Mirroring movements is a short, fun exercise to try whenever you have a few spare minutes. Just like in cartoons, it’s guaranteed to get a few laughs, but it’s also a great way to foster connection between partners. Connection is so much of what dance is about, anyway, whether it’s connection to our own emotions and experiences, connection with our Higher Selves, or connection with others. Watching a partner’s movements and mimicking them with our own bodies is a playful way to learn about focusing attention on someone else.
Each child needs a partner, so either have them choose for themselves, or divide the class into two lines, and pair up one child from each line. Next, partners face one another and decide who will lead first and who will follow. Initially, you may want to have them stand in one place and simplify the movements, using one body part at a time, such as the arms, legs, or head. Before starting the music, remind children to proceed slowly in the beginning, so the followers are able to keep up with the leaders.
Once they have mastered simple mirroring, begin to encourage them to explore moving multiple body parts, expanding their shapes, and moving around the room. In the spirit of equality, be sure to set a time limit for the leaders, such as five minutes, and then switch so that leaders will get a chance to be followers and vice versa.
Next time you need a quick break, or a simple exercise to fill in a few extra minutes, try mirroring; it’s guaranteed fun.
I hope you’ll visit the next blog in this week’s blog chain: http://www.terri-forehand.blogspot.com/