Week 12: Dynamic Body Shapes; Dynamic Body Shapes – Transformation

Dynamic Body Shapes

During these two lessons you will focus on the body shape as it relates to elements in dance. The two lessons will explore the concepts of Level and Scale as the children move to create a variety of body shapes.

Week 12 Dynamic Body Shapes Lesson

Week 12 Dynamic Body Shapes – Transformation Lesson (B)

Dynamic Body Shape Visuals

Excerpts from The National Arts Centre

The first element of dance composition is body shape – not the dancer’s figure or proportions, but rather the configuration of his or her torso and limbs into positions that change over time.

Professional dancers train for many years to make their bodies flexible and responsive, able to assume long lines that are straight or curved, or jagged, angular contours. The choreographer designs these shapes and links them with transitional movements.

Here are three shape concepts to explore:


Movements can be performed at different levels. We can describe these as high-middle-low.  As the level changes, the dancer can support himself or herself on different body parts to create different effects.


A symmetric position is identical on the right and left sides of the body. It looks and feelsstable, balanced and resolved. Think of a pyramid, the Buddha or a mirror image.

A symmetric sequence is one in which movements to the right are mirrored by movements to the left, and vice versa.

By contrast, an asymmetric position is different on the right and left sides of the body. It suggests mobility and potential loss of balance. Think of actions that are unstable, lopsided or unbalanced.


Positions and movements can be performed on a small to large scale. In small-scale actions, the limbs and torso are drawn inward: they contract, flex, fold and bend. In large-scale actions, they extend and stretch out to their fullest length.

Think of contrasting shapes that are angular-curved-straight, shrinking-expanding or contracted-extended.

Classical ballet positions most often use elongated lines and curves, whereas modern dance includes a range of shapes from contracted to extended


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