.Jessica Runge

  Example of an Everyday Movement  
  A Description of this Movement  


  "Jessica's dance unit was a tremendous success with my students," wrote Bruce Stevenson, a teacher at Crescent Town.  



Project Description:
Jessica Runge taught dance to 112 grade five and six students at Crescent Town Public School in Toronto, Ontario in May 2004.

Sample Dance Projects created by Crescent Town Students:
Over the course of five days, with about twenty-five minutes a day devoted to this exercise, the students worked in groups of four, each group creating a different quartet. The exercise was designed to extend students' movement vocabulary, enhance their specificity and ability to attend to details with regard to movement, challenge their movement memorization skills, provide them with opportunities for creative work and expression as individuals and in groups, and, in the end, produce unique dance works reflective of their interests and choices.

Step One)
For homework, each student chose three movements from every-day life (such as sitting-down or waving). They graphically depicted these movements (see example to the left of this column) and wrote brief descriptions of them (see description to the left).

Step Two) Working in groups of four, each student taught their three steps to the other three people in their group. Dance phrases comprised of twelve movements were developed.

Step Three) Jessica made copies of the student's pictures and text and, together with the students, pasted them together in the order they occured in the twelve-step dances the groups had made (examples of the charts created can be found below).


Step Four) Students worked on their own and in groups to develop variations for several of the movements in their phrases (doing some steps as large as possible, some as small as possible, some with different facings, and developing other variations). The groups also came up with a variety of narrative and abstract transitions between the movements.

Step Five) On the last day with Jessica, the groups performed their dances for the rest of the class.