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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.

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

Discover your Chinese zodiac sign and imagine your very own adventure in this Family Activity for Panda's Home! 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.

Year of the You

In Panda's Home, dancers travel through the rich cultural landscape of China, encountering bamboo forests, ancient traditions and animals along the way! In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with a different animal. In this activity, develop a character based on one of these animals. 

Step One: There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. You can find your zodiac sign based on the year you were born! Use the chart below to discover the animal signs for each of your family members:
  • Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  • Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  • Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  • Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  • Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
  • Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  • Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  • Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  • Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  • Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
  • Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
  • Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
Step Two: Now that you know your zodiac sign, it's time to get into character. Pretend you are that animal using the prompts below. Don't be afraid to get silly!
  • What noise does your animal make?
  • Does your animal run? Fly? Slither?
  • Is your animal furry? Feathery? Smooth?
  • How can you move like your animal?
Step Three: As a family, look here to find some of the qualities associated with your sign to find out what makes your animal special. Try to show your special qualities while acting like the animal. Are you any of the following?
  • A smart pig
  • A happy horse
  • A loyal dog
  • A proud rooster
  • A wild dragon
Color and Create

In the show, panda footprints are used to map out the journey. In this activity, create your own map with exciting stops along the way to imagine an epic adventure!

Materials: My Animal's Journey Sheet, crayons or colored pencils, pencils or pens

Step One: Adults, print out a copy of My Animal's Journey Sheet for each of your family members. 

My Animal's Journey
Step Two: First things first—find out where you're going. Adults, ask your kids what their favorite place in the whole world is, real or imagined. Is it grandma's house? The playground? Fairyland? Puppy palace? Pick one and fill in that answer on the sheet! Everyone in your family should do this for their own journey.

Now do the same for the rest of the blank categories. Here are some examples for the other stops on your journey, but there are no wrong answers!

Somewhere Outdoors:
  • A local park
  • The beach
  • A hiking trail
  • A street corner
  • A forest
Somewhere to Get a Snack
  • A pizzeria
  • An ice cream shop
  • The grocery store
  • Candy Land
  • Your favorite restaurant!
Somewhere Wild
  • The tallest tip of the tallest mountain
  • Under the deep blue sea
  • The far reaches of outer space
  • Superhero training headquarters
Step Three: It's time to color in your journey. Draw the locations you picked in the boxes on your map. Get creative with colors and shapes!

Choose Your Own Adventure

Every journey has a story and now it's time to tell yours! Explore all the details of your Journey Sheet and act out your adventure.

Step One: Tell your story, beginning, middle and end. Adults, help kids imagine why their characters traveled from place to place. Think about these questions to get into character.
  • Why does my character need to go to my favorite place?
  • What is something outdoors they need to do before they get there?
  • What happens along the way from their outdoor location that makes them a little hungry?
  • How does eating their snack make them feel?
  • Do they get lost? Do they know where they’re going?
  • When they get to their third location, are they tired? Happy? Scared?
  • Do they meet anyone along the way?
  • How do they finally get to their favorite place?
  • What do they do to celebrate when they get there?
Step Two: Now get into character! Practice the face your character might make when they get to each location on their journey. Rehearse your character with your family. Are they...
  • Excited to get there?
  • Nervous about travelling to the next place?
  • Surprised by someone they meet along the way?
Step Three: Tell your story again—only this time, act out the story as your character. Invite family members and friends to see your animal's journey. Good luck, and have fun on your trip!
 
Panda's Home Thumb Get your tickets today to venture into the depths of China's rich culture with Panda's Home!
Posted by Beth Henderson
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