What type of jazz type music is good for kids?

It depends on the style of jazz you are teaching, the phrases you are choreographing, the dances you are making.
Any time I hear a “jazzy” tune, I make a note of it and add it to my compilation.

Here are some that have caught my attention…

  • “Twisted” by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross
  • “Yellow Moon” by the Neville Brothers
  • Various tracks by Joe Zawinul and Weather Report (e.g. “Birdland”)
  • Various tracks by Pat Methany
  • Various tracks from “Comparsa” (an album by Deep Forest)

What are you using?

February 29, 2012. Tags: , . Favorite Music. 3 comments.

Costumes for Creative Dance Performance – What to do?

Kerry B asked:
Do you think that kids need to dress in “costume” for performances to portray a certain character……..Is it necessary or could be too distracting and take away from the dance itself.

I am doing a movement sequence about horses and butterflies for my kids ages 4-5 (creative ballet and movement).  Could they just wear dance clothing and uses their simply dance and pretend to be whatever animal or person we put in the story?  I know many parents want them to “look cute” , but hats fall off, wings  get caught in hair ect.

My personal thoughts are it is a dance performance, not a costume show……but now to convince others.

My thoughts on this:
For an informance, children dress as they wish, following the basic safety rules: no shoes, hair off the face, comfortable clothes.

For an abstract dance, ask for a color scheme that everyone has in their wardrobe:

  • jeans and white shirts
  • black bottoms and bright colorful tops, no patterns (or worn inside-out if patterns will show, keep a scissors on hand to snip off tags)
  • dress as a twin with your partner; work it out with your partner

For a theme-based dance, ask for colors that suggest the theme:

  • water dance: everyone wears cool colors (blue, green) and  off white
  • fire dance: everyone wears warm colors (red, orange, yellow)

For characters, add a costume piece that suggests the role

  • bandana around the neck for cowboys, pioneers, etc.
  • vests and ties for “boys” and “girls” (even if the whole cast is female)

Keep it simple, inexpensive and easy-on/easy-off.

One of the things that differentiates our work from Ballet/Tap/Jazz/Baton studios is that we de-emphasize the expenditures on the clothes, stay away from competition, and put the emphasis on the creative.


February 27, 2012. Tags: . Costumes, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Recitals. 1 comment.