Dance Movement – Mimicking Nature: Dance Like a Preying Mantis and Capture Clip on WebCam

Youtube is now an exciting source of moving images that can become inspiration for dance improvisation.

Teachers and their students can use images taken from the natural sciences and mirror movement. An improvisation through mime and mimicry will emerge.

Browse Youtube until you have found a good clear movement from an animal or creature in nature. Take the time to find one that is clear and interesting. Make sure when you project the clip onto the wall that you have the sound turned down. This is because you want the sound to be imagined by the students. This sample improvisation is from the video clip found by John Blatchford and posted in this article.

To get started

  • Play the video a few times.
  • Have a student move out in front of the movie clip.
  • Do not give the students permission to comment because you want to appeal to the mirror neurons of the student. This means that you are hoping to see them watch, copy, then synthesize, and create.
  • You the teacher are to mime for the students what you want them to do. With your hands indicate that you want the chosen student to mirror the movement in front of the preying mantis.

The student may struggle at first. It may take some time to correct balance and find a dance pose and movement that is comfortable. Be supportive of the student and if the other students want to laugh they must do so silently.

So that the chosen student can follow the movements of the preying mantis, you will need to arrange the computers so that he or she can see the picture. One way to deal with the need to see the picture in the process of mirroring is to arrange the computers so that the student is watching a screen on another computer as well as standing in front of the projected clip.

  • So far only one student has been ‘sweating the project’ and you the teacher who have been the leader by indicating instructions through mime and mimicking the preying mantis.
  • Now turn to the class and through mime indicate that they leave their sitting position – they are to come forward to join in the imitation.
  • The rest of the class is to face you and the chosen student. This means that two people face the 15 or so others students. You are now all moving as a preying mantis would.
  • Without talking, start to hum or make noises to accompany this movement .
  • With gestures and head nodding indicate that the other students very softly and quietly add sound.

If you have a technician ask him or her to use webcam to capture the dance movement. If you don’t have a technician find an advanced student who might be able to work web cam equipment for you. There is usually one enthusiast in any class.

  • Encourage improvisation and creative synthesis.
  • Allow students to amalgamate into groups and work together to begin a dance routine if this happens naturally.
  • As the students take the lead – turn off the video clip and allow the dancing to expand.
  • Wind the dance session down by gradually coming to a seated position.
  • As you catch the student’s eyes ‘nod them down’.
  • You may want to debrief verbally, but, perhaps writing about the experience in their journals might be more appropriate to the quite body movement exercise. There are many ways to journal so choose the one that is right for your class, or ask the students to make a decision about what method is right for them.

Choose an appropriate time to edit the film with the class, it might be on the same day or this project can become a longer term venture. When you are happy with the outcome, and if your school permits, upload your film clip to Youtube or just use it internally within your school.

  • If you want to protect the identity of the students find a way to blur their faces in Adobe Premier or another editing program.
  • In this way you might be able to build a library of original dance movement for your school in the electronic filing system.

If you feel a little nervous about Dance perhaps this article will make you feel a little easier. If you have questions please post them to the discussion boards.

Ballroom Latin Dance Made Accurate: How To Dance A Cha Cha To Music

Nearly all Ballroom beginners start by learning steps and syllabus figures one by one. They only concentrate on getting the steps and timing right within the few bars of music. At the same time, teachers may create some simple choreography utilizing these newly learned steps. Chances are that the teacher may use some slow music for these routines so that the students can practice accordingly. It is just natural that beginners are just too conditioned to dance bar by bar.

The Cruel Reality On The Dance Floor

Once on the dance floor especially when normal tempo music is played, many novice dancers become intimidated and find that they cannot catch up with the music no matter how well they have practiced their routines. The more they rush, the more they cannot catch up with the music. This is indeed a very frustrating experience to some.

Always A Step Ahead

A piece of music is played continuously. All the bars are linked together even when there are rhythm changes or syncopated timings. There are actually no breaks in between bars. Likewise in dancing a routine, all figures are supposed to link together without stops even when there are timing variations.

The fact is, the early learning path only concentrates on getting the figures and steps right. Little has been taught about how to link the dance figures and dance them on time through the body. Unfortunately, in most cases, novice dancers will not learn to dance to music until a later stage.

It is all right to memorize figures. But never think of finishing a figure completely before going to the next because there is never enough time to do so. It is therefore necessary to think “a step ahead” before the next figure. As said, the music is continuous and so are the body actions. Before finishing a figure, start anticipating the next move by some kind of body movements.

The “momentum” generated by these body movements from the last beat will get dancers prepared for the next step if not the next figure. The end result is that there is just enough or sometimes plenty of time to dance all the figures in the routine without being rushed. If all the moves are well anticipated, dancing to music becomes natural and easy.

How To Dance A Cha Cha To Music

Cha Cha is always popular, but many novice dancers have trouble with dancing it on time and to music. One way to tackle this timing difficulty is to think of the counting. Instead of just 2,3 4 and 1, as Alan Tornsberg once said in one of his lectures, think and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and so on. The “and” count actually serves the purpose of keeping the body moving while anticipating the next step.

Instead of taking the step right at 2 (whole beat), a very common misunderstanding among novice dancers, start moving the body at “and”. This preparation movement will also generate the momentum needed for the next move and so on. By dancing all the “and” counts, not only will the dancing stay on time, the entire routine will also become more fluid and continuous.

A point to note is that all the “and” count movements do not have to be big steps and dramatic moves. A little holding and releasing of the body muscles will serve the purpose.

For individual practice, dancers can try doing some basic Cha Cha Walks by counting and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1. Once confident, they can dance the routine by the same type of counting. They will be surprised to see that all the figures will become sharper and more accurate at the end of the day. Apart from Cha Cha, the same theory applies to other Latin dances.

How to Choose a Father Daughter Wedding Dance Song

Father Daughter Wedding Dance

Choosing a father daughter wedding dance song can be somewhat challenging. It is important to select a song which both the bride and her father likes, which also gives a good portrayal of the relationship that they have with one another. Here are some tips for choosing the right song for a father daughter dance.

Songs With Significant Meaning

When choosing a song which can be an appropriate choice for a father daughter dance, it is ideal to consider memories. Did the bride and her father dance to a certain song when she was a child? Whether it was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or a song by a popular artist, it may be an option to consider. If a certain father daughter wedding dance song seems to stand out right away, it could be the right choice.

Popular Father Daughter Dance Songs

It is ideal to consider some of the songs which are popular for father daughter wedding dances. Although some of these songs may be a bit too cliché for some people, it is important to remember that they are popular for a reason. Something about these songs has touched daughters and their fathers enough to make them common choices. Here are some options to consider.

Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle

I Loved Her First by Heartland

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion

Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

In My Daughter’s Eyes by Martina McBride

My Wish by Rascal Flatts

You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban


While popular father daughter dance songs are not the best option for everyone, some brides find that they are a perfect fit. It’s important to determine whether the song can actually be applied to the relationship that the bride has with her father, or if she is just choosing it because it’s popular. Finding a father daughter wedding dance song which is a suitable choice is important.

Unique Father Daughter Wedding Songs

Some people do not want to choose a song which is overly popular for this wedding dance. Anyone who is looking for unique father daughter dance songs will want to take these into consideration.

You Don’t Have to Let Go by Jessica Simpson

I Turn to You by Christina Aguilera

Daddy by Beyoncé

There You’ll Be by Faith Hill

I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack

Hero by Mariah Carey

When the Stars Go Blue by Tim McGraw

Daughters by John Mayer


There is no doubt that there are many great father daughter wedding songs to choose from. Whether it is a song which holds memories for the bride and her father or is a song which describes the relationship that they have with one another, there is a song which is suitable for every father daughter dance.