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New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
November 7, 2018

Family Activity: Velocity


In Velocity, performers beat out rhythms, tap as fast as possible and break all the rules while honoring traditional Irish dancing. In this Family Activity, build your own tap shoes, invent your own rhythms and develop new family traditions.

At Home
In this activity, make your own tap shoes! Keep in mind however, homemade tap shoes are not always friendly to hardwood floors. If you and your family make this craft, consider tapping on linoleum or the sidewalk instead.

Materials: Shoes, coins, tape
 
Step One: Tear off four strips of tape and stick a row of coins onto the sticky side of each one.
 
Step Two: Attach the strips of pennies to the soles of your shoes—one strip on the ball and another on the heel. You might need to adjust the number of coins depending on the size of your shoe.

ALTERNATE: Do you have an old pair of shoes you want to get rid of? Glue the pennies to the bottom for a permanent pair! 

On Your Way
Get ready for some percussive rhythms and fast moving feet. In this activity, test out passing rhythms back and forth to a partner.

Step One: With your partner, pick a number from one to five. Once you have it, clap out your number in a particular pattern. For example, you can choose the number three and create the pattern, "Clap" (Pause) "Clap" "Clap." Then, have your partner repeat. Try it faster, then slower and as many ways as you can!

Step Two: With that same number, put yout rhythm into something else rather than your hands. Try the following:
  • Your feet
  • Your shoulders
  • Your hips
  • Your eyes
Step Three: See how many times you can pass the same rhythm back and forth to your partner using as many body parts as possible. Then, see how fast you can do it!

After the Show In Velocity, traditions are meant to be followed—and broken! In this activity, write about some of your family customs.

Materials: Family Code of Traditions, a writing utensil

Family Code of Traditions

Step One: With your family, talk about some traditions that you share and pick three to write down. Think about the following:
  • Do you have annual holiday traditions? Birthday traditions?
  • Do you share a nightly routine? A morning routine?
  • Do you have a special place where you celebrate after big events?
  • Do you have any school traditions?
Here's an example that we made!

Family Code of Traditions Example

Step Two: Now talk about a tradition you would like to start with your family this year. Will you bake a cake for breakfast on your birthday? Listen to new music every Sunday? Start a monthly family craft day? Write it down in the second box.

Step Three: Share a photo of your family taking part in your new tradition on social media—make sure to tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

And Beyond
Get involved in some of the numerous dance classes throughout the city.
Posted by Beth Henderson

Discover your dance aesthetic, explore different rhythms and make up your own dance moves in this Family Activity for Victory Dance! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past posts on our blog and at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.

Your I-Dance-Ity

Every dancer has a style, or aesthetic—something unique about the way they dance that makes them special. In this activity, discover your dancer identity and design a fantasy dance costume to match!

Materials: Dance costume worksheet

Step One: There are many, many, many kinds of dances. From tap to flamenco and from kathak to ballet, humans from all over the world have found different ways to move their bodies throughout history. Watch the videos below to see some of the dance styles coming to The New Victory Theater this summer:


Step Two: Now it is your turn to choose your favorite dance style! Try out some dance moves that you saw in the videos, or think about the style of dance you like best. Ask yourself: 
  • Do you like to move your feet quickly?
  • Do you like to move with grace and poise?
  • Do you like to boogie?
  • Do you like to dance with other people or as a soloist?
  • Do you like to dance with props?
Once you have discovered your favorite dance style, it's time to give it a name. Decide on an adjective that personalizes your dance move, and then the dance style that inspires you. Are you a Boogying Ballerina? A Funky Tapper? Fill it in on your dance costume worksheet.

Step Three: Take a look at some of the costumes from Victory Dance.

Victory Dance Costumes

With your dance style in mind, design your costume on this worksheet. Think about what you will be most comfortable in, what fits your dance style and, most importantly, what represents you as a dancer.

Groove is in the Heart

Music makes you move, and if you can move, you can dance! Our Victory Dance companies dance to a variety of musical styles, spoken word poems and unconventional sounds. In this activity, see how different sounds influence the way you move. 

Step One: Before dancing, take a minute to stretch, change into comfortable clothes and find a place in your home where there is room to move around. To warm up, try the following:
  • Roll your shoulders backwards and forwards.
  • Stretch your arms all the way up towards the ceiling.
  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and the bottoms of your feet touching each other. That's butterfly position. Now, try to smell your toes. Pee-yew!
  • Lift your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Bend over and stretch your arms towards your toes. Can you touch your toes? Your shins? Your knees?
Stretch!

Step Two: Now it's time to find the rhythm. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, put on a playlist and try to bounce to the beat of each song. Once you get into the groove, try the next song and see how fast you can find the rhythm with your body.

Step Three: You found the rhythm by bouncing—now, put on your favorite song and find the beat with different parts of your body. Can you find the rhythm...
  • In your shoulders?
  • In your hips?
  • In your feet?
  • In your neck?
  • In your fingers?
  • In your chin?
  • In your nose?
  • In your eyes?
Dance Till You Drop

Get ready to move as you put your dance aesthetic and rhythm skills to the test by creating your very own dance phrase! That is a small piece of choreography that you can expand into a larger dance sequence. 

Step One: From the previous activity, pick three body parts that you like putting rhythm into the most. Name them A, B and C. Put on a song and see all the different ways you can move them. For example:
  • A = Shoulders. I roll my shoulders forward.
  • B = Hips. I isolate my hips and swing them from side-to-side.
  • C = Fingers. I reach my fingers towards the sky while my feet come into relevĂ©.
Each member of your family can create their own three moves!

Step Two: Once you have created your three moves, try to find a way to transition from move A to move B to move C. Do all three in a row, and repeat them to the rhythm of the music. You have just created a dance phrase.

Step Three: Perform your dance phrases for each other. Invite friends and family members to watch you perform them to the music. 

BONUS: Put on different songs and see how your phrase changes depending on the different rhythms of music. 

EXTRA BONUS: Learn each other's dance phrases, combine them to make one longer dance sequence and perform it as a group.
 
 
The New Victory Theater Get your tickets today to see the best dance New York City has to offer!
Posted by Beth Henderson
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