Transitions and change of routine are tough for anyone, especially students. This is the first week back from spring break, the weather is changing from stormy to sunny, and teachers are absent for one reason or another with new substitute teachers. It is a lot to handle as a young person and some of them are bouncing off the walls unable to concentrate on school. They need an outlet and dance is a great release.
Rather than having the students just “run-dance” around the room, I chose to have a structured focus dance activity. The “Flamingo Flamenco” dance activity lets students wiggle and release their bouncing energy. With Flamenco guitar music playing, I told students we were dancing like flamingos standing on one leg. They were also given a ribbon streamer to twirl while dancing. Students concentrated on balancing on one leg, switching legs, and spinning the ribbon while watching out for friends in their twirl space. That’s a lot of body coordination and body awareness! M. Kangaroos had quick dancing toes to the music with graceful arabesques. K. All-Stars learned to hold onto a friend while twirling the ribbon around her foot. B. Fireflies invented the floor flamingo, lying on one leg while twirling. It is a challenge and quite a work-out to stand on one leg for the entire activity and many students ended up as skipping, hopping, flying, or standing flamingos with quick spinning ribbons. After about 6 minutes of dancing, students were reportedly calmer, focused, and quieter. Whew!