Running Chain

I enjoy using team work in modern class, because I think it is something the group and the group dynamics can benefit from. Especially if you teach teens and adults who do not want to spend the first part of the class playing dance games to get to know each other, it is a nice way of creating creative choreography and and also great to make a team out of a regular class.

To make it simpler, I will in the following refer to a dancer as ,,he”. Certainly, this one is for everybody!

The last weeks I was doing a ,,Summertime Sadness”-combo with my modern juniors and came up with what I like to call the ,,running chain”. It works like this: The dancers stand in a row facing the side. The first dancer runs four steps forwards and four backwards without turning around. Then, the first two dancers run four steps forwards, the first one stays there, leaning forwards, while the second one grabs his hand and turns around until he pulls the first one with him. That is how you continue – two dancers running, the first of the two stays and the second of the two pulls him with her to then start again.

It turned out to be a difficult one for the juniors, because they had difficulties waiting for their turn without looking around. As the class is part girls and part boys, holding hands was another problem. That way, with the younger ones the running chain was great as an exercise but I would not use it for a choreography.

I am going to try it with the teens soon though and hope that we can integrate this into our latest combo. I like to think of the running chain as a story where one is tempted but can resist the first time while the second time he needs assistance. Depending on your dancers´ age, you can turn this concept into any story.

What do you do to improve class dynamics?
How do you incoporate teamwork into your choreography?

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