In this paper, a finite element based modeling approach is presented to model the dynamics of cylindrical shaped ionic polymer actuator. In this approach, the actuator is divided into finite number of elements with a local coordinate system attached to it. This coordinate system undergoes a rigid body motion together with the associated element. A large deflection beam model is used for the deflection of each element. This approach has the advantage of modeling large deformations using fewer elements and can lead to the finite dimensional dynamic model needed for controlling the tip position in both in-and out-of-plane directions.