Thematic warm-ups Thematic “games” or activities that are based on movement can provide both a physical warm-up and stimulus for further dance activities. Sports mime. Form groups of 4–6 students. One student mimes an action associated with a sport, e.g. cricket, while the rest of the group observe. The student, who guesses the correct action, mimes another sport. Variations: • Students in the group take it in turns to mime and guess the action so that every student is actively involved. • Before students mime the action they have devised, they mime the previous action they have observed. A sequence of movement can develop from this activity. • Use other themes as stimulus for this activity, e.g. artworks, a specific story or poem, everyday activities. Chain mime. This game is based on Chinese Whispers. Divide the class into groups of 6. The teacher demonstrates to one member from each group a short sequence while the other members turn away so that they cannot see. The teacher demonstrates a movement sequence based on a scenario (e.g. coming home from school, opening the door, putting bag down, going into kitchen, making a sandwich, playing with the dog) to the first student. The first member of the group demonstrates the sequence to the second member of their team while the rest are still turned away. This continues until the last member demonstrates the sequence they have learned. The teacher then demonstrates the original for comparison. Picture postcard. In a group, students decide on the theme of a postcard to be created (e.g. a scene at the beach, a celebratory event, a theme park, the streets of a famous city). One at a time, students begin to create the scene by moving into a defined space and making a shape of a person or object related to the given theme. This continues with all students filling the scene. Once complete the teacher can bring the scene to life by asking students who represent a person or animal to move in character. Sense circle. Students stand in a circle. The teacher gives an instruction for a group shape (e.g. a square that takes up the whole space, a close cluster with everyone looking in, a map of Australia). The students must move from the circle into the new shape without talking, relying on visual and tactile cues to complete the task. Action word. Divide the class into small groups. The teacher names a type of movement, such as swing, stretch, twist, run, rise and fall, or shake. Each group finds original movement within the given category within a time limit. Mirroring. Students work in pairs, facing each other. One student (A) initiates the movement, the other (B) follows. As the leader moves, the follower mirrors the movement. Remind students to make simple movements and to move slowly (e.g. begin using hands and arms only while seated, progressing to standing and moving hands, arms and upper body). Swap roles. Variations: • The teacher instructs the students to move in a particular way, e.g. curving lines only. • Moving mirror: When students can concentrate sufficiently on mirroring when standing in one place, allow them to move slowly sideways. • Mirror corridor: Students line up facing their partners. Pairs may slowly move laterally inside or outside the corridor formed by the other pairs. This is more successful if pairs are allowed to move only when nominated.