Young Children and The Power of Creative Dance

Parents and teachers often ask “What is creative movement?” The terms dance and movement are interchangeable when referring to creative movement. Creative movement is an art form whose medium is the human body in motion. The four basic elements of dance are the body and its different parts and range of movement, and space, time, and energy. Understanding and using these four elements can open up a range of imaginative possibilities.

Body part movement variations: “Can you march with your arms up high?” “Can you clap? Touch your knees?” “Can you march bending one knee and keeping the other leg straight? On your tiptoes? Lying on your back with your feet in the air?”

Spatial variations: “Can you march backwards? Low? High?” “Can you turn?” “Can you march in a square pattern on the floor?”

Time variations: “Can you march in slow motion?” “Can you march for seven steps and then freeze? Let’s count together.” “Now, march as fast as you can!”

Energy variations: “Can you march as if your feet are caught in quicksand?” “Can you march and stomp through mud puddles?” “Can you march as if you are in bare feet on a hot blacktop driveway on a summer day?” “Can you march without making a sound when your feet touch the floor?”

The possibilities are endless. Children can perform the variations according to their individual abilities and imaginations. Creative movement gives children opportunities to move in new ways and helps them learn that there can be more than one solution to a question, a problem, or a task.

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