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Name of Activity:

March Madness (March 2011)

Purpose of Activity:

To perform dance combinations that combine rhythmic movement with basketball skills -- to develop rhythm, learn patterns and utilize their hand-eye coordination.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

one basketball for each student (other types of balls may be used, just as successfully)

Recommended music:

Songs 1 & 2 (Let’s Get Ready to Rumble and Get Ready 4 This) from Jock Jams CD - Volume 1

Beginning dance formation:

Students can be arranged in rows, in a large circle or spread randomly around the gym. The teacher might consider assigning each student to a “poly spot” or something that could signify the “home spot” for each portion of the dance.

Description of Idea

This music is nicely arranged in sets of 32 counts. The 4 movements listed below can be used once for 8 counts, repeated twice for 16 counts, or repeated 4 times for 32 counts.

The dance begins with the basketball at the right side under the right arm and feet about shoulder width apart. This is held during the opening of the song until the words, “Let’s get ready to rumble!” There are 32 counts of music that can be used for the dance, or students can continue to hold this position. The main part of the music beings when "You all ready for this?” is heard.

Step #1 – Hold ball in both hands above the head and to the L (1), bring it down to the R shoulder (2), bring it down to the L armpit (3), bring it down to the R side of the waist. (4). Move ball to the L of the waist (5), to the R armpit (6), to the L shoulder, and to the R above the head. (The ball moves in a zig-zag pattern.) Each movement can be given 2 counts if it is easier for the students to move the ball more slowly. This step can be repeated for up to a total of 32 counts.

Step 2 - Holding the ball about eye level toss the ball from the R hand to the L on each count of the music. Emphasize keeping the tosses under control and staying with the music. Add hip movements to the R and L as the ball is tossed from hand to hand. Again this movement can be repeated for up to 32 counts.

Step 3 – While the feet are doing a grapevine to the R (step to R with R foot, step behind R foot with L, step to R with R foot, touch L toe next to R) and to the L (step to L with L foot, step behind L foot with R, step to L with L foot, touch R toe next to L) the basketball is tossed on counts 1, 3, 5, 7. It is caught on the even numbers. Emphasize that tosses sould be no higher than the eyes.

Step 4 – Fake a chest pass to the R by pushing the basketball to the front and bringing it back in. (2 counts). Repeat faking the pass to the L. Using the pivot movement from basketball, keep one foot stationary and use the other foot to pivot in a complete circle. (4 counts). Either foot can be used for this step. Again this movement can be repeated for up to 32 counts.


The sequence of this dance is totally up to the teacher and each class. Some classes may be able to do each step, one time (8 counts) for a 32 count combination. Others may prefer to repeat each step 2 times for 16 counts thus making a 64 count combination. Each step can even be repeated 4 times for 32 counts.

Teaching Suggestions:

Anticipatory set: This is a great way to use the “March Madness” theme to challenge students to use sports skills with dance skills. You can relate the theme to universities in your area that might be in one of the tournaments, or ask students to list their favorite teams.

After teaching the 4 steps, challenge students to create another variation to add to the dance. Tell them to try to incorporate their knowledge and skill in basketball with dance and rhythms.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

Students in wheelchairs can do all of the ball movements and can turn the wheelchair in a circle during the pivot step. Different types of balls or bean bags could be used for those with other disabilities.


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March Madness (March 2011)

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Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:

Dale N.

I taught this to my 3rd and 4th graders and they did an excellent job! It is very easy for them to do if you teach each of the 4 parts step by step. They loved it!

Alexandra Munley

My middle schoolers had fun with this. Contrary to the opinion of person who posted on 2/18/14, I thought this dance was a snap to learn. My 6th graders did fine with it.


HARD and very confusing I can not use this for my 6 graders


I used this for my 8th grade class and it worked really well. The boys were much more inclined to participate! I also had the class make their own dance implementing different steps from each dance we learned in the unit and they are much more interested in participating.

Kim T

The use of the basketball might encourage boys to dance a bit more:-)

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