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Name of Activity:
Dance Team/ Collaborative Fitness Routines
Purpose of Activity:Students will experience the process of creating a "dance team" type routine by following a set procedure. Students will recognize that doing dance team dances is one way to keep aerobically fit. This lesson addresses National Dance Content Standards: 1, 2, and 6.
Prerequisites:Students should have some experience with various dance steps such as: the grapevine, 1/4 turns, step-touch, jazz squares, etc. Kick-boxing type moves and jump rope patterns could also be utilized and practiced. Students should have previous experience matching their movement to the rhythm and the beat of music. Students should have experienced success executing choreography planned by others.
Suggested Grade Level:9-12
Materials Needed:Poster paper or a board for writing down ideas, thick tipped markers, tape for hanging poster paper, music, and (optional) post-it notes or index cards.
Recommended music:Upbeat, popular, top-40 music with a clear, steady beat What the kids are listening to or played at school dances
Description of Idea
Students gather together near the writing surface and the teacher explains that they are going to learn how to put a series of dance steps into a short dance team type routine.
Teacher should model how to create a routine by taking various dance steps and combining them to create dance measures.
Write all ideas on paper.
Then arrange moves in an order and re-write them on the poster paper. Optionally, the ideas could be written on the note cards or post-its and the rearranging becomes easier.
Following the creation of a few dance measures into a combination, have class practice the mini-dance a few times.
After practicing and when the routine is semi-mastered, incorporate music.
Continue creating measures, write them on the poster board, and add them to the combination. Keep practicing them from the top (beginning).
A dance routine will take shape from the combination of all of the measures.
I use this lesson to teach the class how to create a dance prior to assigning a "dance project" which will be choreographed in small groups.
I also like to switch created measures between my dance classes. I will take one measure from one class and another measure from another class and combine them into a "Multi-class Dance Rountine."
Ask the students to create their own dance step and add it to their routine. Name the step after them.
Observe students for rhythmic accuracy. Watch in small groups and check for knowledge of the dance sequence. Have students take their pulse before and after the dance to further the connection with the health/fitness benefits of dancing.
If the class has had previous dance experience, they can be asked to adapt the dance by changing the physical relationships of the dancers, perform it as a round, or create beginning and ending positions.
Adaptations for Students with Disabilities
I pair my adaptive kids up with cheer or dance students who have experience with dance. Also, putting them in the front row between two experienced dancers helps them stay in sync with the count.