New Victory Dance Arts Break: Life as a Dance

Every summer, New Victory Dance celebrates the artistry and diversity of NYC dance! Whether you’re preparing to attend a performance or are just in a dancing mood, New Victory Dance Arts Break offers fun and free dance education and engagement activities for wherever and however you feel like moving. In this second installment, we’ll play with turning everyday actions into personalized dance sequences!

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New Victory Dance Arts Break: Life as a Dance

The video in this Arts Break was 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.

Try This!

Every day, you and your body perform lots of routine actions—tying your shoes, crossing the street, having a drink of water. These everyday movements are themselves a sort of personal choreography, and they make for perfect dance inspiration! Follow along with New Victory Teaching Artist Dwayne Brown and Melissa from the New 42 Youth Corps as they each choreograph a dance based on a task from their morning routines.

As Dwayne demonstrated, dance inspiration can come from anywhere at any time—even in the shower! If you were to dancify washing your hair or brushing your teeth, how would you do it?

Step One: Decide whether you want to dancify brushing your teeth like Melissa or washing your hair like Dwayne.

Step Two: Break it down into three steps or moments and go through the motions slowly. For example, washing your hair could be (1) wet, (2) lather and (3) rinse, like in Dwayne’s example, or a different set of three like (1) scrub, (2) rinse and (3) comb.

Step Three: Now create different movements inspired by each of the three moments, just like Dwayne and Melissa did for theirs!

Craft This!

Are there other tasks from your everyday life that you could dancify? And how can you make your sequences more inspired or interesting? Grab a friend or family member and work together to craft two decks of choreography cards to introduce a little chance into your dance.

Materials: Blank flashcards or cutout paper rectangles, markers, your dancing shoes!

Step One: Divide your flashcards in half to form two decks. Deck #1 will contain tasks from your daily routine, and Deck #2 will contain choreographic tools to elevate your dance sequence to the next level.

Step Two: For Deck #1, the daily routine deck, use a marker to fill your flashcards with the names different tasks or actions from your everyday life. You can pull from your own experience or use one from the following bank:

Walking the dog Getting dressed Making a sandwich
Having a glass of water Folding laundry Packing a backpack
Washing the dishes Writing a letter Making a phone call

Step Three: For Deck #2, the choreographic tools deck, fill your flashcards with different ways that you might move or dance your tasks. For example, you could perform your task as though…

  • You’re sneaking around and must be very small and quiet
  • You’re a broken record and repeat your movements
  • You’re trying to get someone’s attention at the far end of the room
  • Everything is moving in fast motion
  • You’re out of control on roller skates
  • Everything is moving in slow motion

Dwayne shows a card from his deck of choreographic tool cards that reads "Do it BIG."

Step Four: Now that you have both of your decks, draw one card from Deck #1 to determine your task. Try breaking down your task into three movements! If your task was brushing your teeth, you could (1) brush, (2) rinse, (3) spit.

Step Five: As you perform your movements, have your friend or family member draw one card from Deck #2 and shout it out to inspire your choreography. Whatever card they pull, see if you can adjust your performance in real time.


Repeat Step Five in a rapid-fire round. Keep adjusting your choreo as your partner draws new cards from Deck #2. Then turn the tables and draw choreographic cards as they perform their movements!

Take a bow! But don’t stop here—continue adding new ideas to your dance decks and finding new ways to perform life as a dance. We’ll see you soon with another installment of New Victory Arts Break. Have fun, and keep moving!

New Victory Arts Break Supporters

New Victory Arts Break is funded, in part, by 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.

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