A Dance Group of People on Autistic Spectrum

A Dance Group of People on Autistic Spectrum

Goal - Essential question

To develop an understanding of the range of movement bodies are capable of.


  • Don’t force individual movement offer as a choice to the participants.
  • Empower them by choosing their movement.
  • Use more than one idea for images.
  • Positive reinforcement is essential for autistic participants, as familiarity develops their confidence.
  • Ensure the participants’ support workers, families or school let the participant know that dance workshop is happening well in advance, as breaking their expected routine can make them very non-compliant in the workshop.
  • Try to have experienced volunteers in the workshop to provide 1-2-1 support.

Circle warm-up following the educator’s direction. (5 minutes)

Do a gentle and easy movement and then get the participants to copy you. Once everyone has completed this, move on to getting some confident participants to choose movement for the others to copy. All this should be done in a big circle so that everyone can see each other.
Outcome: Empowerment

Game (10 minutes)

Shift around the space and give movement instructions every 1 minute: When I say number 1 you go as low as you can go; When I say 2 reach as high as you can etc.
Outcomes: inclusive Language Purpose-to get them moving around the space, to be aware of the space and those in it while trying to keep a fun atmosphere.

Spine Movement Exercise (10 minutes)

Use imagery e.g. snake/ worm etc. to help the participants visualize different qualities of movement that the moving of the spine can create.

Try to include sounds to aide visualization.

Goal: To develop an understanding in the range of movement bodies are capable of

Swings Exercise (movement of arms from side to side – like as in swinging) (10 minutes)

Make the exercise dynamic so that the participants can shift around the space to keep energy up. Use breath and sounds to help with quality of movement. Have different versions for those that might not want to travel or find it difficult.
Goal: To exercise their arms.

BREAK (5 minutes)

Using props (20 minutes)

Start with everyone in a circle and pass around sensory props such as bells, spikey balls and flashing balls. See how they feel, how they move/fall and then explore moving about the space with those ideas in mind.
Outcomes: Visualization and using that to create movement ideas.

Creative Task (30 minutes)

Carrying on with the idea of using props: Have people in 2/3 groups and then give them a prop to explore further and create a move each and then layer the moves on top of each other to create a short dance phrase.
Outcomes: Layering the initial movement idea and turning them into a dance.