Year 2 Music

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Music Can Make You Move

morris dancers

What happens when you hear a fast, happy song you like? Do you clap your hands? Do you tap your toes?

Sometimes music just makes you want to move. Dancing is moving to music. People around the world love to dance – do you? You can dance just by moving in whatever way the music makes you feel. Or you can do one of many special kinds of dance, such as ceilidh dancing, tap dancing, maypole dancing or Morris dancing.

Céilidh (KAY-lee) is a kind of dance for groups, from a Celtic word for a gathering. Men and women form circles or lines of couples and perform steps with names like 'threading the needle' or 'stripping the willow'. Sometimes there is an expert 'caller' to remind people what is the next step, especially at less traditional events, which are similar to English barn dances. Many dances involve changing partners, so you may dance with many people in a single evening.

Tap dancers have flat pieces of metal, called taps, on the bottoms of their shoes. They quickly move their feet and legs, and the metal taps make tap-tap-tapping noises as they dance.

Maypole dancing is a beautiful spectacle. Picture a tall pole with coloured ribbons tied to the top and dancers in a circle around it. Each dancer holds a ribbon and as they pass each other, the ribbons form a plait or a web.

Morris dancing is so ancient that nobody quite knows how it began. The music often comes from an accordion or a concertina. The dancers wear elaborate costumes (see the costumes in the photo!), with hats and sticks and tied on bells. A special 'fool' gets to carry a blown-up bladder and dance around the others in his 'side'.

This activity is adapted from pages 214 - 215 of What Your Year 2 Child Needs to Know, which can be purchased here.

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