Wondrous Wintry Dance Activities to Make Winter Dance Class Fun!
Brrrr…winter is certainly in full force and, during these cold months, it’s always good to have some FUN winter dance activities tucked up your long sleeves to warm up your dance class! We certainly think so, and that’s why we’ve created three wondrous winter dance activities that are sure to melt away any winter blues and make those cold winter dance class days FUN!
First in our lineup is #iceiceconfetti – a fun + festive, simple combo that’s super easy to learn, especially for your younger dancers! For music, we used Ice Ice Baby by MattyBRaps featuring Vanilla Ice, an upbeat and age appropriate tune! We love teaching #iceiceconfetti to our preschoolers, kindergarteners and even first and second grade dancers! You can download our combo tutorial here and download the music from your favorite music provider (since we don’t own the rights, we can’t share it). We’d love to see your dancers performing this cool activity! If you video them, use our hashtag #iceiceconfetti so we can share in all the fun!
Next up is a fun choreography that builds upon itself… like a snowman! A few days before class, cut out snowman shapes from fun colored paper (we used colored foam sheets, foam stickers and glitter paper), including the three large snowballs for the body, a carrot nose, eyes, mouth, top hat, tree limb arms, scarf, buttons and any other accessories you fancy. If you aren’t feeling crafty, you might also find ready made die-cuts in these shapes online or at your local craft store.
To get started, allow the first dancer to draw a card, read it out loud to the class, then let the dancer place the shape on the mirror or wall in the appropriate spot. Next, if a specific dance step is drawn, the entire class should perform that step together. Anytime one of the fun cards are drawn, that dancer can create the motion for that step (and, depending on the age, you can assist), and the other dancers can follow. When the next dancer draws a card from the top hat, the dancers should first perform the previous dance step, then add the new dance step, building each level of the snowman (think “I’m going on a trip to the moon” style)! Continue building as each dancers draw their step. This exercise will not only engage your dancers, but will also challenge their memory and reinforce basic dance steps through repetition.
Once your shapes are ready, set aside the three large snowballs, then write out several dance steps on all the other shapes (make sure you have enough for at least one per dancer). You can add any dance steps that are in line with the style you are teaching for that class. Also, add a few fun phrases to inspire improv and creative movement, like Graceful Snowflake, Galloping Gingerbread, Giant Snowmiser, Standing Snow Angel, Peppy Penguin, Dancing Sugarplum, Blizzard Boogie, etc. Place all the shapes into a giant black snowman hat.
On the day of class, place the three large snowballs in the form of a snowman on your mirror or wall. Make sure you have tape or gummy glue on hand, as dancers will be placing the shapes on the mirror or wall as they “build” the snowman.
By the end of the game, they will see a completely built snowman and know they each played a role in choreographing a fun + fancy winter combo!
Our last winter dance activity is a Swan-Skating Obstacle Course for ballet class! After all, white snow + graceful ballet = a beautiful Swan Ice Princess!
Begin by setting the tone with your dancers imagining the dance floor is a sparkly frozen pond and they are a graceful, white swan ice princess. You can use white marabou boas or blue Washi tape to outline the floor in the shape of a pond. If you don’t have these supplies on hand, no worries! The dancers can pretend the entire floor is their sparkly frozen pond. Any accessories/props you may have in your closet, would be a bonus. White feathers wings, a sparkling crown, feather boa, snowflake magic wands, etc.
There are several ballet steps they can demonstrate that will make them feel like a true Swan Ice Princess. Start by lining the dancers up at the end of the floor and have them take turns gliding onto the icy pond. They can do any or all of the following steps through the frozen pond or around the edge of the pond.
Arabesque: Have them glide on the ice through first position and lift their back leg into an arabesque. This will alternate sides and will make them look and feel as if they are ice skating on the pond. Be sure they are holding their wings (arms) out to the side and their necks are stretched long like a swan. For your older dancers, have them take it a step further and add a saute to the arabesque. You can change the arms if you’d like. Make sure to remind them about passing through first position, stretching that back leg straight in their arabesque and pointing their feet each time they come off the floor.
Port de bras: While they are skating over the pond, you can have them stop, stand in first position and demonstrate their port de bras using their soft and graceful wings. Remember, keeping their neck long and lifted is important.
Grand Jeté: Once they’ve completed their turn, they can take flight off the frozen pond and fly back to the end of the line by doing a grand jeté over the outlining of the pond (boas, tape or anything you have on hand to jump over).
Swan Improv: While they are skating throughout the icy pond, you can call out different swan actions for them to demonstrate. For example: How would you dance if you were a swan gliding on ice? Floating on water? Fluttering your feathers? Flying through the sky? Laying down to sleep? You’ll be amazed at what the little ones will do when you give them simple guidelines and fun analogies.
BONUS FUN: Find a swan stuffed animal or a large swan float. Accessorize it with a winter scarf and crown for a super fun photo opportunity for your classes. The dancers and parents will love it!
P.S. You can use this same concept for Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, etc.!
We hope these wondrous wintry dance activities add a spark of warmth into these cold months and bring you that much closer to a looooong winter’s nap that we’re certain you deserve!
Stay Warm ~ Cheers!