The Flower Dance

by Mack Longley

During one of my services at Moore Elementary School, I was getting ready to teach our third grade class a new dance about the phases of flower growth. This was my first time introducing phrase work to this class so I was unsure about how it would go.

I gathered the class in the back of the room and had them spread out so they had enough space to move. Then a thought occurred to me, “This is my first time teaching 3rd graders! How am I going to make this as clear and as easy for them to understand and replicate?”

I took a deep breath and started to count the phrase of the first section of the dance, the “Root” dance. As we progressed I demonstrated wiggly fingers to represent roots growing into the ground, raising arms to demonstrate tall stems, flowy upper bodies to demonstrate windy leaves and waving hands to represent petals. By the end the kids had learned the dance and understood the sequence, I had taught it successfully!

I could see in front of me that the kids were excited and proud to have executed the dance, and I was proud of them too!

The next week, when we returned to class, the kids were asking me about the flower dance: “Ms Mack!  Can we do the dance we learned last week?” What music to my ears!  When I relayed to the class we could, they all raced to the back of the classroom, ready to perform with big smiles on their faces.

Dance is such a rewarding and exciting art form, and I was lucky enough to introduce it to this group of third graders!

April 17, 2024