November 27, 2012

So..You Think You Can Dance?

Dance What...!?!

As a young male teacher I never envisioned myself teaching dance. When I was in college and even my first year of teaching, I had already decided I was too cool to have to teach dance. I am not a good dancer, nor do I enjoy dancing in public. It really was not until this year that I found my confidence with dancing in my classroom. I don't know if it was because I was starting over at a new school or that I just realized that it the kids don't care what look like and neither should I.  From the first day of school I was dancing while we played music for our stations, (looking like a total dweeb to any outsider who might have walked by the gym) but that was that. It is not about me anymore! It is now about showing my students you do not have to be good at something to try it, nor do you have to be good at it to have fun doing it.

Some of you are thinking to yourself "what are you talking about". You  have no problem dancing in public, so dancing in front of the kids is probably a cinch. Dancing might be your thing, but I am sure you can relate with me on some level because, most teachers have at least one area where they are not as comfortable with than everything else they teach all year long. 

This year my co-teacher and I decided as a buffer between our Thanksgiving and Christmas activities we would incorporate dance into our curriculum through line dancing. We are teaching the Cupid Shuffle, Cha Cha Slide, Electric Slide, Cotton Eye Joe, and we may (depending how brave we are) try and tackle the ever so popular, yet difficult Gangnam Style dance with our older students. We chose line dancing not only because it is easily organized, but it also gives students who are not as good a place to blend in the crowd without getting embarassed unlike square dancing or partner dancing where there is no place to be just OK.

Every so often, since this blog is meant to be one that shares ideas and best practices, I will ask for help from my followers. My challenge or question to you is what kind of dance do you teach in your gym, and to those who are not teachers (or are not teachers yet), what would you teach in your gym if you had that chance?

Please click the comment link below to answer the above question!


  1. Good for you Kyle! I too have taught more dance this year- I've taught simple dances (peanut butter jelly time and Thriller) and then we had a flash mob in the hallways just before school started. The kids and teachers love it! I teach the teachers during a faculty meeting.
    Looking forward to seeing good ideas on your blog-thanks for sharing!

    1. Awesome Karen! How did you do your flashmob? Did you walk down the hallway and the kids came out into the hallway or did they dance in their classrooms? Both kids and teachers? If so did you teach the kids in class or did the teachers teach it? Also... Did you guys videotape the mob? That would be very interesting to see! Our principal (Mr. Howard) would be all for that I know!

  2. We finished up dance today and whoa are we tired. My hamstrings are on fire and feet are tired. I think we counted up that we taught and danced 63 dances.(3 dances per class) I also am not sure if I know my left from my right anymore from all the mirrored dance steps that we taught. Would it would have been way easier to have a smart board and pre recorded the dance steps. Hey I shouldn't be complaining... what other job is there that we get to be silly and dance all day!

    1. Consider letting students create there own dances. K-1 can learn locomotor patterns then put them in a pattern, ie. walk-slide walk-slide but make sure you let them choose. 2-3 can creat mirror or matching sequences. 4-5 can take one on those line dances you taught and create their own that includes travel, turning etc.