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Name of Activity:

Rhythmic Dance - Learning a 4 Count Beat with DDR

Purpose of Activity:

As a result of this lesson students will be able to recognize a 4 count beat to music.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Dance Dance Revolution game and practice pads (practice pads can be self made).

Description of Idea


Today we are going to be using the DDR game and pads to learn what a 4 count beat is in dance. Who can tell me what the word rhythm means and why is it important in dance? Rhythm is the most important element in music. It is the beat to music or to a song. Today rhythm is going to be soft or gentle so when we are dancing we need to focus on “tapping the pad” not stomping with force. Who can tell me or show me what a “4 count” beat is in music? A 4 count beat looks and sounds like this: (Demonstrate this verbally and while clapping, stepping, or using a drum) 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4…Today we will be dancing to the music of a Video Dance Game product entitled Dance Dance Revolution or DDR. We will will be counting and stepping to a 4 count beat.

Cues: “Count the Beat”; “Tap the Pad”


Break the class into two groups: One group will use the first player pad and practice pads and the second group will use the second player pad and practice pads (See provided diagram). Have the students begin by selecting the Lesson Plan Mode then selecting the Beginner Mode; explain that each song will have 32 counts and 4 counts for each step sequence. Play the first song by selecting Section 1 and have the class “count the beat” with you as you say 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4. Then demonstrate using the first song how each step falls on a number in the 4 count beat. ex: step 2 3 4, step 2 3 4, step 2 3 4….The class will then practice the first four sections of this beginner mode as they count out the beats in the song. Remind the class to “Tap the Pad” not stomp. Each song should be attempted two consecutive times; however, students will rotate to the next pad after each song is completed. If students are successful with stepping and counting to the 4 count beat, have the class begin to count the beats silently. The class can then complete the remaining sections of the beginner mode (8 sections for a total of 16 rotations). Additional class sessions may be needed to complete the beginner lesson plan section.


Check for understanding by having students demonstrate this rhythm while verbalizing a 4 count beat. Ask the students why rhythm is important, how it is relevant, and ask what made this activity easy or hard to recognize the 4 count beat.


(Harder): Have students clap while stepping and counting the 4 count beat or add movement concepts such as high and low levels while stepping to the music.

(Easier): Have students follow the steps of a more skilled peer or follow the teacher’s lead and verbal count.

Submitted by Lisa Hansen who teaches at University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Additional authors for this idea were Bennett Smith. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 7/5/2010.
Viewed 37337 times since 7/5/2010.

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Rhythmic Dance - Learning a 4 Count Beat with DDR

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Previous Comments:


Where is the diagram for the pads (as indicated in the lesson plan)?


What are some ideas on making a self made dance pad?

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