Reasons To Use Games in Dance Class
We use games in dance to teach rhythm, keeping a beat, co-ordination, and to improve skill memory. These games are used from as early as the preschool dance classes, all the way up to our older combo classes. Different variations and types of games can be used at different levels to challenge the dancers at that level. Changing variations of games that are well known for children can be a great way for them to easily adapt to games, and can make it easier to be used to teach whatever is intended in a fun and effortless way.
Games that we use to teach rhythm include songs that have you follow the beat and change how quickly you move. Our preschool classes also use a lot of songs that require them to clap while they move. Older kids may be given a skill combination and a song that they have to match the combination to, we will then change the song which requires them to change the way that they preform it, whether it be slow or fast. In many games we give kids the job of being the rhythm factory in which they are required to keep the rhythm going and gives them something to stay involved when they may not be actively participating in the game.
Something that is essential in dance is being able to keep a beat, or know how to find the beat. This can be a difficult skill to teach, but games make it a more attainable concept for dancers. Some of the ways that you will see this done in a class is by playing a song and having the kids count the music. We also play copy cat where the teacher would give them a beat and the child would have to play it back. Knowing how to stay on beat will dramatically change the way that a dancer preforms, even in non-recital dance.
Lastly, we use games to teach coordination and improve skills within class. For preschool age children one of those games is called Is That Me? In this game we are teaching them about self awareness and knowing when they need to move based on what they are wearing or what they are doing. We also use a dance terminology train in many classes, where there are terms on cards and they have to be able to show the skill in order to earn the card to add to their train.
The use of games in class, not only helps to make class more fun, but it also encourages students to explore and discover more about the benefits of dance.