The elementary classes watched videos of traditional Kenya dancing via YouTube. The video I show is at the end of this post. They heard and labeled the drums, maracas, and bells that play the rhythmic patterns that move the dancers. They saw the men and women dancing separately then together, always moving their body to the music. We noticed that different body parts that move: the feet, hips, arms, torso, and head. Other dance movements include dancing on one foot, turning in a circle, fast feet, and moving to the beat of the music.
After two minutes of watching the dancers, I invited the students to dance along with the video. About half of the students felt ready to dance. Many of them kept their eyes on the screen and imitated the movements while several of them allowed the music to dictate their movements. After watching and dancing for two minutes, I turned off the screen and had everyone get up and dance.
It was difficult for some students to dance a new style. Many of them resorted to walking to the beat. Some of the students looked to holding hands together and moving as one. I reminded them of some of the movements we saw: arms up, quick feet, turning in a circle, and moving to the rhythm. By the second week of Kenyan dancing, students were more comfortable, moving freely and uninhibited. The dance is primal and they really have fun with it.