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How to Teach Your Child Creative Dance at Home

Updated on May 18, 2012

© 2012 Katina Davenport

Before my little girl embarked on her journey to her first dance class without me, I wanted her to know the basics. I taught her how to plié and arabesque, point and turn. She is such a natural dancer that it came with ease. One day I walked into the living room to find her doing a heel stretch, a move involving one leg in the air while holding the bottom of the heel. I was amazed at her ability. After seeing her ability, the next step was to send her off to a dance studio, but I realized that she could experience creative dance education at home. After all, I have taught her before. This time I didn’t worry about dance vocabulary, I let her move freely.

If you are a homeschool mom or want to provide a physical outlet for your children then, why not start a creative dance for children study at home. Here are some things you can do to teach your child expression that will get them moving and motivated.


Start with a good warm up

Every dance class should start with a warm up. It is to prepare the body for the main part of the physical activity. Start with rolling the head; looking to the left and to the right. Roll the shoulders back and forth. Have your children touch their toes and roll up slowly and repeat a couple of times. Now, let them reach for the sky.

You can have your children repeat these movements as often as you like, and in whatever order you wish.


Picture of my daughter dancing and swinging her arms.
Picture of my daughter dancing and swinging her arms.

Time, Space, and Energy

Time, space, and energy are all basic elements of dance. Time is the measurement of beats in the song. Timing is so important in dance. You always want to be with the correct timing of music, otherwise you can miss a step. Space is the use of your dance area. Making proper use of the space can either make dancing easy or difficult. Energy is the emphasis of movements. Some require lots of emphasis others require a small movement.

To incorporate all of these things into a lesson all you have to do is turn on the music they enjoy; have them walk in a circle to the beat of the music. If they get off the beat, you can guide them by clapping your hands and counting. Or, if you like you can have them skip to their favorite music. Make it interesting; add turns or have your children hop on one foot. Let them explore how much emphasis to put into their movements. They can make them soft or sharp as they like.


My daughter dancing like a lion.
My daughter dancing like a lion.

Improvisation

Teaching children how to interpret movements is a fun way to get them to understand self-expression. Improvisation is simply interpreting an action, character, or movement in the way that you see it. For example, you can have your child dance like a lion or ask them to dance like a butterfly. You can get them to use their abstract thinking by asking them to dance like the wind. Since they have never seen the wind they know the effects of the wind by how it sounds or how the tress blow.


Play a Dance Game

Here is a different spin on Simon Says. I call it freeze dance. I used this in a dance class of 5 year old girls. They found it enjoyable. Turn on some really good music. It can be fast or slow. Allow them to dance as they interpret the song. Next, pause the song and have them freeze in whatever pose they were in. Then, press play and continue. If you are doing this with more than one child it can become a game of elimination (if you want) to announce the winner.


Costuming

If you have a daughter that likes to play dress up, like I do, then allow her to wear her favorite dress or make up a costume for the dance study. My daughter likes to wear her Cinderella dress during dance because she likes the way it moves when she turns.


My daughter dancing with her gold ribbon.
My daughter dancing with her gold ribbon.

Props

You can buy ribbons, streamers, hula hoops, and pom poms for your children. My daughter loves to twirl the ribbons to her favorite song.


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    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 5 years ago from Oakland, California

      The video is great! I enjoyed your article

    • profile image

      Dinesh Balakrishnan 5 years ago

      Really i was enjoyed to read this hub.My son was 4 years trying to dance,but i got some ideas that how to manage them while teaching dance.Creative dance really fantastic.Now i will try to make my son to dance with props & Self inspiring thoughts.

      Thanks a lot

    • davenstan profile image
      Author

      Katina Davenport 5 years ago

      Yes I was a dancer and an instructor at one time in my life. I still teach and dance from time to time.

      My daughter was 3 in the video. At that time, she enjoyed turning ; fast or slow it didn't matter.

      The dog enjoyed herself too thanks to my hubby.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I thoroughly enjoyed this hub, Katina. Oh, my goodness, what fun! The video is so delightful, and I LOL when the dog got into the act. Your daughter is adorable.

      I suspect that you were a dancer / dance instructor before? So was I, which is what caught my attention about your title. Important points on teaching the creative dance basics to a child. They have so much fun, as your daughter demonstrates, just being themselves and moving to the music. Creative dance was one of my favorite classes to teach.

    • davenstan profile image
      Author

      Katina Davenport 5 years ago

      Thanks alocsin. Teaching my daughter to dance is a great experience. I love to watch her dance because She does some interesting things that I can use. I may create some more videos now that I figured out the movie maker software on my computer.

      Thanks for reading.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Always fun to teach and watch kids dance to remember what a freeing experience it can be. Wonderful video. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • profile image

      Chris Holloway 5 years ago

      What a lovely way for the family to have fun. I think when my grand daughters come at the weekend we will try this. Thanks for the idea, keep it up and have fun.

    • davenstan profile image
      Author

      Katina Davenport 5 years ago

      Thank you very much!

    • profile image

      vijayendra kushwaha 5 years ago

      nice very interesting video keep it up buddy i like this so much i hope soon you upload more these type of videos for education purpose anyone who want may only learn very carefully from here

    • davenstan profile image
      Author

      Katina Davenport 5 years ago

      Thank you Lipnancy. I have a video of her dancing in the underwear section at Sears. I was one of the funniest things I had ever seen her do in public. My daughter doesn't care where she is, she has to dance.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Love the homemade video. Your children are adorable!