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Name of Activity:

Sweet Caroline Baseball Dance

Purpose of Activity:

Students will perform a basic dance to Neil Diamond's Song called Sweet Caroline, memorizing the patterns and sequences as well as staying with the tempo and rhythm of the song.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Music player, music, projector to project the video on the screen so students can follow along.

Recommended music:

Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond

Beginning dance formation:

Students can be placed randomly around the gym floor. It might be fun to place them with a partner so they can “high 5 and low 5” on Part C of pattern #1.

Description of Idea

This activity is a choreographed routine that can be used as a warm up or cool down or as a presentation to parents, etc. Challenge the students to try to remember each of the movements and eventually be able to do the routine without prompts from the teacher.

This might be a fun dance to do during the MLB World Series as Sweet Caroline has a history and story with MLB. According to the web site, the song got its MLB start in Boston in the late 1990s. It was played between the 7th and 9th inning and only if the Red Sox were ahead. Some fans considered the song to be a good luck charm and it soon became something fans anticipated. Then in 2002 a new group purchased the Red Sox and the new ownership requested that the song be played during the eighth inning of every game.

In 2013 Neil Diamond appeared at Fenway Park and performed the song after the Boston Marathon bombings. He promised to donate royalties from the song to One Fund Boston. Other baseball teams around the country played the song in solidarity with Boston in the aftermath of the attacks. Thus began the playing of “Sweet Caroline” at baseball games all over the USA!

Pattern #1 – There are 3 repetitive parts to this pattern and 1 short 8 count break:

Part A
1-8 – Point R foot out to side and touch it in next to L foot (1-2), step wide with R foot to the R and slide L foot next to R and touch (3-4). Repeat beginning with the L foot, touch L foot out to side and touch it in next to the R foot (5-6), step wide with the L foot to the L and slide R foot next to L and touch (7-8)
You can cue this movement with the words: Point, touch, slide touch.
Repeat this 8 count pattern 4x for a total of 32 counts.

Part B
1-8 – Step diagonally forward with R foot and diagonally forward with L foot (1-2) Step back with R foot and back with L close to the R. (3-4). Perform 2 jumping jacks. (5-8)
You can cue this movement with the words: out, out, in, in, jumping jack, jumping jack.
Repeat this pattern 4x for a total of 32 counts.

Part C
1-8 – March forward 3 steps (RLR) and kick forward with L foot (1-4). March back 3 steps LRL and kick R foot (5-8). When students march forward have them “high 5” a person close to them on the kick. When they march back they can “low 5” a person close to them. This goes along with the words of the song that say “hand touching hand, reaching out” etc.
You can cue this movement with the words: front, front, front, kick, back, back, back, kick
Repeat this pattern 4x for a total of 32 counts.

Part D - 8 count break
1-8 - Step R touch L and clap on the touch (1-2), step L touch R and clap on the touch (3-4), step R touch L and clap on the touch (5-6) and step L and touch R and clap on the touch (7-8)
You can cue this movement with the words: step, clap, step clap, step, clap, step, clap
Pattern 2 – There are 2 parts to this pattern

Part A
1-8 – Rock to the side on the R foot and rock to the L side onto the L foot (1-2), cross R foot over L and hold (3-4). Reverse this with a rock to the L onto the L foot and back to the R to the R foot (5-6) and cross L foot over R and hold (7-8).
You can cue this movement with the words: rock, rock, cross, hold
Repeat this pattern 2x for a total of 16 counts.

Part B
1-8 – Step R and lift R arm high, touch L and snap fingers of uplifted arm (1-2) step L and lower arm across body, touch R and snap fingers of lowered arm (3-4). Repeat these actions for counts 5-8.

You can cue this movement with the words: step, snap, step, snap, step, snap, step, snap
These are the patterns of the dance. They are repeated in the following order:

Pattern 1 and 8 count break are done one time through
Pattern 2 is done 2x through
Pattern 1 and the 8 count break are done one time through
Pattern 2 is done 2x through
Part A of Pattern 1 is done 3x (24 counts) and the 8-count break is done for only 4 counts
Pattern B is done 2x to the end of the song.
The patterns follow the words of the song and after practicing a few times it is easy to associate the movements to the words.

We have two videos for you to choose from--one is just the dance and the other has the instructions on how to do the dance and then the full dance after that.

Instructional and Full Dance Video (7 minutes)

Just the dance video is below.

Assessment Ideas:

Students can be assessed on their ability to remember the correct sequence of each movement and stay with the rhythm of the music. Students could also take a resting pulse before doing the movements and take a pulse afterwards. They could explain the effects that the movements had on their hearts.

Students could research if other sports play this song and if it is even played outside the US. They might also look for other songs that have become associated with sports and competitions and try making up dances to go with these songs.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

Students in wheel chairs or with delayed motor skill development can slide more slowly R or L instead of touch, slide or just sway RL on various parts of the dance. They could also march in place or just do arm movements. Those with cognitive delays could also concentrate on either just arm movements or just lower body movement.


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Sweet Caroline Baseball Dance

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