Aspects of Dance: Notes from my Curriculum

December 10, 2011 Caroleeena hoopdanceUncategorized

This the the outline of the class I’ve been teaching on Integrating Dance into Hoodance along with some additional resources for continued study. I can’t share all the exercises but hopefully this will help people remember them and remember these concepts. It was my pleasure and honor to teach this class. Thank you for coming.

With love, Caroleeena

Dance Like Noone’s Watching.
Dance Like Everyone’s Watching.

Dance is about making shapes with the body, especially lines and circles, and then bending, wiggling, expanding and contracting those shapes.  We make shapes with the arms and legs but we also can break each of those down into smaller shapes — hands, fingers, poses, footwork, traveling steps, etc. We even create lines with our gaze. Every point has an equal and an opposite, just as every hoop move has a forward and a backward so if a gaze can be directed one way, it can also be directed the other; if a line can be bent one way, it can also go the other; if a circle can flow one way, it can also flow the other.
Here are the aspects we played with:

Posture, Building Your Foundation from the Ground Up, Setting the Shoulders:

Handwork: flowing in circles (inside and outside, 1st, 2nd, 3rd positions), flowing in lines (bending lines, parallel lines, perpendicular lines, wiggling the line from the top, from the bottom, from the middle):

– Resting Positions
– Poses
– Armwork
– Handwork:

– Fingerwork
– Utilizing the Free Hand:


– Footwork in place: front, side, back, behind

– Traveling Steps: getting from here to there, grapevine, lines:

– Turns and Spins:


Creating Lines:
– Arms:

– Legs
– Body
– Gaze
– Travel
– Isolations
– Parallel vs. Perpendicular
– Wiggling the Line

– Attitude
– Mood of Music
– Inhabiting Lyrics
– Facial Expression (Practice cultivating a gentle smile as a set position instead of a frown):
– Gestures

– Plane Changes
– Speed Changes
– Level Changes

Beat Punctuation:

– Pah!
– Rhythm vs. Melody
– Ta-Da Endings:

Other Dance Devices
– Repetition
– Alternation
– Contrasts (Fast/Slow, Spinning/Stillness, High/Low):

Accepting Praise

Tricks: Palm Spins, America’s Next Top Model Walking Step Through (ANTM Step-Thru, for short), Chest Roll, Horizontal Tosses (not sure I even got to that one)

Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance! Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. – Martha Graham

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” – Martha Graham

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