New Victory Arts Break: Dance Playlist

Everybody, move your body! There are so many different styles of dance—so many ways to express yourself through movement. This week on New Victory Arts Break, take your pick from a playlist of diverse dance activities that celebrate the new and old, the emotional and the playful! And now, shuffling right along…

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Colorful arrows and cutout photos of six Teaching Artists in orange New Victory t-shirts surround colorful illustrated text reading "New Victory Arts Break"

Some of the videos in this Arts Break were filmed at the New Victory Theater. We acknowledge that the New Victory resides on the seized homeland of the Lenape people and the intertribal territory of many First Nations. We celebrate and pay deep respect to all Indigenous peoples, past, present and future, and we encourage you to learn more about these vibrant communities.

House Dance and Community

Dancing in community is a great way of sharing your moves and connecting with others! House dance is a style of dance that originated in the early 1980s, created predominantly by Black and Latinx LGBTQIA+ artists. Let’s join New Victory Teaching Artist Olney Edmondson for some house dance history and a menu of moves. And stick around until the end to celebrate with a cypher—a freestyle dance jam where family and friends take turns in the center of the dance circle.

If you’re interested in practicing some of the house dance moves from Olney’s video, take a look below!

Looping splitscreen GIF of the three dance moves: jacking, paddbre and lotus

Did you know? The house move paddbre comes from pas de bourrée, a sideways step in ballet!


If you’re feeling confident in the moves above, finish off your house dance exploration with a cypher! Make sure everyone gets a turn.

Dance Your Feelings

Have you ever felt a strong emotion but didn’t know how to express it? Were you embarrassed? Overjoyed? Scared? It can be frustrating when you don’t have the right words to explain how you feel! In moments like this, the language of dance is a great way to express yourself. Follow along with New Victory Teaching Artist Sun Kim and Siobhan from New Victory Education as they pop and groove their way through big feelings!

What emotions did you notice Sun expressing through dance? Take a look at our bank of emotions and see if you can remember how Sun danced them!

Embarrassed Excited
Hungry Sad
Happy Longing

Take some time to create your own dance moves inspired by the above emotions, or choose other emotions from the sheet below.

Feeling Faces coloring sheet by Kristina Sargent
Feeling faces coloring sheet by Kristina Sargent

Dance Craft!

Let’s explore a style of dance that incorporates percussive sounds and rhythms—tap! The first step to tapping is… tap shoes. New Victory Teaching Artist Patrick Ferreri guides us through his method in creating tap shoes at home.

Here are instructions for making shoes like Patrick’s made with just a few coins. Please keep in mind that even though these tap shoes are homemade, they can still scuff or damage wood floors. Try to scout out other sturdier floors in your home, or move to the sidewalk!

Materials: Shoes, coins, tape

Step One: Tear off four strips of tape and stick a row of pennies onto the sticky side of each one.

Step Two: Attach the strips of coins 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.

Step Three: Tape one coin to the front of each toe and another to the back of each heel.

Step Four: Try on your newly made tap shoes and start dancing!

A Neighborhood Movement Game

There is beauty around us everywhere! In this next activity, we’ll translate neighborhood sights into physical movement. Let’s follow along with New Victory Teaching Artist P. Tyler Britt as he takes us on an adventure through his neighborhood.

Step One: Grab a pen and some paper. Think about your neighborhood and reflect on what you see, the sounds you hear, the smells—everything! Set a timer for 30 seconds, and make a list of all the words that describe your neighborhood.

Step Two: Time for a sense-based scavenger hunt! Grab a grown-up and take a walk around your neighborhood. While you’re out, try to find all of the sights, sounds and smells that you wrote down. Write down experiences to match those words.

Step Three: Once you get back home, look at your list. Pick an item from the list, and see if you can create a move or a gesture that matches that shape. This can be as grand or as small as you would like it to be. How would you put “shiny” in your body? What about “green?”

Step Four: Grab a friend or family member and have them try to guess what you are embodying. Try not to use any words—rely only on the movement and shapes you make with your body.

Remixing Ballet

When you first think of ballet, traditional movements may spring to mind—gracefully bending arms, long leaping legs, pointed tiptoes. But what if we could put those shapes and movements into other parts of our bodies? Let’s join New Victory Teaching Artist Lauren Sharpe as she reimagines and remixes four traditional ballet movements.

Comment c’était? How’d it go? Once you’re feeling confident and satisfied with your first remixed ballet sequence, try switching where in your body you’re expressing each movement to create a second sequence! Here’s a visual refresher of the four ballet terms with their translations, in case you’d like a little more practice.

Plié: bend
Where can you bend?A looping plié GIF: Lauren bends both legs at the knee. Siobhan bends her knees and elbows, rising up and down.Tendu: stretch
Where can you stretch?

A looping tendu GIF: Lauren stretches one leg. Siobhan stretches out both arms wide.

Fondu: melt
Where can you melt?

A looping fondu GIF: Lauren melts precisely, bending her knee and hunching her shoulders. Siobhan wriggles from standing to crouching, wiggling her fingers as she melts.

Jeté: jump
Where can you jump?

A looping jeté GIF: Lauren jumps lightly forward. Siobhan springs up from a crouch.

Try creating a ballet piece with movements as tiny as possible and another ballet piece with movements as big as possible!

Reframe Your Choreography

Sometimes, to find dance inspiration and create something new, we just have to take a different approach. Let’s follow along with New Victory Teaching Artist Hassiem Muhammad as he demonstrates how to frame (and reframe!) the ways we create art and movement.

Step One: Pick a small frame that you can perform in. This can be in a camera frame, like in a video, a picture frame or an empty cardboard box.

Step Two: Find a way to enter the frame! Once you’re in frame, choose three movements with any body part that fits in the frame. Keep it simple, like Hassiem, or make it more challenging!

Step Three: Find a way to connect all three of your moves. Do you spin around in between? Do you glide in between? Do whatever feels right and is most fun for you!

Step Four: Find a way to exit the frame—that’s your ending! You’ve done a whole movement sequence. Congratulations!

Pick music to accompany your performance and perform it for friends and family!

Thanks for exploring so many forms and styles of dance with us! Continue moving in whatever way feels right for you. Have fun, and we’ll see you next time!

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