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Lion Dance Partner Exercise

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.


Suggested Activities

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

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