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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.

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

Every summer, The New Victory Theater celebrates our #LoveofDance with Victory Dance, an exploration of movement, art and learning. New York City-based choreographers come together to perform for the public as well as for New York City summer camps, schools and youth programs.

Get to know the companies of Program B before they perform on July 27 and August 3. 
 

Contributed by Ruthie Ostrow, Summer 2017 Communications Apprentice. 

Preeti Vasudevan's Thresh is a performing arts collaborative founded in 2004 by choreographer Preeti Vasudevan. The company specializes in Bharatanatyam, the classical dance-theater of South India. In developing a contemporary movement language, Thresh explores a dialogue between traditional Indian dance and Western storytelling in a globalized, modern society. Thresh seeks to encourage a cross-cultural exchange of dance forms through their performances and arts education initiatives. 
 
Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE is a Brooklyn-based dance company founded by artistic director Ronald K. Brown in 1985. EVIDENCE works to integrate traditional African dance with contemporary choreography. Their mission is to expand the African American dance community by using music, movement and spoken word as a storytelling vehicle to express history and tradition.
 
Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) is a modern dance company founded in 2001 by artistic director Heidi Latsky. HLD seeks to redefine notions of beauty and virtuosity by using performers with unique attributes to bring provocative, passionate dance to diverse audiences. The company openly advocates for disability rights. HLD partners with social service and humanitarian organizations, like the United Nations and the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities.
 
Program B Preeti Vasudevan's Thresh, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Heidi Latsky Dance
Photos: Pavlos Mavridis, Ayodele Casel, Yi-Chun Wu  
 
 
Ruthie Ostrow Ruthie Ostrow is a junior studying arts administration and journalism at Baruch College. She is a director, stage manager and children's arts teacher, and is now enjoying her time as a communications apprentice with The New Victory Theater. The only thing that mirrors Ruthie's #LoveOfTheater is her enthusiasm for a good crafting project.
 
Posted by Beth Henderson
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