The Hare and the Tortoise. 1: Ready, steady, go!

Diane Louise Jordan has the first of two dance sessions about Aesop's famous fable of a speedy hare and a toiling tortoise.

1. Ready, steady, go!

At a fantasy forest sports day the children prepare with exercises and groups of animals try out an obstacle course with fun race actions. Hare challenges Tortoise to see who is the faster. In pairs, the children get ready for a race at the starting line then...they’re off, each at their different speeds, Hare sprinting madly, Tortoise plodding steadily. All dance individually as Hare (jumpily and jazzily), then as Tortoise (slowly and 'bluesily').

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Lesson summary

Warm-up: stretches, jogging and star-jumps. General sporty warm-up actions (as if for own schools sports-day): low and high stretches, jogging through the forest and star jumps.

Laying out the obstacle course. Setting out and moving over, under, around and through imaginary obstacles as a follow-my- leader. Then return back the other way (following whoever was at the end) with fun-race actions.

The challenge: Hare v Tortoise. In pairs, on the spot, contrast the general movement styles of Hare (fast and frantic boogie) with Tortoise (slow and steady blues).

Get ready...steady... The pairs set off, each at their own pace, as the race begins...

Go hare go! All perform as Hare, moving like the wind, sprinting, dashing, darting and developing actions into dance patterns and angular shapes, with extra twirls and head nods.

Go slow, tortoise (cooling down...) Moving with hands-on-knees, step by step, plodding along with rounded back, slowly and steadily.

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