Name/Title: Teaching Locomotor Skills and Directions with a Circle Line Dance (September 2011)

Purpose of Event: The students will be able to correctly perform different locomotor skills, as well as distinguish between clockwise and counterclockwise.

Suggested Grade Level: K-4

Materials Needed: CD Player

Recommended music: “Bad” by Michael Jackson or “Forget You” (be sure to use the version found on the Kids’ Bop #20 album) or feel free to use any song with a good steady, easy to hear beat.

Beginning dance formation: Students are in a large circle.

Description of Idea

This dance focuses on performing various locomotor skills, such as walking, jumping and hopping. Because it is a line dance done in a circle, students will also move clockwise and counter clockwise. This is an opportunity to present these concepts to the students early in the school year.

If using the Michael Jackson song, “Bad,” hold for 4 sets of 8 until the singing begins. If using the Kids Bop version of “Forget You,” start the first step when the singing begins.

Counts 1-8 – (counts 1-4) Walk toward the center of the circle LRLR. On counts 5-8, walk backwards 4 steps LRLR.

Counts 1-8 – Repeat the walking step.

Counts 1-8 – Grapevine or slide close 2x to the L (counts 1-4).

Reverse doing the grapevine to the R or perform the slide close 2x to the R (counts 5-8).

Counts 1-8 – Repeat the grapevine steps.

Counts 1-8 – Jump –clap (2 counts) 4x moving backwards on each jump.

Counts 1-8 – Hop 4x on the L foot (counts 1-4). Hop 4x on the R foot (counts 5-8).

Counts 1-8 – Repeat the 4 jump-claps.

Counts 1-8 – Repeat the hops on the L foot. When repeating the 4 hops on the R foot, add a ¼ turn to the L. Everyone will now have the R shoulder towards the center of the circle.

This is when the concept of moving in a clockwise direction can be introduced. The dance is now performed with the class facing clockwise. The 3rd time the dance is performed, everyone will have his/her back to the center of the circle. The 4th time the dance is performed, the class will all be facing counter-clockwise with the L shoulder towards the center of the circle.

The songs are long enough for the dance to be repeated at least twice facing and moving in each direction.


For older grades, the repeats can be taken out and each step performed one time. Other sets of 8 could also be added. Consider incorporating skips, runs, gallops, etc.

Assessment Ideas:

Ask members of the class to demonstrate the locomotor skills that were part of the dance or to form a circle with friends and turn the circle clockwise or counter clockwise.

Teaching Suggestions:

The dance can be taught with no turns. If the turns are removed, the concepts of moving forward, backward, right and left could be emphasized.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Children with cognitive disabilities can repeat the 8 count patterns several times before moving to the next pattern. Children in wheelchairs can move their chairs differently for each locomotor skill.

Submitted by Brenda Goodwin who teaches at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 9/3/2011.
Visit S&S Discount for all your physical education equipment and supplies!