really excited!

I usually write about dance for little ones but my experience with the teens is important for all teachers/parents and kids of all ages.  Dance is a performing craft.  Make sure your students/children have time to perform for each other.  If you are a parent have your kids perform for you.  If you know nothing about dance have them enter the living room and tell you a joke.  But learning how to share a talent, share a performance space and take direction is all really important life lessons.

 Teach them:
  1.  How to enter and exit the space
  2. Be aware of their bodies - people fidget without realizing it
  3. Be aware of how they can use their peripheral vision  to become aware of their surroundings and others in the space
  4. That it is okay to make a mistake
  5. Create, recreate, change and perfect the dance, movement, joke, juggling routine etc.
  6. Take compliments, suggestions and constructive criticism
  7. How to bow and applaud for others as well
It is never to early to learn (and parents - it is never to late either!)  Try performing for your kids/students and have them perform for you.  It will build trust and confidence.  And it is magic!


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