Please Wait a Moment

Activities for Dancers 7+

7+ year olds - Option 1: Loving Your Body and Being Kind
Materials: paper, markers, tape
Pose the following questions to the whole  group:
• What are some of the things our bodies allow us to do?
• What can we do to keep our bodies healthy (discourage “dieting talk” - don’t discuss certain foods that shouldn’t be eaten, rather state that a wide variety of foods can help us stay healthy)
• Do we all look the same?  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
• Do you think that it’s ever okay for kids to tease each other for being different?
• Why do you think it’s important to love and appreciate our bodies?
Give each dancer a piece of paper/markers ask them to draw a picture of a part of their body, and write a statement about what it allows them to do.  “I like my _______ because it helps me to ________.”  We are looking for functional answers (i.e. a part that helps them to do something - I love my legs because they can jump high).  The artwork prompt for this age is the same as the 5-7 year old age group, but it often inspires more complex answers. 

7+ year olds - Option 2: Mirror Prompt

Materials: mirror templates, markers, tape
Pose the following questions to the whole  group:
• Here in our studio we have these great big mirrors up on the walls.  Now this week we are covering them up a little at a time for Love Your Body Week, but normally we face them and use them for class right?  What do the mirrors help us do in class?
• You probably have lots of mirrors in your house too.  What do we use those for?  
• Mirrors can be really useful.  But it’s important to remember to always think and say kind things to ourselves when we look in the mirror, like “I am strong” or “I am beautiful”.  Why do you think that’s important? 
Pass out the mirror template pages. 
Mirror Prompt Handout

We have some papers with pictures of mirrors on them for you today.  At the top of your mirror it says “I am...”, and we would like for you to write or draw some of the amazing things you are in the mirror part here.  We’ll post your mirror on our big mirror today.  When LYBW is over, you can take it home to put up on one of your own mirrors at home, to remind yourself of all of these wonderful things about you when you look into that mirror too!

7+ year olds - Option 3: Evan Ruggerio

Materials: device with video, paper, markers, tape
We have a video to show you today of a tap dancer named Evan Ruggiero.  One thing that makes Evan unique is that he only has one leg.  When asked about what he thinks about being a dancer with one leg, Evan answered that it makes him “a more beautiful dancer”. 

Video: LA Tap Fest 2012 - Evan Ruggiero

After watching the video, ask the following questions to the whole class: 
• What did you notice about Evan’s dancing?
• Evan says he is “a more beautiful dancer” because of his unique body.  Do you agree?  
• Do you think that people with all different kinds of bodies can learn to dance?

Come back together to discuss as a group (allowing dancers to share with the whole class if they are comfortable).  Hand out papers and markers and ask dancers to write a statement about what makes them unique as a dancers, i.e. “I am a beautiful dancer because...” Encourage them to speak positively about something that makes them different, e.g. “I am a beautiful dancer because I dance with my whole heart” or “I am a beautiful dancer because my strong legs give me power”.  Post statements on the mirror.  

7+ year olds - Option 4: Ingrid Silva

Materials: device with video, paper, markers, tape
Dancers today we are going to start with a video of a dancer named Ingrid Silva.  She is from Brazil, and now dances for a ballet company called Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City.

Video: This Dancer is Turning the Ballerina Stereotype on Its Head

After watching the video, ask the following questions one at a time to the whole class:

• What do you notice about Ingrid as a dancer? You can help dancers with words - is she strong? Graceful? 
• In the video Ingrid says that it’s her difference that make her a stronger dancer. What are some unique things about you? 
• After dancers share: So those are all things that make you stronger dancers, too!  
• Ingrid talks about choosing not to give up. Do you think that’s important? Why? 
• What helped her to keep going? 
• Ingrid also says that “anyone can be a dancer”. We think that’s really important. Do you think that’s important? Why?

Pass out paper and markers. 

We asked you before to tell us some unique things about you. Think about one of the things you chose, and we’re going to write them on these papers. You could start your sentence with “I am a strong dancer because...” You can draw a picture if you’d like to, too! After you’re finished we’ll post them on the mirror.  

7+ year olds -  Option 5: Hands

Materials: paper, markers, tape
Break dancers out into pairs or small groups.

One of the things we do during Love Your Body Week  is celebrate all the things that make each of us unique.  We can use our hands as one little example of that idea. 

• Compare your hand to your partners - there are many things about them that are the same, and they function in the same way, but what looks different about them? What is unique about your hand? 
• List for your partner some of the things about you that are unique - these could be things about how you look or what your body can do, or about who you are as a person.
• After listening to your partner, you can add to their list!  What do you see that makes your partner unique? 

Once each dancer has shared with their partner(s), come back together as a group.  Ask dancers to trace their hand on their paper.  Have them write “I am...” in the palm, and then something that they like about themselves in each of the five fingers.  Post hands on the mirror.