Dancin' On The Rooftop

by Teresa Jennings

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.

 

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The eight measure dance break in this tune occurs during the drum (tom-tom) solo at measure 41. The beat is infectiously fast, and again, your students may have some definite ideas of their own how to move during this section. Since this tune is stylistically similar to tunes from the big band era, movement that compliments the era would be in order. The dance steps of that time could very possibly be quite energetic and difficult, and if you have the talent and the inclination amongst your dancers, by all means, let them do it. However, for a more toned-down approach, you might try something like this:

  • first two measures - Hunch over slightly at the waist. Using pointed index fingers located just above the knees in front of the body, point at the floor with each beat, first with the left finger, then the right. Do this for eight counts.
  • third measure - Straighten up. Point left index finger toward ceiling just at shoulder height on beats 1 and 3 while right hand is on right hip. Lean slightly to the left while pointing.
  • fourth measure - Reverse and point right index finger toward ceiling just at shoulder height on beats 1 and 3 while left hand is on left hip. Lean slightly to the right while pointing.
  • fifth and sixth measures - Either repeat movement for the first two measures exactly, or change it slightly. For instance, have pointing fingers move upward in front of body with each pulse.
  • seventh and eighth measures - Repeat third and fourth measures. - End with both hands on hips on beat one of measure 49. They can either remain there throughout the scat section, or be removed when the first answer is played.

Another approach to this section would be to emphasize the scatting with pointing one finger at the audience in a bounce with the more prominent beats of each scat. Put both hands on hips for the answers. Switch to the other index finger for the next scat, and so on.

Movement throughout from side to side on beats one and three - especially using the shoulders in an up and down fashion with the hands in front of the body, palms outward - will feel very natural.

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