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Name of Activity:

Shaking it to "Uptown Funk" Dance

Purpose of Activity:

Students will perform a dance activity that will increase the heart rate, present a rhythmic challenge and teach the brain patterns and sequences.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Music player.

Recommended music:

A shortened and school appropriate version (as the full original version of the song would not work) of the song “Uptown Funk" was used for a dance performed on the Ellen Show. Since the song is a special cut version you can use the instructional video included below for your music. The music begins at approximately 3:05 in the video. The dance in this lesson plan has been slightly altered and shakers have been added to the movements.

Beginning dance formation:

Students should have a partner. Partners should stand side by side with one slightly in front of the other.

Description of Idea

This activity is a choreographed routine with shakers added to the movements. It could be used for a school performance. There are 5 key words to remember: push, pull, wave, point, and glide! Using these words should help your students remember the dance steps.

Combination #1 – Push
1-8 – Extend R hand above the head and shake the maraca or shaker 2x. (1-2) Bring the R arms down while extending L the hand above the head and shaking the maraca 2x. (3-4). Repeat both movements for counts 5-8. When doing the arm movements the lower body just moves to the rhythm of the song.

Combination #2 – Pull
1-8 –Extend the R arm above the head and to the L and shake the maraca once, pull the R arm down to the R hip (1-2) Repeat this movement on the L side (3-4). Repeat both movements for counts 5-8. Again lower body moves with the rhythm of the song or squats could be added as movement for the legs.

Combination #3 – Wave
1-8 – Facing the R move both arms from the hip level up to the shoulders (1-3) and shake the maracas on count 4. Lower the arms face to the L side and again move the arms from hip level up to the shoulders (5-8) and shake the maracas on count 8. Repeat on both sides. Feet are shoulder width apart and hips move to the rhythm of the music or the students can move to the R with step R, close L, step R, touch L and reverse moving to the other side.

Combination #4 – Point
1-8 – Point R hand across body to the L, center and R (1, 2, 3) and shake the maraca on 4. Repeat the same movement with the L hand for counts 5-8. Again feet are shoulder width apart and lower body moves with the beat of the music.

Combination #5 – Glide
1-8 – Lean to the R with R hand up by shoulder (1), lean to the L with L hand up by shoulder (2) lean 2x to the R and shake maracas 2x (3 & 4). Reverse to the L for counts 5-8.

Combination #6 – Muscle, muscle, swing, swing, out, in, out, in
Facing to the R side flex L elbow as if doing a biceps curl (1) reverse and flex R elbow (2) swing L up with the elbow extended (3) while lowering this arm swing the R up (4). Turn and face the front and shake the maracas out in front of the body (5), in towards the body (6) out again and in again (7-8). Reverse this movement doing it facing to the L.

The next count in the song says “Stop!” and one arm is either pointed forward or raised. You can have the partners each do one of these movement. Hold while the song says “Wait a minute.” There are now 4 counts in the song in which the partners should change places by moving up and back or even L or R.

The dance then begins again and is repeated in its entirety. After repeating combination #6 the students should each create a pose in which to end the song.


Since there are very few choreographed movements of the lower body ask students to work together to develop lower body movements for each step. They could use movements such as grapevines, step touches or even squats etc.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

This is a great dance for students who have limited movement of the lower extremities. They can do the entire dance with just the shakers or maracas.


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Shaking it to "Uptown Funk" Dance

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Previous Comments:


This is a great dance we used it for our class 7G in 2017 and it went great we learned a lot of dance moves and the song selection was good!

Mary Smith

I would love to see the dance performed with your back to me. Its easier to learn that way.

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