Don’t let your ballet class turn sour just because you’re fresh out of fun ideas! Take your dancers on a Lemonade Escapade and add some zest back into dance class to keep things vibrant + engaging for your young ballerinas!
You can escape your everyday ballet class routine and take this fun journey any time of year! Whether over the summer as a special summer dance party or simply incorporated into your weekly class during your regular dance season, it’s always a great time to squeeze some fun into dance class!
This fun theme is most appropriate for your preschool through early elementary age classes. You can certainly adapt the activity for other ages, but it’s especially fun for 3-7 year olds!
Planting the Lemon Seeds
No matter when you decide to hold your Lemonade Escapade, make sure you invite your dancers to dress in their favorite yellow or lemon-inspired dance outfit. And no worries if yellow is not their favorite color–lemonade comes in every color and flavor, so anything colorful, pastel or bright and fruity will match the theme! In fact, we love these dreamy, pastel leotards from Discount Dance in pink, purple and aqua!
To set the scene in your studio, create your very own lemonade stand at the ballet barre! We crafted a simple striped, scalloped canopy using large pieces of bright yellow and white felt fabric super-glued to poster board! You’ll need to purchase a small patch of artificial grass to cut into a few strips for the activity as well as some plastic lemons–enough for each dancer to have at least one, plus a few extras.
The Lemonade Escapade Adventure!
Now it’s time for the adventure! This fun obstacle course is designed to reinforce ballet technique at each stop!
Place several small patches of artificial grass around the room in a path formation that will end at your lemonade stand. Place a small basket filled with a few lemons at each patch. Each lemon can be labeled with a specific dance step. Use a sharpie to write the steps on colored paper and tape them to the lemons. The dancers will perform different activities traveling from one patch of grass to another until they reach the super cute lemonade stand!
Dancers will bourrée (from 5th position) their way to the first patch. Select a lemon and demonstrate the step(s) listed on the lemon. Then bourrée again to the next stop in the course. This process will continue until they reach the last patch of grass at the lemonade stand! Following are suggested steps and analogies for each stop along the Lemonade Escapade Obstacle Course, but be creative and add your own steps as well!
Port de bra: Use their arms imagining they are reaching as far as they can in all directions to pick the lemons off the branches of the lemon tree.
Tendu, Dégagé and Battement: Explain how important it is to keep their legs super straight and feet pointed sharply so they can pretend to slice the lemons perfectly.
Rond de Jambe: Place one lemon in front of the grass, one directly to the side and one directly behind. The dancer will stand on the grass in first position and stretch their legs and feet to reach for the lemon as they rotate through their rond de jambe.
Grand Jeté: At the last patch of grass, have the dancers do a giant leap to finish at the lemonade stand. You could even have them do a grand jeté over all the patches of grass!
Arabesque: Once they’ve reached the lemonade stand, they can hold onto the barre in first position and demonstrate arabesque. You can gently hold a lemon on the back of their leg and ask them to keep their leg super straight and feet pointed as they lift the lemon as high as they can.
Now they’ve reached the end of the Lemonade Escapade! From here, they can curtsy and return to the line for another round of fun!
We hope that you and your dancers enjoy this bright + fruity activity in your dance class! As you can see, it’s so easy to create this fun adventure in your classroom! So, plan your escape today and turn those lemons of the same-old, same-old ballet class into a sweet Lemonade Escapade!
For more great fun + festive dance inspiration, visit the Confetti Blog at http://confettionthedancefloor.com/