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Humanities LibreTexts

9.2: Warm Up Exercises

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    74176
  • The following is a list of exercises designed to increase blood flow throughout the body, sharpen mental focus, and promote collaboration. Feel free to add any additional activities you have discovered.

    Warm-Up Stretch Routine

    • A good warm up is a full body stretch routine that prepares each student for the physical demands of the day. The warm up is also a time for students to begin focusing on connecting with their bodies and mentally preparing for the lessons of the day.
    • The Warm up should also end in a fun interactive activity or game that causes the group to interact, increase energy and blood flow throughout the body, and excite each member of the group for the lessons to come in the future.

    Ball Volley

    Exercise

    • Toss a lightweight inflatable ball into the air. The goal of the game is to hit the ball back into the air without it hitting the ground. No person can hit the ball twice in a row without the count starting over.
    • Rule 1: One is just as important as One Hundred. The purpose of the game is to have fun and in order for that to happen, once the ball hits the ground do not give anyone time to comment or apologize. Quickly run and hit the ball in the air and start the game again.
    • Rule 2: No comments and no apologies. Everyone makes mistakes but getting hung up on mistakes or commenting on them takes away from achieving your goals. Be supportive and remember the game is not about getting to a high number, it is about the joy of playing the game with your friends.

    Purpose

    • This game is not only fun but teaches some of the most valuable lessons an artist, or human being for that matter, can learn. Everyone has good days and bad days. Some days we are on top of the world and easily reach our goal of one hundred and others we are constantly starting over. In the words of Rocky Balboa “It's not about how hard you can hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
    • The game also teaches students how to be supportive when people around them fail and how to work together to achieve a goal.

    Dragon Tag

    Exercise

    • This game follows the standard rules of tag or touch and go. One person in the group is “it”. If this person tags or touches someone, the person they touched becomes the new “it.” Most games of tag have a concept known as “home base”. If a person is touching home base the person who is “it” cannot tag them. “Home base” in dragon tag is safely and respectfully touching another member of the class who is not “it”.
    • The problem with “home base” in dragon tag is that all of the class could link up as one unit and the game would be over, so the rule for home base is that once the person who is “it” verbally counts to five, every person touching a “home base” must unhook and find a new “home base”.

    Purpose

    • Not only is the game fun to play, it gets the blood flowing, and also gets students to get comfortable being close to each other and touching each other, which will be useful later in rehearsal if their character need to touch.

    Dance Party

    Exercise

    • Play an uptempo song that invigorates the room. Each person in the room must dance to the music.
    • At a given point in the song each member of the group must lock eyes with another member of the group and dance towards that person. Once together the pair of performers must create a dance move together.
    • Once each pair has created a dance move have them lock eyes with another member of the group on the opposite side of the room and repeat the process.
    • Repeat until song has concluded.

    Purpose

    • This activity increases blood flow and and also gets rid of nervousness. Each participant must have the courage to look silly and also be silly together with other classmates. In each pairing there is also a collaboration that is gained through silliness and fun.

    Banana Dance

    Exercise

    • This is a song. Gather the class into a large circle and have a practice round where each verse and move is explained and then once everyone understands what is expected, begin. The goal is to go through the song as fast, big, and loud as possible.
    • First Verse: You form the corn, form form the corn. Yes you form the corn form, form the corn. Then you shuck the corn shuck, shuck the corn. Then you shuck the corn shuck, shuck the corn. Then you pop the corn pop, pop the corn. Pop the corn pop, pop the corn.
    • Second Verse: Then you form potato form, form potato. Then you form potato form, form potato. Then you peel potato peel, peel potato. Peel potato peel, peel potato. Then you mash potato mash, mash potato. Mash potato mash, mash potato.
    • Third Verse: Then you form the egg form, form the egg. Then you form the egg form, form the egg. Then you crack the egg crack, crack the egg. Crack the egg crack, crack the egg. Then you fry the egg fry, fry the egg. fry the egg fry, fry the egg.
    • Final Verse: Then you form banana form, form banana. Then you form banana form, form banana. Then you peel banana peel, peel banana. Peel banana peel, peel banana. Then you go bananas go, go bananas. Then you go bananas go, go bananas.

    Purpose

    • This is a great warm up activity that gets everyone's blood flowing and get everyone excited for the days rehearsal.

    Contact Improvisation

    Exercise

    • Break everyone into groups of four or five and have each group line up behind each other.
    • Begin by having each group cross from one end of the stage to the other by just walking.
    • Once the group has gone then begin playing music (instrumental music is best) and have them cross the room again have them lead their movements with their feet. Reinforce that making big choices and movements are important. Don’t do something ordinary when you could do something extraordinary.
    • Once each group has completed the round then switch and have them move leading with knees, hips, stomach, chest, arms, head.
    • Once each group has completed these rounds have them move exploring height. Have students move through the space adding jumps and moving low to the floor.
    • Once each group has completed the round have them move together as a group and have them locate free and open space on the stage and quickly move to fill it. As soon as they reach the open space have them immediately seek out new open space in which to occupy.
    • Finally repeat the last round but use the class as a whole. Have them move together to fill the space and remember to reinforce the idea of exploring what your body can do. Don’t do something ordinary when you can do something extraordinary. Nobody in the class is aloud to stop moving until every member of the group has reached the other side of the stage.
    • Once the round is completed bring everyone together to discuss the experience.

    Purpose

    • The objective of contact improvisation is for the actor to explore the limits and expand the awareness of the actor’s body. We often only move in safe and predictable ways, however performance requires you to move past what is expected, even from yourself, to truly amaze and inspire. Students will gain an awareness of their bodies capabilities, learn to move and work together as a team, be constantly looking for ways to help the group and improve. This exercise is exhausting and will require a rest period following its conclusion.
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