A pan man is just a more colloquial term for a pannist - a person who plays a steel pan. A pan man exudes a certain confidence when playing this instrument and uses certain tools to play the pan effectively.
A pan man jumps around a lot while playing the steel pan as a means of expression. That's sort of the way it is done. Not all pan men jump around, but definitely - especially when the composition being played is a moving one - you can find pan men wearing big smiles on their faces while jumping around behind their steel pan.
When Tiva and her sisters professionally played the steel pan they too found themselves jumping around in that notorious pan man way.
And so in celebration and appreciation of those jumping pan men everywhere we wanted to put together a simple activity which embodied this sort of vibe and specificity. Though pan men can at times have some intricate and really diverse dance moves while playing, we chose to keep this activity simple focusing on jumping and tapping - two different types of movements which can be seen being done by most pan men.
The focus of this activity is to strengthen your students' motor and coordination skills while educating them about the steel pan culture of Trinidad & Tobago. This simple warm-up activity, which can be used right after the stretching warm-up segment of your kids' dance class is one which was inspired by the lively movement of steel pan players. Focusing on jumping and tapping we put together a simple jump and tap sequence in a four, two and one count structure using steel pan|rhythm sticks.
How did it go?
Great! Our students literally jumped right into this one! Though a few struggled with the coordination aspect of this activity, it was still a really fun and successful warm-up activity. Even our students who are now learning to jump tried their hand and breezed through it. Counting loudly throughout helped guide while encouraging them to stay on beat and at times they counted loudly with us as well, making for the perfect student participation balance.
A couple suggestions we have to add more complexity would be to play around with the speed by using songs with varied tempos or playing around|switching up the direction. Another idea would be to have them try the activity on one foot first then the other. This makes sense to do with your older students. Lastly, for a bit of clarity demonstrate the activity to your students having them sit with their sticks and practice the tapping aspect before introducing the jumping aspect.
Take a look!
So if you are looking for a fun and simple, upbeat, warm-up activity for your dance class then feel free to watch our video. You will see how it was executed and understand how the steel pan|rhythm sticks were integrated into the activity.
Jump and Tap,
Tiva & Randa