Lion Dance Partner Exercise
In the “Lion Dance,” the lion costume is worn by two dancers moving in cooperation and harmony with one another. Ask students as partners to explore ways in which they could move together across the floor in cooperation, while always connected in some way, e.g., holding hands, touching heads, connecting arms. The speed can be varied according to the age and agility of the participants.
Dance Activities for Elementary
Using the New York City Blueprint for
Teaching and Learning in Dance
Entry Points for Teaching
Themes relating to social studies
A traditional cultural dance, like Chinese Ribbon Dance
Visual art works
Images for Silk
Waterfall, rainbow, ocean waves,
whirlpool, dragon, snake, cloud
Encourage students to create their own movements inspired by their natural environment with silk scarves!
Hand Eye Coordination
(Developing Skills and Techniques)
Traditional Chinese dancers must develop their hand eye coordination for stronger concentration. Circular patterns are often used to find harmony within the movements.
To help develop these skills, have students use their finger to trace their names in space. While they do this, have them follow the movement with their eyes. Review the hand gestures that the dancers performed in the show including the Orchid Flower Hand, and Tiger Hand. How many ways can you make circular patterns using these hand gestures?
Dancers must also develop spotting techniques to help them achieve balance. Like the performance, have the students try balancing on one leg while concentrating on a specific spot that they find in the room.
Embroidery and Costumes
Discuss the symbolism of color and design found in the costumes from the performance. See what symbols the students can identify! Students can create stories and/or poems based on the embroidery they view. From these stories students can choose three action words that identify a beginning, middle, and end. The students then create a movement sentence to perform for the class. Students can also learn each others sentences! Instead of words, students can choose symbols from the embroidery to create choreography from.
Perform for peers in dance class
Improvise in response to
Improvise with props
Class discussions to further movement explorations
From: Blueprint for teaching and learning in dance: Grades pre-k-12