Wow - I'm afraid I've been pretty sparse with the posts the last couple of months… I guess my excuse is that teaching two entirely different subjects in two schools does manage to take up a lot of time!
This fall I haven't been able to do nearly as much creative dance with my elementary school kids (officially visual art students) as I did last year, primarily because of the small space for my classes this year — for the bigger kids (4th/5th graders) in larger classes, we just don't have the room to move safely. But I have managed to fit in some brief bits of dance for the kinders and first graders, and it has been a pleasure to see how open these little ones are to trying new things.
A few weeks back we were working on color theory — primaries and secondaries — and I incorporated a little bit of a dance lesson. We started by talking about how the three primaries can create different feelings; then we did a little exploration on energy qualities. I had thought that blue and red would correspond well to the smooth/sharp dichotomy, since blue seems to naturally fit with smooth movements flowing like water, and red with sharp, sudden, anger; so I just picked happy and bouncy for yellow (because of daisies, the sun, etc…). After thoroughly exploring those qualities, I asked the kids to show me "if blue is smooth, red is sharp, and yellow is bouncy, how would green (or purple, or orange) move? I was amazed that nearly every child had a very clear idea for each color would move, and showed it beautifully in movement! It struck me that this is a challenge which may very well have frozen my teenagers (or me, for that matter) — but these first graders, not yet over-thinking their movement, took quite naturally to the synesthesia ad carried it through. It reminded me that, although I love working with the advanced teens who are able to do so much, it is also refreshing to be back working with the little ones who can dive into their creativity with truly wild abandon!