Communicating Through Movement


Students will demonstrate their understanding of how to communicate through movement by performing a short improvisational dance based on a fairytale.


Materials Needed

C.D. player, variety of music selections from classical to contemporary, slips of paper with fairytales written on them.


Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

Shadow game. Have the class come together in a circle. One person starts by choosing an action and a sound to go along with it and going into the middle. They choose someone and do the action and sound in front of that person. That person then shadows the first and they trade spots so that the shadower is now in the middle. They then change the action and sound and make it their own and eventually choose someone else. This continues until everyone has had a chance.
This exercise is intended to get them moving and creating movement.



Step 1: The previous exercise should lead straight into this next one. The students will be given a word or emotion for which they create a statue with their bodies as a class. (ex. Love, war, to flirt, to pity etc.)


Step 2: Ask the students to then create some sort of movement that takes them from shape to shape.


Step 3: Add different types of music and tell them to move in whatever way the music makes them feel.


Step 4: Discuss with the class their movement choices and why they choose the movements they did. How did the music effect their movement? How can we communicate through movement? Explain that almost all movement has a purpose in musical theatre. It either: 1) furthers plot 2) introduces/gives deeper analysis of characters or 3) expresses emotion. (write these up on the board) Ask them for an example of movement that could help further a plot (have them tell a short series of events with movement such as getting dressed etc.) Introduce a character (choose any famous person that they could create a short set of movements for.) Express emotion (have them create movement based on a few emotions.) Discuss each of these as you go.


Step 5: Divide the class into small groups and let them pick a slip with a fairytale on it. Give them time to briefly tell a fairytale using only movement. They can choose whether to use music or not. Give them plenty of time to work but allow for about twenty minutes at the end for whoever wants to perform for the class.


Author’s Notes

List of Possible Fairytales
· Cinderella
· Rapunzel
· The Three Little Pigs
· The Three Bears
· Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
· Little Red Riding Hood