Dear parents and carers
Another week in lockdown and I hope you are all safe and well.
The 1-2-1 classes are in full swing and the feedback has been wonderful from parents, so thank you as it helps keeps up our morale and motivation alight.
Street dance challenge
Congratulations to all our street dance entries this week. Gaz and I had some very creative work to look through!
The winner for this week is Max Huson who provided a very inventive video for us to watch, we loved it!
Well done Max and to everyone who again exceeded our expectations on the challenge. Your rewards will be in the box on the egg table at Tozer from Wednesday to collect.
Collect your rewards and your fresh eggs from Tozer safely with social distancing and washing hands as a priority.
You may even get a glimpse of the Lynn family to wave to!
Shoes Can Dance Challenge and Activities for our younger students
For this week’s challenge we have some lovely ideas for our younger Tozer pupils and a fun challenge called ‘shoes can dance’ for all ages and for all the family to get involved with if they choose to.
All the details are below, have fun with all the activities to get involved with. Myself, Alison Soule and the staff have been really enjoying being able to invent different challenges and creatives each week and I am exceptionally grateful to Alison for her input and time.
There are lots of things to get the younger ones busy with here away from school work so please access all the suggestions…send in pictures and videos we all love to see how the children are getting on.
Vocal Fees – reminder
Thank you to those who have transferred fees to Sarah.
If you still have an invoice outstanding please can you send payment or contact us if needed.
Have good week and stay well.
‘Shoes can dance’ fun challenge
This week we thought we’d give you a slightly different challenge, one to get your creative juices flowing; its Dancing Shoe Week!
Pick your favourite pair of shoes; ballet, flip flop, wellies, tap, trainers, slippers, party heels, crocs ………. and film your shoes dancing. They can be on your feet, hands or held up by string. Your shoes could be a character telling a story, add in other props, singing or dialogue. Your shoes could be in a paddling pool recreating Singing in the Rain, in a sandpit singing Walk Like an Egyptian, wherever your imagination takes you. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.
As always chocolate is the prize you are aiming for, second to toilet roll it’s a good currency in these crazy times.
Send in your videos to the usual Tozer email address by Sunday 10th May.
Tozer Activities for our Younger students
The power of early year’s dance activity and the positive benefits on children and their families are being increasingly evidenced. The early years are some of the most important and creative years of a child’s life with movement and dance fundamental to the development of children.
Dance is an art form. It can be studied and learnt and at a certain level requires technique and skill, yet to dance is instinctively human. Dance expresses feelings, tells stories, demonstrated strength & power, connects people and creates celebrations. Like art and music dance communicates individual and collective experiences in a way that words sometimes can’t.
The craft and skill of dance comprises 3 elements;
- Creating. Children in the early years are moving constantly and building their physical literacy. They acquire a ‘vocabulary’ of movements through experimentation and watching others. Some of the movements you might see include: wriggling, rolling, balancing, jumping, skipping, twirling, spinning, hopping, swaying, stamping, rocking, clapping, and twisting. In later years these become the cornerstones of dance.
- Performing. Performance includes the important aspect of rehearsing – repeating, practising and developing the movements. This includes working on skills and technique, as well as accuracy and perfecting the quality of movement. Performing involves sharing the practised movements, by presenting and ‘performing’ the dances in a variety of ways. It is important to stress that ‘performing’ does not need to be in front of a huge, invited audience, just as important are the small ‘watch me!’ moments.
- Appreciation. Fundamental to appreciation is the opportunity to see and watch others dancing, as well as joining in yourself, seeing all sorts of people dancing alone and together, with and without music. Observing different styles, different music and noticing how it affects you, how it makes you feel and what you enjoy watching. With lots of early experience of this, you can then begin to judge and critique the technique, the artistic nature and quality of the dance.
Children may have small bodies but they also have big voices; we at Tozer firmly believe that dance allows them to find and develop their voice and have the confidence to use it.
We have put together a crafty pack for our young dancers; things to do, make and enjoy.
Some ideas for crafty ballerinas
Games to play at home
- Musical Chairs and Musical Statues – 2 old favourites that allows children to dance around a room whilst listening carefully to music.
- Clap Clap a rhythm – find a song and clap along to the rhythm, turn down the sound and see if you can keep clapping in time with the beat. To vary this exercise you can keep the beat with any musical instrument or some pots and pans.
- Exploring emotions – find a song and then pick an emotion to dance to; try happy, sad, excited, frightened – this helps to develop the concept of story-telling in dance.
Exercises to try at home
Good toes & naughty toes
Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you and your back straight.
Slowly point your toes down to the ground keeping your knees together and on the floor. Then slowly curly your toes upwards pointing to the ceiling and then back towards you.
Repeat this 8 times and then give your legs a shake out.
Standing with your feet in a V shape or a ‘smile’ raise your arms above your head and pretend your fingers are little rain drops falling from the sky. Now imagine that your knees are umbrellas and they are keeping your toes dry. Slowly bend your knees keeping your umbrellas over your toes and your heels on the ground. This is a fabulous exercise to introduce the children to what we call turnout and plies.
What’s through the window and over the fence?
Standing upright with your feet together slowly turn your feet out into a V or smiley face shape. Imagine you are opening a window – what can you see outside? Repeat this several times with something new each time through the window. Next slowly rise up onto the top toes and imagine you are peering over a fence, what can you see? Again repeat several times with different things appearing over the fence.
Listen to a piece of music, how does it make you feel and how do you want to move? Learning basic musicality is fundamental to any dance form and is also great fun. Is the piece happy, sad, fast, slow, quiet, loud; how does it change as the piece develops? Every piece of music and every dance tells a story!
With all of the above ideas the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Often a simple disco on a Friday night with your favourite dress and favourite song can be the best tonic of all!
Keep safe and hopefully we’ll see you soon back in the studio.