MONDAY LEVEL II: MID SESSION PARENT UPDATE

Tune: Miss McLeod's Reel

This is another traditional reel of Scottish origin, used often for sean-nos dancing.   It's a double reel, meaning it has 2 melodies: the A part and the B part.  The structure of the tune is AABB

You can find it here: 

Percussive Dance Skill:   Clarity of Shuffles

We are continuing to work on our shuffle timing, which is a great thing for experienced dancers as well as new dancers!  

We have been including "across the floor" time as part of our warmup, working on executing our steps in time with each other.   We do "dee dum" patterns, including the Connemara basic (forward and back), and the "Snoopy Shuffle" 

We have been including "across the floor" time as part of our warmup, working on executing our steps in time with each other.   We do "dee dum" patterns, including the Connemara basic (forward and back), and the "Snoopy Shuffle" 

And we use our "Dee Dum" spoken language to help work on the articulation of the heel and the step: 

Percussive Skill & Personal Style: Identifying and Creating Using 8 bar phrases

Most Irish tunes are segmented into 8 bar melodies.  

In Level II we work on keeping track of the beat AND keeping track of the 8 bar phrases.

We work mainly in the style of dancer Roisin Ni Mhainin whose personal style is based in 8 bar steps. 

We created 8 bar steps in Roisin's style, using both movement and rhythm as the character for each step.  We performed them for each other, with and without music.   Sometimes the group would watch, other times the group would join in if they could see what the pattern was.  The goal is to make the rhythm and pattern second nature, and allow the children to use theme and variation to create their own style while still being traditional in their rhythm. 

We created 8 bar steps in Roisin's style, using both movement and rhythm as the character for each step.  We performed them for each other, with and without music.   Sometimes the group would watch, other times the group would join in if they could see what the pattern was.  The goal is to make the rhythm and pattern second nature, and allow the children to use theme and variation to create their own style while still being traditional in their rhythm. 

The first week, I took the steps they had created and wrote it out in "down beat" notation while they clapped along.  

The first week, I took the steps they had created and wrote it out in "down beat" notation while they clapped along.  

The next week, I had the children make up steps and clap and speak them...

The next week, I had the children make up steps and clap and speak them...

...then notate them on their own.    This helped me to identify which/how children understand beat and down beat, and if they understand what it means to be 8 bars is length.   It also helped certain children find another way to relate to the rhythm/music. 

...then notate them on their own.    This helped me to identify which/how children understand beat and down beat, and if they understand what it means to be 8 bars is length.  
It also helped certain children find another way to relate to the rhythm/music. 

SOCIAL DANCING: Reinforcing 8 bars & Personal Style

This month we worked on the 2nd figure of the Connemara Set, (which uses the Connemara Basic footwork, and has a new movement every 8 bars).  

But the second figure also has an element of personal style, in the Do-Si-Do move, which allowed kids to branch out and see if they could do their own steps and still end on time. 

It's handy that we have these squares on the floor!  It gives us a great guideline for where in the "set" the dancers need to be, and also allows us to practice certain moves in pairs, rather than needing to wait for all 8 dancers to take a turn!   Here, Willa and Eva are showing the kids where they need to land every 2 bars of music.  This means the children will need to listen and dance, but they also get to work with another person in  doing that. 

It's handy that we have these squares on the floor!  It gives us a great guideline for where in the "set" the dancers need to be, and also allows us to practice certain moves in pairs, rather than needing to wait for all 8 dancers to take a turn!  

Here, Willa and Eva are showing the kids where they need to land every 2 bars of music.  This means the children will need to listen and dance, but they also get to work with another person in  doing that. 

Here the dancers are practicing the Do-Si-Do in the 2nd figure of the dance, where each gent takes a turn do-si-do ing around the lady across from him.  During this move, dancers are encouraged to take the 8 bars to show off, and show their personal style! 

Here the dancers are practicing the Do-Si-Do in the 2nd figure of the dance, where each gent takes a turn do-si-do ing around the lady across from him.  During this move, dancers are encouraged to take the 8 bars to show off, and show their personal style! 

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