Dance Teacher Resources
Find Dance educational ideas and activities
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The upbeat song "I Like to Move It" from the movie Madagascar is just the ticket! Get your younsters up and moving. The basic steps in this dance are the grapevine, side step, squat, back step, jumps, jumping jacks, and marching in place. There is a video included; watch the video to learn the moves yourself, and then teach them to your younsters.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by teaching your class how to do an Irish jig. This type of dance is very fast. Break it all down and teach each section of the dance thoroughly. There are plenty of hops, kicks, toe touches, and stomps in this jig, so it will take some time to learn. History about St. Patrick's Day and Irish dances is included to enhance the lesson. Don't be afraid to tackle teaching this cultural dance because there is a video that leads the way!
Great lesson on teaching some of the basics of square dancing. Ten basic moves are listed and described. The descriptions of these square dance moves are clearly explained. There are several pictures to show what a few of these moves look like. These basic moves will get you through most square dances. The teacher recommends using a CD titled, "The Fundamentals of Square Dance."
What is Tinikling? How is this word pronounced? Is it really a dance? Where did it originate? Is there a story about the origin of this dance? Begin this dance lesson by answering these questions. Then use the video to teach the three dance patterns: basic step, dancing step, and jumping step. Have the dancers perform the steps in combinations. Remember to reiterate the need for safety in using the bamboo poles for this dance!
Nearly every people group has some type of dance, and those dances usually reflect history and culture. Little researchers write an essay on the cultural significance of the Hawaiian hula dance. They research the role of the hula dancer as it has changed throughout time. Tip: Have small groups each perform a hula dance from a specific time period.
Combine square dancing and a Swiss ball. There are quite a few square dance moves and how to do them while sitting on, or carrying a Swiss ball. Teach these square dance moves to the class. Then have them work together in small groups to create their own square dance moves and sequences using the Swiss ball.
Let little dancers choreograph a dance using steps they have learned in the unit. Write the names of the dance steps that have been taught on sets of index cards. Make sure that each set of cards you create has a mix of the dance steps. You could even write out the directions on the back sides. Children can arrange the cards in order of how they want to perform the steps. A suggestion would be to have a list of 10-12 appropriate songs from which they could also choose.
Learn this 32-count line dance. There are four eight-counts that repeat throughout the song. The steps include walking forward, walking backward, pivots, grapevine, and some jumps. All in all this is a simple and quick dance to learn. Practice the steps and then put Michael Jackson's "Beat It" on and tear up that dance floor! There is a video included; watch it to learn the steps yourself, or use the video to teach the class.
Mayim, Mayim is an Israeli folk dance done to celebrate the discovery of water. The dance is done in a circle with everyone moving the same way at the same time. If your dancers are shy and do not want to hold hands then perhaps use scarves for them to hold. Otherwise, grab hands and get moving in this fast-paced and joyful dance!
5,6,7,8 Line Dance is a very simple, but very fast-paced line dance. It is comprised of the grapvine steps, moving forward and backwards, moving diagonally, jumping, and clapping. There is a repeating section of the dance which calls for dancers to be creative and do their own thing. Make sure to teach the basic steps and practice it before putting on the music. Watch the video and use it to teach the 5,6,7,8 Line Dance.
Young scholars are introduced to the key concepts of maps; direction, pathway/line, shape and symbol. They create the pathways and shapes they have "mapped" out on paper on the floor. They dance along the paths.
Slide right, slide left, knee, step, run, run, rolling, pivot, turn, shake those shoulders! These moves make up the 32-count dance to the tune of "Proud Mary" as performed by the cast from the TV show "Glee". Use the video to learn the steps before you teach it or use the video to do the teaching for you. It starts out slow with the music and then picks up the pace. Get those dancers moving!
Two line dances that are similar yet different. These two dances are performed to disco music, fast and upbeat. Do grapevines, heel-toe moves, and even tuck your arms up and flap them like chicken wings. These two dances are sure to get their heart rates up in a fun activity.
Teach some dance moves to "Firework" by Katy Perry. It's such an upbeat song, you will have those dancers moving and wanting to move more! There are four 16-count parts to learn. It's not too complicated. Teach them the steps, then put it to the music. Better yet, watch the video and have the teacher in the video do all the teaching for you.
Who doesn't like playing with a parachute? Get out the CD player, find "Behind the Clouds" by Brad Paisley, and get those youngsters moving. The movements in this dance are very basic: slide steps, walking, shaking, swaying, and skipping. Doing these simple moves with music and a parachute are definitely an equation for fun! Create your own moves for your classes or even have your learners come up with some moves.
This dance activity is exactly what the title says it is: add-on line dancing! Each dancer creates an 8-count piece of a line dance. They can pull from anything they have learned so far. After individuals have choreographed their 8-count, they teach it to another dancer. Then the class puts all the pieces together to make an entire add-on line dance.
Students go through the experience of creating a dance. They use the correct vocabulary when creating the dance in writing. Students choreograph the steps needed to perform the dance in sequence. Then they perform the dance for final assessment.
Pupils investigate the process and components present in a dance composition. They create their own composition for the purpose of recreating all he elements of a dance composition. The dance is written in a journal for the purpose of reference and reflection.
Students explore how dance can invoke the significance of experiences in their everyday lives. They work in small dance troupes to create their own dance pieces reflecting themes and experiences relevant to their lives.
Fourth graders create dances through a randomly generated process (such as throwing a dice) and perform their dances for the class. Class work is based on Merce Cunningham's "Chance Dance" and includes walking, skipping hopping, and other movements.