DIY Dance: Body Break

Body Break

Try any combination of these classic moves to get students’ heart rates elevated and their minds focused for classroom learning. Move for 10-15 minutes, and play music if you like.

  • Plies (knee bends)
  • Rises (heels lifts)
  • Shoulder rolls (forward and back)
  • Arm circles (one or both arms, same or opposite directions)
  • Leg swings (front & back, side to side or circular)
  • Twists (with arms or shoulders, hips, out to the side or overhead)
  • Jumps, Hops & Leaps (on two legs or one, on the spot or moving around the room)
  • Jumping Jacks (with arms overhead, behind the back, or playing “pattycake” with a partner)


DIY Dance: The Name Game

Name Game

  • Have students stand in a circle, choose one student to begin
  • The first student will say their first name, followed by a simple action: “My name is Bizz, and I like to do this (pats head)”. All students in the circle will say “Hi Bizz!” and repeat her action, patting themselves on the head
  • The student to Bizz’s right will then do the same, creating their own action: “My name is Joe and I like to do this (bends and straightens knees),” and the circle will say “Hi Joe!” and repeat his action.
  • Then Joe will introduce the student to his left by saying “This is my friend Bizz and she likes to (pat head)”. The circle will do Bizz’s action along with Joe
  • Then the student to Joe’s right will do the same, introducing Joe and then Bizz, while the circle repeats each of their actions. This continues all the way around the circle, until the last person introduces everyone else and their action: “My name is Amy, and I like to do this (twist hips). These are my friends, Rob likes to (shake head), Maria likes to (hop)…. Joe likes to (bend knees) and Bizz likes to (pat head)”
  • Students who get stuck on a name or action may ask the circle for help
  • You can try a movement theme, for example large or small actions, actions for specific body parts, or animal movements. You can also try a silent version with actions only.

DIY Dance: Spine Dance

Spine Dance

  • Have students start by sitting on the floor with their hands clasped behind their backs.
  • Ask students to move their spines in all the ways they can think of (forward, back, side, twist, curve, straight)
  • Have students think of animals or objects that move like their spines (worms, snakes, slinkys, pipes, elephant trunks, etc)
  • Play some fun music and give students 8-16 counts to spine dance their way from sitting to standing – without using their hands to get up! And then have them make their way back to the floor
  • The object is not to be the first to stand up, but rather to get from sitting to standing in the most interesting way possible. Students may get ideas from watching each other move, so try it in two or more groups
  • To make it more challenging, students can begin lying on the floor, or instead of standing up, try moving across the room without using their hands.

Everyday Movement Experiences

Want to get your class moving every day? In this workshop you’ll explore the beneficial effects of movement on the brain and develop a toolbox of tricks that will warm-up, focus and inspire your students in just a few minutes every day. You’ll also learn how to incorporate movement into your lesson plans to reinforce classroom learning and help students (especially those kinesthetic learners!) stay engaged.

Dance Curriculum Basics

Confused or overwhelmed by the new dance curriculum? This is your opportunity to have it explained in plain language. Learn the elements of dance, basic dance movements, sequences and patterns, dance observation skills and assessment techniques. You’ll take away a comprehensive understanding of the curriculum requirements and lots of great ideas for dance lesson plans.