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Arts and culture

Grade 9

Expression and communication

Module 7

Warming up to music



Dancing moves us. It excites us. It reveals to us aspects of life and human emotion. As with any art, the true purpose of dancing must always remain the expression of human feeling. Dancing is an expressive action – special, rhythmic, accented. A dance must convey meaning or power.

In this module, we will discover how dance is shaped by and reflects the values of the times and how it is influenced by music, place, fashion and technology.

Activity 1

To warm up properly for dancing

Before you can start creating your dance routine, your body must be properly warmed up to prevent injury and to prepare you for the activities to follow.

Warming up can be done to music. Choose music you feel comfortable with that is not too fast.

  • Stand with feet a hip-width apart, arms at your sides.
  • Lift arms above the head while inhaling through the nose.
  • Exhaling through the mouth, drop arms and bend knees at the same time.
  • Repeat four times.
  • Limber from side to side on one spot.
  • Lift both arms up and out to the sides on the beat while keeping the limbering movement. Repeat eight times.
  • Retain limbering movement drop arms. Rotate alternate shoulders. Repeat eight times.
  • Retain limbering movement. Rotate shoulders in other direction. Repeat eight times.
  • With knees and feet facing forward, bend and straighten knees while pushing buttocks out. Repeat eight times.
  • With knees and feet facing forward, bend knees - buttocks out. Place hands on knees, contract back (like a cat) and release. Repeat eight times.
  • Retaining above position, lift toes alternately keeping heels on the floor. Repeat eight times.
  • Lift heels alternately. Repeat eight times.
  • Open legs wider and place hands on hips. With knees and feet facing outwards, lunge from side to side keeping feet firmly on the floor. Repeat eight times.
  • Lunge to the right and hold for four beats.
  • Lunge to the left and hold for four beats.

Return to plié position (knees bent, knees and feet facing outwards). With hands on hips, bend and straighten knees. Repeat eight times.

  • Keeping legs open and knees bent and lift feet alternately. Repeat eight times.
  • Bring feet together and walk on the spot (eight counts).
  • Combine walking on the spot while opening and closing legs (eight counts).
  • Walk on the spot and lift arms up and down. Repeat eight times.
  • Walk on the spot and repeat breathing exercise.

Warming up shouldn’t last longer than five minutes.

You should be breathing normally throughout the warm-up.

Activity 2

To describe and perform HIP-HOP

Hip Hop dancing is a variety of dances put together – modern, jazz, African etc. – which moves away from the classical and technical. This form of dance has its roots on the street and the clubs became the classrooms of Hip Hop.

Derived from the Rap movement, Hip-Hop is physical, abstract, undefined, soulful and follows the drummer’s beat. Depending on the mood of the music, the arm movements can be either loose or stylised, but always exaggerated. Technically, there are no new steps, only different interpretations of steps done with exuberant amounts of energy. The relationship between the dance and music is of vital importance and creates a drama of the human body as all movements are valid and have a place in the dance.

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Source:  OpenStax, Arts and culture grade 9. OpenStax CNX. Sep 15, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11067/1.1
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