Students will explore the different steps and movements that make up common social dance line dances. They will then take some of these ideas and create their own unique line dance by manipulating these movements and using choreographic principles.
Students will explore choreography principles from the State Core Standards for Fine Arts Dance and apply them in a social dance setting.
Music that has a definite beat and is counted in 8's. A large open space. A white board or large piece of paper and a writing utensil.
Set the class expectations and goals. Ask for creativity and open mindedness as well as teamwork for this lesson.
Ask students which line dances they know and ask them to share. Turn some music on and have students do these dances as a warm-up!
Sit the students down and begin to ask some questions about the line dances they just experienced. What are some movements or actions that the dances all have in common? Does each dance have a similar structure? A similar tempo? What movements stuck out? Were there movements or actions or sounds that accented the music? Make a list of
some of the answers. For example: grapevine, step touch, clapping, face each wall of the room, turns, body part isolations, most of the line dances were 4 sets of 8 long, etc.
Divide students into groups. Have the students select 4-5 items from the list of observations. Using these ideas, create a line dance that utilizes all 4-5 items they selected. The line dance needs to face all 4 sides of the room, so make sure they include a way to change direction at the end of the sequence. The line dance also needs to use movements that can be counted in 8's. Give them a few minutes to work and create.
Watch each group and have the students comment on the different items the group chose for their new line dance. Were there certain ones each group chose? What choices stood out?
Extension to the Lesson
Have a couple groups get together and combine the new line dances into one long line dance. Take turns teaching and decide which order to put the sequences and then perform!
Research other social line dances and select ones to learn in the studio. Ask relatives, friends, search YouTube, etc.