Do Your Own Dance is from Songs for Dancing.
Use this to teach the concepts of level, direction, or different movements to ages 3-7.
This dance can be done traveling through space with older children, or in-place with younger.
The form is:
- Start in a shape
- Do your own dance
- Do different movements: hopping, jumping, turning, twisting.
- Freeze in a shape. Change level from high to low, then back up to high.
- Do your own dance
- Do different movements: twirling, melting, popping, step-hop.
- Freeze. Make a wide and high shape, like wings.
- ‘Fly’ from high to low on your spot (or, if traveling, back to the circle).
How To Teach:
Formation: Circle or spread to a perfect spot.
Make different shapes: high and wide/big, low and closed/small. Stretch to make big, high shapes. Bend to make small, low shapes.
Practice the easier movements: jump (two feet), hop (one foot), turn, twist, melt and pop. Remember to keep your feet under you when you melt, so you can pop all at once or bit by bit.
Practice the challenging movement: step-hop.
Teaching Tip: Sing the Skipping Song melody (also from Songs for Dancing) to practice. “Step on one foot and hop on the same foot, step on the other foot and hop on that foot.”
To end, practice stretching out your wide “wings”, balancing on one leg, and flying from high to low.
Put on the song and go! Keep cuing what’s coming next, to help children stay with the sequence. Encourage variety in ‘do you own dance’ depending on your concept focus.
1. If you choose to develop the skill of moving through space with younger children, you can build up to it. First, do it in self space over several sessions. Then move it from place to place as younger children become more familiar with the structure of the song and competent in their use of space.
2. Turn this idea into a circle dance game, with one child at a time going into the middle to ‘do his/her own dance’ while everyone on the outside copies the moves. Model the activity by showing one movement in the middle, then leave the circle and come in again with a different choice. This suggests that the person in the middle do ONE movement choice. Call on raised hands or name the child to invite individuals into the circle. Invite them out by saying, “Okay, next person.” Invite shy children to go in two by two. Suggest movements (with a whisper word) to ‘frozen’ dancers.
End with everyone doing their own dance at the same time in their place or in the (crowded!) middle of the circle.
Try Free Dance from Songs for Dancing as the music for this, or other lively music.
This is a great work out!