dance cards

Step by Step Movement Cards

by admin on February 9, 2014


Recently, I presented at the Nazareth College Music Therapy Mini-Conference and the Greater Rochester  American Orff Schulwerk Association workshop.  During both presentations, one of the highlights was presenting a fun creative dance experience that included using movement cards I had created a few years ago and posted about.  I decided to revise the movement cards, and add a few new cards to the mix.  In this version, small groups arranged their cards and then created their own dance.  I then randomly selected a song for each group to move to.  Each group was encouraged to slightly adapt their movements based on the song played in the moment.  It was amazing to see the finished products, which turned out to be hilarious!

Step by Step Movement Cards

From the original post:

Movement experiences are an important piece of my everyday work with clients of all ages.  In one school setting, the Occupational Therapist, Speech Pathologist, and myself collaborate with a group of high school students with special needs.  Our collaborative goals for this class center around: prevocational skills, optimal fitness and mobility, sequencing skills, reading and interpreting information, developing creativity, leadership and communication skills.  In order to address these skills through music, I developed creative dance cards that could be used everyday.  The cards can be implemented on the days I am not there working with the group since I am only there 2 times a week.

I sorted the cards into 4 different categories.  Yellow- upper body movements, Green- lower body, Purple- generate a movement from a picture/symbol, Orange- visualize a scene and create a movement.  During a session, one card from each category is selected. In the beginning, I keep the order of the cards the same (yellow, green, purple, orange). Students take turns selecting the cards, reading the cards, interpreting the movements, or creating the movements.  After deciding on the four movements, I may select one student to lead the group during one song.

Often different students will have their own interpretation of a movement after reading a card.  This is great as long as the basic directions are followed!  The best part about using the cards is that they can really be used with almost any kind of music!  Give it a try.  Pick one card from each category and then sequence the four movements. Try  sequencing the movements to any style of music.

Ideas for Extending the Experience:

1. Use an auditory cue (like a triangle) to assist the group in moving from one movement card to the next.

2. Have a student select the way the cards are sequenced.

3. Use one sequence for the verses of a song and select new cards for the chorus.

4. Leave one card color out of the sequence and see if the group can create their own movement.

5. For the A section of a song use the basic sequence of four movements.  For the B section, extend or alter each of the four movements in some way.

6. Create new color categories like: locomotor, non-locomotor, movement adverbs, animal movements, movement levels, etc.