O Piao Entrou

O Piao Entrou is a Brazilian children’s follow the leader circle dance and conga line. Follow along with Jaclyn!

Brazil, a country well known for its extravagant costumes and exuberant dancing at Carnival, continually pulses with the intertwining rhythms of its African, Iberian, and native cultures.  Brazilian children naturally respond to these daily rhythms by instinctively moving.  O Piao Entrou entices children to perform movements of their own creation inviting a circle of friends to join in the fun.  If the children are inclined, they might enjoy doing a simple Carnival dance.  The same music can be used for a Conga line dance.  The Conga is not traditional Brazilian, but it is traditional Carnival.  Either dance will be a hit with children.

FormationA single circle of children with an empty “stage” in teh middle for creative dance moves.
PositionThere is no contact between teh children in teh circle. They watch and prepare to follow.
StepsEach child who takes a turn in the center is free to perform either a planned move or create.
Music4/4 meter which has little impact on the creative movement in the cirlce.
Teaching HintsSome children are happy to dance and show off. You can just turn them loose. Others need encouragement, which can be given by assisting them in planning a “secret” move they can confidently do when it’s their turn to dance in the center of the circle. Until the children understand the routine the teacher may need to direct the exchange of dancers.

INTRODUCTION: There are 8 counts of whistle during which the first child in the center prepares to dance.

  • All the children form a single circle leaving the center for one child at a time to lead the dance.
  • The children in the circle can clap with the music while they watch the center dancer.
  • The child in the center quickly shows a movement which the children in the circle try to duplicate.
  • Once the children in the circle successfully perform the leader’s dance the child in the center does a quick spin (with eyes closed and finger extended) and randomly chooses the next center child.

The dance continues this exchange, providing an opportunity for willing children to participate.

FormationConga lines, each child directly behind the one in front, are best if they are not long.
PositionThe Hands of each child are resting on the shoulders of the person in front.
StepsSimple walking step and toe point to the side.
Music4/4 music with dance steps counted in 4.
Teaching HintsOdd numbers seem to throw beginning dancers. Remind the students there are 3 steps and 1 point. Students need to recognize that the 3 steps alternate the starting foot. The toes that points to the side will also alternate from right to left each tie the pattern is performed.

INTRODUCTION:  Eight counts played on a whistle.  It’s a good time to make sure lines are connected.

  • It’s important that everyone steps exactly together.  Starting on the left foot everyone does 3 steps forward (left, right, left) stepping on each beat of the music (1, 2, 3).
  • After the 3 steps the students point their right foot to the side (4).
  • The pattern starts over stepping out on the right foot (right, left, right) and pointing the left foot to the left side (1, 2, 3, 4).  Continue alternating right and left stepping and pointing.
  • The leader can take the line wherever the space will reasonably allow.  Change leaders often.

Feel free to share these videos, embed them for your students, or link to this page. New online educational resources are being developed every day. If you have suggestions for what you’d like to see let us know: rdt@rdtutah.org.

Jaclyn Brown is originally from Roosevelt, Utah. Jaclyn hails from Utah Valley University’s (UVU) BFA Modern Dance program, where she performed with Contemporary Dance Ensemble, the department’s pre-professional modern performing group, and also choreographed and performed for Synergy Dance Company. Outside of RDT, Jaclyn performs with Monica Campbell & Dancers. As a member of these companies, Jaclyn has worked with nationally recognized artists, such as, Susan Hadley, Damon Rago, John Allen, Doris Hudson de Trujillo, Jennifer Huffman, Omar Olivas, and Mike Esperanza. Beyond her local training, Jaclyn also traveled to Spain for a study abroad in dance (2010). She also appeared in Alex Boye’s music video “Merci Bon Dieu.” Jaclyn was also honored to first perform for Repertory Dance Theatre as a guest artist in “Commonplace” (2013). Jaclyn is thrilled to be joining the company for her sixth season and would like to thank her husband, family, and friends for their unwavering support.

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