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Name of Activity:

The Happy Dance

Purpose of Activity:

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.


Prior dance experience helpful but is not required

Suggested Grade Level:


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 ¼ 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.


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The Happy Dance

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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:

Barbara Kreiss

We tried several times to record a video with various reasons why it didn't work out. Thank you to the gals who went ahead and added the video. It is slightly different than the way we do it but then I'm not a choreographer and see where there can be different interpretation. No problem. It all works. On Nos. 5 and 6, we tap out and in to the side. Thanks again for the support!!!


It is so much easier to teach a dance if you can watch a video of it first so that you know you are doing it correctly. Any way to add a video to this lesson idea?


Thanks for the idea. Would you be able to post a video of the dance as well?

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