Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Magic Number 8

What's the magic number? 8! 8! 8! They scream at me! :)

In my 5-6 year old creative movement classes I have started to prepare them to move on to pre-ballet. Part of this preparation, I believe is teaching them how to do steps in counts of 8. I began by doing chasse across the floor in 8's only. Then I added in two counts of 8. A sequence- Chasse for 4, turn in the hoop for 4, chasse for 4, hold a shape for 4. They loved to count with me and by the end of the across the floor portion, I could tell they were really getting it. I am also trying to teach them to count the music.

A second exercise I have started is putting them in a line (I have been lucky the past few weeks because exactly 8 students showed up! perfect!) and giving them each a number, 1-8. I then call out their numbers down the line. They have to listen for their number and when it's called jump up. I told them to think about Fireworks! It's a great image. I called their numbers a few times in a row, and then faster to see who was paying attention. I then called the numbers out of order! So fun!

What do you do with your students to teach them about counting the steps and the music? I would love to hear!


  1. Hi Maria. One thing I've done is ask the kids their favorite nursery rhyme or animated character song, and have them walk, skip, or whatever movement to that rhythm or one I would choose - a four, a waltz, etc., and have the class sing/recite as they moved to the words in rhythm. It takes a few classes to get through all the favorites, with lots of variation and repetition. It's fun!

  2. Thanks so much Diane for your comment! What a great idea! :) I will try it next week!

  3. I love that counting game! If you have ANY creative dance ideas for a hip hop class I would love to hear about it. There's so much hip hop a 5 year old can do.

  4. I used to teach Jr. Hip Hop and we would do "funky walks" to get from one star to another. You had 8 counts to funky walk to the next star and then had to freeze in a cool pose for 8 counts. At first, the kids would count out loud with me 1-8 and then they had to do it with just me counting, finally just listening to the music. Fun alternative to freeze dance too since they get to do their own style of walking and poses!