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World Owl Trust - leading the World in Owl Conservation
Saturday 20th December, 2014

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Animal Dance Celebrates A New Year

Muncatser Owlets Watch Group - Talking Dancing

The Muncaster Owlets watch club, celebrated their first session of 2010 with an animal dance. The idea for such an unusual theme came from a planning session held with the children, where the suggestion of an animal disco was put forward. This led onto the idea of celebrating wildlife by looking at the way human beings and animals alike use dance in their lives.

Being the perfect theme to start the New Year, we got everyone in to the spirit by making animal head dresses and painting the children’s faces with native designs such as American Indian war paint. The children went on to think and discuss the true meaning of rhythm and dance, whilst imitating the beating of a drum with clapping and movement.

Starting by looking at the many reasons, we as human beings use dance, we thought about dancing in celebration, to tell a story like the Aboriginal dreamtime dances, or in the case of the Maori haka, to strike fear into the hearts of your opponents. We then went on to think about how animals may use dance. It is a well known fact that the Honey Bee uses a form of dance to communicate the location of a food source to fellow hive members. This was to later be the inspiration for a team game to end the session. Other reasons found us looking to bird species such as the Great Crested Grebe, which use dance as part of a courtship ritual, while species such as Gulls use dance to gather food, by paddling the surface of the ground with their feet, imitating the vibrations of the rain to bring up worms.

To end the session the children took part in a game named ‘Talking Dance’. This was designed to allow the children to use a drum, along with a designated dance movement giving instructions to their fellow team mates to guide them to a hidden prize through a series of moves. Great fun was had by all with everyone getting into the spirit of the theme and putting a smile on all those painted faces. For thousands of years rhythm and dance have brought people together and stirred the soul. The beginning of this year for our Muncaster Owlets was no exception and by incorporating the uses of dance by humans and animals the children had a fun packed and rhythmic, first watch session for 2010.

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