1. The young king

The early years of King Henry 8th's reign explored through dance and movement.

1. The young king

Henry VIII was crowned on the 21 April 1509 and remained king until his death on the 28 January 1547. He had not been groomed for kingship and only came to the throne as the result of his brother Arthur’s untimely death in 1502. Although Henry is probably best known today for having had six wives, he was responsible for changing the course of history by establishing the Church of England.

Henry became king in 1509, just before his eighteenth birthday. He was a tall, handsome, flamboyant character who, during the early years of his reign, was more interested in sports, music and dancing than in politics.

Go to the Teacher's Notes to download the Tudor music clips used in this unit.


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Teacher's Notes

Lesson summary

Warm up: Inspired by one of Henry’s favourite games - tennis. Powerful arm swinging movements and upper body reaches and twists based on different tennis strokes: backhand, forehand, volley and lob.

Sequence 1: Jousting Champions. Henry was very proficient at jousting and sometimes fought as an unknown contestant - revealing his true identity as victor to jubilant crowds. This paired sequence should convey the strength, focus and direct pathways of a jousting match.

Sequence 2: Intricate Court Dance. Henry loved music and dancing. Many courtiers travelled abroad and returned to the Tudor court with intricate and sophisticated dances from Italy, Spain and France.

Performance: Combine both sequences above for a polished final performance.

Cool down: Listen to the music and relax body as you focus on taking deep, gentle breaths - in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Other units of KS2 Dance Workshop

Victorian childhoods
Wonders of the world

See also...

The Tudors
Pavans and pageantry