I have dance on my mind. For dancers, this is usually competition season. My daughter is usually preparing for exams, recitals, and perhaps a competition or two at this time of year. I got in on a competition myself back in 2016 and competed in a big studio number on stage with my daughter. Here we are backstage at the competition:
When did you last dance with your children? Whether you are a trained dancer or can only step side-to-side to the music, you can include dance in your homeschool day. There are many amazing benefits to dance! It’s also an easy way to add physical education inside the home, especially on rainy or snowy days when you don’t want to go for a walk.
Here are some ideas for having fun with dance in your homeschool.
Moving to the Music
Pop some orchestral music on and hand your each person in your family a scarf to move with to the music. You can throw the scarf, sway with the scarf, make circles with the scarf, or anything the music moves you to do. The William Tell Overture finale is excellent for this, as is Holst’s The Planets, or even your favourite movie soundtrack. This is especially fun with young children.
Enjoy Historical Dance in Your Homeschool
How did people dance from the historical period you’re studying? If you’re studying the 17th or 18th century, try a Minuet. If you’re studying Modern times, have some fun with the twist, the polka, or the bunny hop! Or put on some music from your youth and show your children how you used to tear up the dance floor in your day.
Cultural Dance in Your Homeschool
Are you studying a different culture? Learn the Mexican Hat Dance if you’re studying Mexico (here’s a fun way to learn the Mexican hat dance with young children), or some Indian Bollywood to go along with your studies of India.
Dance In Your Homeschool with Gaming Consoles
Do you have a Wii U or a Switch? Enjoy “Just Dance” or the Wii or Switch Fit. Parents can dance too, it’s a hoot and it’s great exercise! (We like to pull Just Dance out for birthday parties and often the parents will dance in the background to some of their favourites while the children play).
Learn a Specific Style of Dance in Your Homeschool
Do you or your children want to explore a specific style of dance? Here are some of our favourites and some online resources.
Check out BreakSpace NS on Instagram, where my daughter and other bboys and bgirls have been sharing some quick, easy beginner tutorials. And check out VincaniTV on YouTube which offers free breakdance tutorials. My daughter says BBoy Vincanity has been around for a long time and is the introduction to the art for many young breakers.
Check out this tap visual dictionary website. Click on the links and a video will show you how to do each step, starting with the easiest ones and progressing in difficulty. And be sure to join the amazing Debbie Allen on Instagram as she teaches free tap classes during the pandemic crisis.
Tap has always been my favourite – this photo is me at age 16.
Here is a great ballet site, The American Ballet Theatre Ballet Dictionary which has definitions and photos for everything ballet.
Jazz is one of my daughter’s favourite dance styles. She’s pictured at left, dancing in her Jazz Initiative classes. Check out The Building Blocks of Jazz on Bluprint. It’s absolutely free until April 16, 2020.
More Dance in Your Homeschool Resources
For a roundup of free online classes available during the pandemic crisis, check out Dancing Alone Together on Instagram.
Whatever the style of dance you’re interested in, there are videos and books available at the library (and on their website) or YouTube videos online. And Bluprint offers a number of online dance classes (which are free until April 16, 2020). Of course, nothing can compare to lessons at a terrific, local dance studio, whether it’s for your children, yourself, or both. Enjoy classes at the studio then have fun practising daily as part of your homeschool day (once the pandemic crisis is over)!
“I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.~ from “I Hope You Dance” – song by Lee Ann Womack
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens.
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…
I hope you dance,
I hope you dance.”
Do you dance in your homeschool? What online resources are you enjoying? Please let me know in the comments below!
Love, Luck &
Please note: This article was originally published in April 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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