Thursday, 4 January 2018

Year 5 Chinese Dance Workshop

In our Federation we believe in having WOW experiences to get the children excited about their learning, provoke their curiosity and make school as hands on and practical as possible. As part of their topic on Ancient China, our Year 5 pupils enjoyed a session with a Chinese dancer to learn about the Dragon Dance.

The pupils have been learning about elements of Chinese culture. We have learnt that the Dragon dance is a form of traditional dance. It is performed by a team of dancers who manipulate a long flexible figure of a dragon using poles positioned at regular intervals along the length of the dragon. During the workshop the pupils were working as a team to simulate the imagined movements of this river spirit in a sinuous, undulating manner.
Miss Connell - Year 5 Leader

In addition, dancing also serves as entertainment. Props compliment brightly-colored costumes for an eye-catching spectacle of movement. Chinese dancing also serves as exercise, as well as an exercise in discipline for its participants.

The dancing was hard work. We warmed up first. Having to hold the dragon while using our arms and legs was really tiring.
Jessica Simpson - aged 9

The dragon dance is often performed during Chinese New Year. Chinese dragons are a symbol of China, and they are believed to bring good luck to people, therefore the longer the dragon in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community. Dragons are believed to possess qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom and auspiciousness. The appearance of a dragon is both fearsome and bold but it has a benevolent disposition, and it was an emblem to represent imperial authority. 

The movements in a performance traditionally symbolize historical roles of dragons demonstrating power and dignity.

The routines were easy at first, but then the teacher kept adding more steps! It was hard to memorise them all, but I really enjoyed it!
Ellis Drummond

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