Year 1 and the Christmas nativity performance is over for another year. This year it was an alternative nativity – Lights Camel Action. What made it more fun was it being a Strictly Come Dancing themed show.
N had been quite existed ahead of it, and got into Strictly Come Dancing. He could relate to the different characters and could tell me everyone’s roles in their play. N’s school do a nativity for reception, year 1 and year 2s. He wasn’t expecting any lines but half way through the endless rehearsals, all of the year 1s were given something to say. He knew his line, but he did have a panic the week before because he was off for 3 days with tonsillitis. He was worried he wouldn’t remember his lines or dance. Poor thing.
N’s definitely not a performer, but he is one of those children who expects everything to be just right, and knows everything that’s going on (or should be). He knew what everyone’s characters should be doing, many of their lines, and who’s on next. Maybe he should be a director in future.
With the Strictly Come Dancing theme, N was a morris dancing shepherd. They also had disco dancing stars, ballet angels and innkeeper tango dancers. With judges including the Donkey and Caesar (in place of Craig Revel-Horwood) with some hysterical put downs delivered with panache by a year 2 girl.
N was mostly sat at the back leaning against the wall during the chorus parts, but he knew what he was doing during the shepherd’s morris dance. So much so that he was steering people in the right direction.
As well as seeing the emerging stars, there were also a couple of classic nativity incidents:
- a wardrobe malfunction with morris dancing ribbons getting caught up, leading to tears from the upset boy until he was uncaught up by a teacher with some scissors
- a child who insisted on chatting all the way through when he wasn’t on stage. N had told me about this boy – he wasn’t very happy that they were partners in their morris dance. N’s a very ‘play by the rules’ type of child and always comments on naughty behaviour.
- Baby Jesus got thrown down, meaning laughter from the audience, with Mary looking confused and wondering why
It was a really lovely performance, with everyone taking part and singing away. It was lovely to see N enjoying being part of it – even though he said he couldn’t speak his line loud enough because he still had his sore throat.
Of course it’s quite teary seeing all the children look so proud at the end. Although I didn’t get many good photos because I had a disco ball and music stand inbetween me and the stage.
If you have a need for a morris dancing costume, he’s how I made N’s no sew 10 minute version.
Morris dancing (shepherd) outfit
What you need
- White trousers
- White t shirt
- 2 long pieces of black thickish elastic (or strips of black material) – long enough to be made into a circular band to go across the body
- Lengths of ribbons in various colour
How to make
Rather than sewing ribbons onto a t shirt I decided to add ribbons to two bands that N could slip over his head and across his body in a cross shape.
- Take the elastic length, tie loosely in a circle and put over the head resting on one shoulder, slip the opposite arm to shoulder through. The band should sit diagonally across the chest and back. Tighten the band to fit so it’s not too loose to the body, then tighten the knot and cut off the ends.
- Repeat with the other elastic. This will sit on the other shoulder with the bands on the chest in a cross shape.
- Remove each band and tie the ribbons along the length of the bands. I used length of around 20-25cm, and added about 7 to each band.
- Wear the completed bands criss cross across the chest, over the white top and trousers
- Optional – add bells tied onto ribbons/bands and tie round ankles or just under the knees
- Add a tea towel head-dress for a shepherd, or a black hat with ribbons for a plain morris dancer
How did your children’s Christmas performances go? Did you have to make your own costumes?
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