This class, recorded live at the 2020 DSA National Conference in Miami, FL, was led by Dawn Pratson, Dalcroze License, and explores natural rhythms that accompany movement.

These rhythms can be inspired by the breath, the heartbeat, or other sources of bodily motion; by spatial pathways and other spatial elements; or by moving in relation to others, among other variables. Participants also explore Laban’s types of phrases: impulse, impact, swing, and continuous, ultimately choreographing individual sequences that retain their own rhythmic integrity while responding to environmental influences—including recorded music. Participants play with these phrases, again with recorded music, engaging in a dialogue that informs and enhances the dance.

Excerpt: “Finding the Rhythm of Weight” with Dawn Pratson

This video is also part of an upcoming DALCROZE LAB session, in which Dawn will lead a discussion on this lesson. That’s coming up next month—register today!

The entire class can be viewed in the DSA Video Library.

You can go deeper with our lesson Study Guide, which outlines the session, and includes more information on the piece used in the closing activity.


Members of the Dalcroze Society of America can watch this video and dozens more in the Video Library. Not a member? Join instantly online.

About Alex Marthaler

Alex Marthaler is a composer, pianist, and educator in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a pianist for modern dance and ballet classes at Point Park University and Carnegie Mellon University. Alex also teaches children's musical storytelling and improvisation classes.