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The movements

  • Move freely to the music.
  • Use all the moveable body parts.
  • Walk to the beat of the music in a circle or lines.
  • You are free to clap your hands to the beat of the music while you are moving.
  • Perform simple foot patterns.
  • Experiment with the different levels, e.g. leaning forwards from the hips, torsos almost parallel with the ground.
  • Use rapid foot beats, moving weight from heel to toe to side of the foot, in a variety of rhythmic patterns (as though balancing on an unsteady canoe or picking your way through a swamp).
  • Mime ‘paddling’.
  • Execute movements that suggest finding a way through forest undergrowth, which necessitates reactions of being alert to the unexpected.
  • Bend your knees and at the same time, do swinging arm movements.
  • Experiment with movements while bending your knees.

Dance formations

  • There are four principal African dance formations:
  • a dance team using a formalised floor pattern
  • a group using a free-flow floor pattern
  • a group using a formation from which solo dancers emerge to display their individual skills
  • a solo dancer; usually the ruler, ritual specialist, herbalist, or comic entertainer, who may be supported by a group of musicians
  • The most common form of dance within the traditions of Africa is a team dance performed either in a closed circle, with the dancers facing the centre, or in a line following a circular path that is often centred on the musicians.
  • The dancers usually move along the circle, in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • A linear or circular floor pattern is used in cultures employing a combination of team or soloist.
  • Dance in unison in a circular formation, from which each dancer breaks away to perform individually in the centre.
  • Start in a loosely knit semi-circular line from which some dancers move out toward the spectators or audience.
  • If you are using musicians, move towards and away from the musicians.
  • Move in a more ordered line executing expressive hand gestures.

Dance posture

  • There are three characteristic dance postures:
  • an upright posture with a straight back (used as an expression of authority in the dance of chiefs and priests
  • inclining forward from the hips, moving the attention and gestures toward the ground
  • the dancer holding the torso nearly parallel to the ground, taking the body weight onto the balls of the feet

1. Movement!

  • Move to the music taking into account the background to African dance your educator provided for you.

Activity 3:

To create a dance : ‘african dance’ for heritage day

[lo 1.3]

Taking the first Activity into account as the background, incorporate all that you have explored and experienced, into a dance for Heritage Day.

2. The Creation of an African Dance

  • Select music and movements from the previous exercise to choreograph your special Heritage Day Dance.
  • The dance should not exceed three minutes.
  • Plan the dance with your educator.
  • Employ principles of form – motif, development, repetition, variation, contrast, transition, climax and unity in shaping the dance with sections, linked into a whole.
  • Consider the audience in the presentation, e.g. spatial placing, shape, line, focus and projection.
  • Devise costume and make-up for the dance.

3. The Performance

  • Rehearse and perform your dance on Heritage Day with costumes, masks, make-up, etc.

Activity 4:

To cool down&Stretch the body after executing the exercises

[lo 1.4]

It is important for the muscles used during the activities to be stretched and the learners to be cooled down in order for them to function in the other classes.

Breathing exercise:

Stand with feet a hip-width apart, arms hanging at the sides.

  • Inhale through the nose, raising arms above the head.
  • Exhale through the mouth, dropping arms and bending knees at the same time.
  • Repeat four times.

A rm stretch:

  • Take the right arm across the chest and with the left hand slowly pull arm towards the body – repeat on left side.

Arm stretch (triceps):

  • Lift right arm straight up above your head.
  • Bend arm at the elbow – arm behind your head.
  • With left hand slowly pull right arm at the elbow towards the left.
  • Feel the stretch in your triceps.
  • Hold stretch for eight counts – release.
  • Change arms.

Lower body stretch:

  • Open legs wide – knees slightly bent.
  • Turn to the right with your whole body.
  • Bend knees at a 90-degree angle – keep upper body straight – place your hands on the front leg.
  • Hold for 8 counts.
  • Straighten legs – bring body down to the front leg as far as you can go – place hands lower down on your leg or on the floor if you are able to.
  • Hold for eight counts.
  • Bend front leg and place hands on the floor.
  • Bring whole body down towards the floor and straighten back leg out behind you – toe on the floor, heel raised.
  • Lift the front part of the foot of the front bent leg.
  • Hold for eight counts.
  • Keep hands on the floor and take the front bent leg back to join the back leg.
  • Keep your feet together and bend the right knee towards the floor.
  • Hold stretch for eight counts.
  • Bend the left knee – hold for eight counts.
  • Put heels down and ‘walk’ hands towards your feet.
  • If your hands do not touch the floor, hold onto your legs.
  • Hold hamstring stretch for eight counts.
  • Slowly curl up – head up last.
  • Shake all moveable body parts.
  • Bow to your educator to say ‘thank you’ for the class.


Learning Outcome(LOs)
LO 1
creating, interpreting and presentingThe learner will be able to create, interpret and present work in each of the art forms.
Assessment Standards(ASe)
We know this when the learner:
1.1 participates in the choreography and presentation of a short dance for a performance or cultural event;1.2 in preparing the body, accurately performs a set warm-up and skill-building sequence, including body conditioning and dance technique in a particular style;1.3 moves across space in movement sequences with co-ordination, musicality, quality, style, balance and control;1.4 learns and performs, with appropriate style and movement quality, works choreographed by others from at least two cultures, which may be:
1.4.1 classical / traditional (African, Eastern or Western);
1.4.2 contemporary;
1.5 creates a dance that fuses steps or styles from more than one South African dance form with a clear beginning, middle and ending.

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Arts and culture grade 9. OpenStax CNX. Sep 15, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11067/1.1
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