An improvisational convention in which students stand in a circle or walk in a line, shoulder to shoulder, following a leader, and spontaneously or sequentially drop out of the line to create poses to mirror and then modify an aspect of the shape and/or movement. The shapes can reflect the themes, issues, ideas, or characters being explored. (From the 2009 Ontario Arts Curriculum)

An Instructional Approach

  • Review and practice 'freezing' as statues expressing emotions like joy, anger, sadness, triumph.
  • Divide the class into two groups.
    • Group A will observe. Group B will form a line on one side of the room standing shoulder to shoulder.
    • Challenge the group to move from one side of the room to the other while looking forward and maintaining as straight a line as possible.
    • Each person must attempt to move at the same pace as the group.
    • When the group reaches the other side of the space, they are to turn around and return to their starting point maintaining a straight line.
    • Group A provides feedback about the line.
    • The groups switch roles so that each can practice staying together in a line as they move across the space and back.
    • The teacher introduces the concept of a "wave of energy" that moves the line of students. Students now practice moving in a "wave of energy" that continues even as some students stop and remain frozen in position as the wave moves forward.
    • When the 'wave' returns, these students are picked up by the wave and return with the group to the starting position.
    • Both groups practice while the other group observes. 
    • Now the teacher suggests a theme (ie: Olympic sports) to group A, and they will keep the wave moving as individuals freeze in place in poses expressing the theme. Repeat the process for group B.

Variations for Different Levels of Readiness

  • Have two students move with the wave at ends of the line who do not freeze at any time, but act as markers of the wave's progress for others.
  • Use slow, rhythmic music to accompany the movement of the wave.
  • (Ensure that variations range in levels of readiness)(preferably in the same direction


  • Have the wave repeatedly pass through the space so that players may freeze at different times as the wave repeatedly passes through the space. Groups must know when the final pass is picking up all the posed figures.
  • Have students pre-plan small group poses that drop off the wave.
  • Have some poses remain after the last wave passes. These poses may come to life and begin a scene.

Cross Curricular Uses 

Have students speak a few key words when they freeze to help summarize any topic in a unit of study in any course.