Name/Title: The Happy Dance

Purpose of Event: To develop rhythmic skills of students with a series of sequences and patterns to music. To incorporate use of both sides of the brain in activity. Also, directional orientation if a turn is added.

Prerequisites: Prior dance experience helpful but is not required

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: Optional: iPod App, Anytune, to slow down tempo of music. The basic app is free.

Recommended music: Pharrell Williams, Happy

Beginning dance formation: Line Dance

Description of Idea

Recommended grades 4th and up, 3rd with dance experience.

The music actually starts on beat 6. This dance starts on beat 5. As soon as the music starts count 5-6-7-8 so that the first step starts on 5. The dance is FAST!

1. Sliding steps to the R (step R-together-step R-together (4 counts))
2. Sliding steps to the L (step L-together-Step L-together (4 counts))
3. Sliding steps forward (step Forward R foot in front-together-step Forward R-together (4 counts)
4. Sliding steps backward (step backward L foot first-together-step backward L-together (4 counts)

5. Tap R, 4 counts
6. Tap L, 4 counts
7. Tap in Front, alternating feet, R-L-R-L (4 counts)

8. (Jump with feet) Apart-cross-apart-together (4 counts)

9. 3 quick walking steps forward (1-2-3), starting with Right, Left knee up on count 4
10. 3 quick walking steps backward (1-2-3), starting with Left, tap R foot next to L foot on count 4
11. REPEAT steps 9 and 10

12. After R foot tap, immediately 4 (quick) marching in place steps starting with R (R-L-R-L, 4 counts)

13. REPEAT FROM Step 1.

Dance ends after R and L tapping steps

OPTION: Incorporate ΒΌ turn to left while doing marching steps = 4 wall dance.


1/4 turn added into marching in place steps

Assessment Ideas:

Have students perform in small groups and use a simple assessment rubric of plus (+) for correct step sequences and in time with the music, check mark for frequently using correct step sequences and rhythm, a minus for frequently using incorrect sequences and rhythm. Numbers can be substituted in line with grading scale on reports cards. Videotaping can also assist evaluation process.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Depending on disability, slower tempo, modified steps. For more involved disabilities, arm motions can be substituted for leg motions.

Submitted by Barbara Kreiss in San Leandro, CA. Additional authors for this idea were Longwood Elementary School 4th grader. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 10/2/2014.
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