New Victory Arts Break: New Victory Dance 2022

Every summer, New Victory Dance celebrates the incredible artistry and diversity of New York City dance. This summer, New Victory Dance features an amazing line-up of performances from eight highly accomplished and internationally recognized NYC-based companies across two programs—Program A starting July 14 and Program B starting July 28. But you don’t have to be on stage to dance! Move, groove and get inspired from wherever you are in this week’s Arts Break.

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New Victory Arts Break: New Victory Dance

It's a Stretch

Before we start moving and shaking, we need to stretch! Stretching warms up our muscles and helps prepare our bodies for movements big and small. Change into comfortable clothes, and then join Brandon, Josh and Mia in the stretches below.

Dance stretches

Try holding or repeating each of these stretches for 10 to 20 seconds:

  • Roll your shoulders backwards and forwards.
  • Stretch your arms all the way up toward the ceiling.
  • Sit on the floor in the butterfly position with your knees bent and the bottoms of your feet touching each other. 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?

Another fun way to warm up is with a game of freeze dance. Move along with Alverneq, but don’t let her catch you when she turns around!

Dancing Odes to Joy

There are little things all around us that spark joy if we just know where to look. Through dance, we can celebrate and honor all the things that make us happy! Follow along with New Victory Teaching Artist Ana Cantorán Viramontes as she teaches us how to choreograph an ode to the little things we love.

For Ana, a physical theater artist, creating a movement piece was true to her artistry. To follow Ana’s example, say your happy word many times in different ways and move when you say it!

Decide on your favorite movement and expression of the word, and once you can remember and repeat the movement, take the words away. Do this for several words and put them together to make a full movement piece!

Odes in Other Art Forms

You can also apply Ana’s method to other art forms and create an ode that feels true to your artistry! Inspired by Ana’s process, let’s see what it’s like to create a piece of visual art dedicated to the things that make us happy.

Materials: Paper, colored pencils, crayons or markers

Step One: Grab a sheet of paper and list some of the things that make you happy!

A handwritten list of things that make someone happy

Step Two: Pick one of the words (or items) from your happy word list. Pick out a color or set of colors that reminds you of that word. Write that word really big in the center of the page.

Step Three: Now draw images in and around the word expressing why this particular word makes you happy.

A drawing of the word PICNICS

What other ways can you celebrate the little things? Keep finding ways to appreciate the moments, activities, and small joys that make a difference in your life.

Want to move some more? Join New Victory Teaching Artist (and co-host of this year’s New Victory Dance) P. Tyler Britt in a movement game inspired by the sights and sounds of the neighborhood you call home.

Your Own Dance Phrase

Put your dance and rhythm skills to the test by creating your very own dance phrase—a small piece of choreography that you can expand into a larger dance sequence.

Step One: Put on some music and start moving. Notice three body parts that you naturally move to the rhythm of the music, and assign letters to those movements. For example:

  1. Shoulders: I roll my shoulders forward.
  2. Hips: I swing my hips from side to side.
  3. Fingers: I reach my fingers toward the sky and wiggle them as fast as I can.

Step Two: Once you have created your three moves, find ways to transition from A to B to C. Do all three in a row and repeat them to the rhythm of the music until it feels smooth. You have just created a dance phrase!

Step Three: Invite friends and family members to watch you perform your dance phrase to the music, or invite them to join you with phrases of their own. Can you learn one another’s phrases and combine them into a longer dance sequence?

BONUS: Challenge yourself to perform your entire phrase in a new way—in a silly costume, to a slower or faster piece of music, or on your tiptoes, like a ballerina en relevé.

Looking for more dance styles to explore with New Victory Teaching Artists? How about the D.C. go-go rhythms of Beat Your Feet with Olney Edmonson? Or the sharp lines and angles of Harlem-born vogue with Alberto Denis? Keep moving, have fun, and we will see you next time!

New Victory Arts Break Supporters

New Victory Arts Break is funded, in part, by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council,and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.