Tips For Teaching Tots

AAHHHHHHH!! Dance classes are starting this week. Where did Summer go? In addition to my usual jazz, lyrical and hip-hop classes, I am also teaching some pre-ballet and ballet/tap classes for ages 3-6. GULP!! I am not as experienced teaching younger students, so I asked some of my peers for their advice and tips. Here are some of the techniques I will be using this year:

Students balancing bean bags on thier heads at Janie Christy's School of Dance.

PROPS, PROPS AND MORE PROPS

Prop Resources: Oriental Trading Company, IKEA, The Dollar Store, JoAnn Fabrics and Michael’s.

1. Beach Ball: Use for introductions and taking attendance. Have kids sit in a circle and pass the ball to each student. Or you can have a question of the day and pass the ball to get their answers.

2. Carpet Squares: Use as home base for the younger students. Place carpet squares in a circle and have students sit on them.

3. Bean Bags: Use for balancing exercises. Have students place a bean bag on their head and walk across the floor on tip toes. Or standing still have them practice releve with hands on hips and then arms in high fifth.

4. Orange Soccer Cones: Use as starting and stopping points for across the floor. Or create an obstacle course for the students to move around. Example: Line up the cones on a diagonal and have the students jump (gallop, prance, jete) over them. Or place cones in a circle and have the students chasse around them facing inside and outside with arms in second.

5. Hula Hoops: Have students jump from hula hoop to hula hoop. Perform movements inside and outside hoops. Example: Do slow movement inside the hoop and fast movement outside the hoop or have students mimic the hula hoops shape with their bodies.

GAMES

1. Hokey Pokey – In tap shoes

2. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

3. Ballet Teacher Says – Just like Simon Says but with Ballet terms.

4. Freeze Dance – Have them freeze in different poses like hands on your hips, one leg up, hip out.

These are just some of the great ideas I got. If you have some more please contact me. I would love to give them a try. 🙂

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About kddance

I am a dance fanatic living in Dallas, TX. Not only do I teach dance but I also love writing about it. My love for dance started at the age of six when my mom signed me up for my first dance class. I have training in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern and acrobatics. In college I minored in dance and majored in journalism. I have had articles published in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and the Dance Council of North Texas' DANCE publication. Let me share my stories with you.
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