GENERAL

5 Ideas to Teach Children Creative Self-Expression Through Dance

The stage may offer the students important lessons that the classroom may not be able to offer. Working in a team, managing time, managing pressure, communicating well, setting a goal, and speaking in public are simply a few lessons that the student may learn while engaging in a dance activity.

Here are a few ideas that primary schools in Kuala Lumpur undertake to teach children creative self-expression through dance:

  • Dance with More Participants: A child may be shy if you put him under the spotlight. But when he is on the stage with a group of his friends, the shyness goes away. He gets confidence from his peers and slowly opens up to the freeing nature of moving his arms and hips. So, make students dance in groups. You can arrange a small group of kids to play a game where they mirror each other’s movements. One child can move their body and the others can mimic him. The children can take turns to become the primary dancer. This not only frees their body but also gives them the confidence to lead a group of their peers.
  • Moving to Music: The children can develop essential cognitive skills when dancing to different types of movements. They can understand how to move their body to fast music and slow it down on slow music. You can make a playlist with music of varying beats and intensity. Ask the children to move according to how they feel when they listen to music. Upbeat music may make them happy and bursting with energy. A slower melody might calm them down. You can also create your own music with household items. Ask them to create how they feel using beats made with pots and pans. You can use rice shakers, cups, etc for this task. You can create a list of emotions and develop music according to how the children feel.
  • Use Props: If a child is shy, using props can help them be more comfortable. You can use costumes to put the children in characters. Ask the children to dance according to how they think the characters would dance. For example, how would a parrot move if it is happy or how would a tree sway if it is feeling calm? Using props can take away the performance anxiety of the kids.
  • Let them improvise: Ask the children to choreograph their own routine based on a situation. It will enable them to understand how to respond to situations and express how they feel. Teach them how to run, sway, glide, and let their body free in dance. Being correct and performing the choreography to the tee is not the aim here. 
  • Dance to Colours: This one is an interesting activity. Ask the children how they feel when they see color. Assign different colors to each child and ask them to dance according to the feeling that the color induces in them.

After each activity, talk about how they feel. Create a space where they can reflect and connect the physical experience to their emotions.