Explorer - Lesson 1: Getting Started: What is a Motif?

60 mins


  • Means of capture
  • PE kit and bare feet
  • Music
  • Clear empty space
  • Lesson Film
  • Choreographic ideas

CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual welcomes you to the Royal Opera House, home of The Royal Ballet. Watch him take part in a creative dance class with students from Beam Primary School exploring the theme of 'journeys'. Karim meets former Soloist of The Royal Ballet David Pickering, and ROH Dance Artist Liz Foster, to find out about ‘motifs’.


  • To understand and explore the chosen theme for your dance.
  • To developing movement patterns to create non-contact group work – understanding how we can make positive physical connections with our peers.
  • To understand the concept of ‘motif’.
  • To explore different ways of travelling, using the words ‘around, through, over and under’.
  • To understand how we can use space by travelling the movement patterns we devise.
  • To develop an awareness of others when travelling in space. 
  • To develop collaborative skills.


  • English: You could ask your dancers to write an account of a journey they have been on using those four words ‘over,’ ‘under,’ ‘around’ and ‘through.’
  • Humanities: You could locate the journey in a specific place relevant to history or geography.
  • PE: To master basic movements, as well as developing flexibility, strength, agility, balance and co-ordination in a range of activities. They will also become familiar with moving to music. 
  • PE: To be physically active and confident for sustained periods of time.
  • PE: To explore space and travel through a sequence of movements.
  • PSHE: To work towards shared goals and expressing a range of feelings.
  • PHSE: To be aware of the physical behaviour of others and respond accordingly.