If there is one dance move that is just as popular as the infamous "winning" you see during Carnival time, it is jumping.
Masqueraders jump when they are parading through the streets of cities and boroughs. They jump for joy when they are crossing the stage, showcasing their costumes to the judges. They jump in excitement when their favorite songs come on. They jump because that's just what you do. That's just how you dance during Carnival time.
With our Carnival theme nearing the end, we wanted to focus on this fun way of movement. Our sub-topic of this week was "mas", in which jumping plays an important role. Just, read the above paragraph! So we thought it would be the perfect opportunity for us create a simple jumping dance activity that can be used as a warm-up or across the floor activity.
The following activity is an introduction to a few of the foot positions used in jazz dance. The focus of this activity is to not only get students acquainted but to also teach them how to jump in these positions. Beginning in parallel first, they will move through 2nd and 4th position respectively using jumping as their method of movement.
How did it go?
Well, we've been working on foot positions with most of our students for a while so the concept is very familiar. However, combined with the jumping this activity proved to be a challenging one even for the pros! We took our time, as we didn't want our students to "jump" into it the wrong way! So we reviewed the positions and focused on jumping properly so as to avoid injury as a result of over excitement. Children get pretty excited about jumping. With our students who weren't so familiar with foot positions, we worked through the activity several times before they were able to - on their own - remember and perform it. Altogether it was well performed by our students and thoroughly enjoyed as well.
One suggestion to make this activity a lot more upbeat would be to speed it up as you go along. Trust us when we say your students will have so much more fun with it at a faster pace. Maybe even pair it with some traditional Trinidadian soca or calypso music for added appeal and specificity.
Take a look!
So, if you are searching for a simple jumping activity that teaches students about foot positions particularly jazz positions, then we would recommend watching our video. You will see the positions used and how we incorporated the jumping movement.
Jump, Jump, Jump,
Tiva & Randa