Are you getting stuck for ideas and running low on inspiration for your zoom classes?
The below 12 ideas can help give you, and your students, more ‘feel good’ factor about being on zoom again this term.
If any of these suggestions help, and you’d like more ideas, plus a deeper dive into what else we can do to help the wellbeing of our dancers during lockdown (and beyond) join us for Recharge Repair Reignite, an online seminar exclusively for teachers of dance on Tuesday 19th January 2021 offering practical ways to strengthen the passion and self belief of our students (AND ourselves) during lockdown and build resilience in our schools for the future.
In the meantime, here are our immediate suggestions to bring a smile to their faces – all tried and tested!
- Costume hunt. Every 10 mins have a buzzer go off and they have to do a ‘quick change’ by finding a specific item of clothing that you name to put on over the top of their dance-wear (e.g. a hat, beach shorts, a parent’s t-shirt, wellies, something red, etc) to continue wearing whilst dancing – until the next buzzer! Note: obviously consider the safety of that item of clothing for the next exercise
- Free and fun warm ups – e.g. 70s disco track is one of our faves! But we try to throw a different theme each week for our warm ups to grab their attention and make the class fun right from the word go. For younger children we use warm up and music themes relating to Disney films or characters like pirates, dinosaurs, astronauts, etc
- Dancing with Daddy – get the dads involved one week in all their classes. Say no more 🙂
- Dancing with Dogs – or any pet! Include time at the beginning of the session for everyone to introduce their pet. Even the pet chooses to stay asleep for the entire session…the kids will love having them take the stage with them.
- Expressive exercises – Provide an outlet for the range of raw emotions they might be feeling right now, through playful choreography exercises. Start b giving them a neutral phrase of choreography (or 2 bars of 8) in any style, then have them try it to different pieces of music that evoke definite changes of feeling or dynamic. Talk about how each different piece of music makes them feel and how it makes them dance the phrase of choreography differently.
- Choreography Swap – have your senior dancers create and film short sections of choreography, in any chosen style, and forward these for your younger dancers to learn each week. You can either use this as part of an actual session or send in between sessions to see how they get on learning it on their own first before the next session. You could even do the reverse! Have the juniors choreograph for the seniors and send back to each other. Very cute 🙂
- Connection – create a video where one dancer from your school is connected to the next. We created a ‘letter to dancing’ where each child from the dance school (with parents help) filmed themselves passing a letter from one side of the screen to the other – as if to another person – whilst dancing in between. Literally 10 seconds each, and then we linked them altogether to make one long video, ending with us opening the letter at the end.
- Groove Child® syllabus exercises – aside from using it for a whole session, simply adding in one or two of Groove Child exercises to your other classes can really put a smile on their face or help shift the mood and creativity of a dance session. These exercises are designed to break down barriers to their enjoyment, such as a lack of confidence or feelings of repetition.
- Sunday morning meditation and stretch – for your teen students, a simple half hour of relaxation and stretching to chill out music, guided by you. Finish with a body scan from head to toe, naming and relaxing each part of the body deeper into the floor. Mums and dads might even want to join in with this!
- On the spot choreography challenges – for fun / no pressure! Ask them to grab a chosen ‘PROP’ (make sure its something safe – a hat, a book, a cushion) then give them a FEELING, and a PHYSICAL instruction e.g. excitement, and you’re only allowed to use the lower half of your body! Give them 2 mins or the length of one music track to create a very short sequence. Take turns to share if they are confident to do so, or simply let them show you all at the same time. Change up this exercise each week, and ask them for ideas.
- Quizzes – drop short 5 minute quizzes into your main sessions e.g. anatomy, music (name that tune!) treasure hunts.
- Zoom Ritual – create a little ritual at the start or end of your zoom classes, if you don’t have one already! E.g. with your younger students you could simply make heart shapes with your hands, to send love to their friends in the class who they can’t see at the moment. Or perhaps you already have a signature gesture or move you already do with your students to help unite? Older students may have fun creating this if you’re stuck for ideas!
We hope you find some of these ideas useful…
If you’d like more actionable ideas and a deeper delve into things we can further do to help the wellbeing of our dancers during lockdown and moving forward join us for Recharge Repair Reignite, an online seminar for teachers of dance on 19th January 2021 offering practical ways to recover and strengthen passion and self belief in our students (AND ourselves). We hope to welcome you there x