Western Week Day #2: Cowgirls!

For Day #2 of our Western Week Dance Camp we are learning more new dance steps and making cowgirl neckerchiefs!

Day #2 Agenda

8:50-9:00am – Parent Drop-off / Student Sign-in
9:00-9:30am – Warm-up – we went on a “Bear Hunt
9:30-10:00am – Jazz Dance class – adding on to our dance
10:00-10:45am – Craft – Neckerchiefs and Cowboy Sunsets
10:45-11:00am – Snack Time
11:00-11:45am – Tap Class – reviewing yesterday’s dance
11:45-12:00pm – Games / Cool-down – we made an obstacle course

Day #2 Crafts: Cowgirl Neckerchiefs & Cowboy Sunsets

For the Neckerchiefs, You Will Need:

– Fabric cut into large squares (big enough to fold in half)
– Fabric Paint
– Paintbrushes
– Optional: rubber fabric stamps
Prep work:  My Camp Director cut out the fabric squares ahead of time and we made a painter’s palette for each group of two.  

We have a collection of rubber stamps that grows each year–most popular are the letter stamps and flowers. Some of the campers preferred to stamp and other drew designs and scenes.

Whichever they chose, they all turned out beautiful and the kids were excited to wear them for the show!

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Western Week Day #1: Tie-Dye

Our studio offers two types of camp: 5-day “Dance Camp” for ages 6-10 and 4-day “Princess Camp” for ages 4-6.

For both camps, the students come each day for three hours from 9am – noon and we dance and do arts and crafts.

Each year we do a different theme and base the week’s lessons around that theme. We hold an impromptu little “show” on the last day of camp for family and friends.

This year, the older kids’ camp theme was “Western / Cowgirls / Hoe Down”, which my camp director had a blast planning and I enjoyed doing!  I wanted to share our week with you and hopefully it will give you some ideas for your camp or even just some fun crafts to do at home this summer!  Psst – if you’re looking for another camp idea – check out last year’s “Rock Star” Camp.

Day #1 Agenda

8:50-9:00am – Parent Drop-off & Student Sign-in
9:00-9:30am – Warm-up & “Get to know you” activities – I like doing the Name Game as an icebreaker
9:30-10:00am – Jazz Dance class – we learn our first group dance
10:00-10:45am – Craft – Tie-dye
10:45-11:00am – Snack Time
11:00-11:45am – Tap Class – we learn our first tap dance
11:45-12:00pm – Games / Cool-down

Day #1 Craft: Tie-Dye

You Will Need:
– T-Shirts
– Fabric Dye 
– Buckets
– Rubberbands

The first day of all of our camps we traditionally do tie-dye, as the shirts take some time to dry and we sometimes use the tie-dyed shirts in later projects.  This year was no different and we took to the sidewalk outside our school to tie-dye.

Before heading outside, we wrapped our shirts with rubber bands.  Depending on the age of your kids, you can get pretty creative.  Our campers favored the Spiral, Stripes and Dots techniques.

We are fortunate to have a spigot in the front of our building, so we use that to fill up a bunch of tubs mixed with tie-dye and place them on the sidewalk and let the kids have at it.  We had a small group this time, so we let them all go at once, but if you have a larger group, you might have to break it up.

Wearing our T-shirts for the show!

Tip:  The younger children always want to dip their shirts in Every Single Bucket because… well, its just fun to dip in the buckets!  If you use dark colors, their shirts will end up a not-so-pretty brown color.  We try to get colors that are light and will mix well if layered (yellow, pink, purple, orange).  

More tips from last year.

After they have dyed to their heart’s content, one of the teachers washes the T-shirt under the cold water  until no more dye runs out and then the kids hang them up to dry (we use a portable ballet barre on the sidewalk).

Day #1 Playlist

Marching Onward… and Checking In!

Hi friends, just taking a moment to check in and say I’m still here!  Crazy busy, but still here!

February to June is my super busy season, as I’m sure it is for many other dance teachers and studio owners as we prep for our annual recital, register for summer classes and work on next season’s schedule!

Haven’t had as much time to write down thoughts and new music finds, but I wanted to share a funny story from my beginning ballet class.  They are first and second graders and always surprise me, but one caught me off guard!

We were at ballet barre about to work on tendus…

Miss Cait (that’s me): “Now what do we need to remember about tendus?  Sophie?”

Sophie: “Straight legs!”

MC: “That’s right, what else, Julia?”

Julia: “Make them sticky!” (see more about that here)

MC: “Yes definitely… ok, anything else, Morgan?”

Morgan (just as brightly and matter-of-factly as the other responses): “My fish died!”

MC: “Oh.. well… I’m very sorry to hear that – what was your fish’s name?”

Morgan: “Swishy”

MC: “Well…” (scrambling for the appropriate response)

Sophie: “I know!  We can have a funeral for Swishy!”

MC: “I don’t know…”

Julia: “It’s perfect ’cause we’re all dressed up for a funeral – we’re all wearing black!” (we wear black and pink)

MC: “Ok then, let’s dedicate tendues to Swishy”

Kids: “Swishy, this is for you.”

So that’s how we ended up dedicating part of our ballet barre to Swishy the fish!

Our Elf, Izzy

When I read Maria’s post asking her readers about their elves, I knew I had to share!

Our studio Elf on the Shelf, Izzy, has made a lot of friends at dance school!
First we got an official letter from Santa telling us why our elf was so special:
Like the Santa stationary?  I got it from here

 

Then Izzy lit up our dance studio with some lights, which put everyone in a festive mood!
Izzy showed off her split skills at the Split Wall.
She even signed her name!
And then got into the sticker supply….
Christmas colors of course…
And made herself a tutu out of tulle…
Izzy, I don’t think that’s what the measuring tapes are meant for!
I guess she decided the kids were behaving and decided to watch the parents in the waiting room instead… 🙂
I don’t know what she’ll do next!

I enjoy sharing Izzy’s adventures on our studio Facebook page and Instagram so everyone can see what she’s been up to!

Do you have an Elf at your school or home?  Is he or she mischievous or well-behaved? Share in the comments!

Dance Deals: Wooden Nutcracker Ornament

Spotted this deal and wanted to share (full disclosure: I’m not getting paid for this, just sharing the good deal!):

Cute little wooden Nutcrackers!

DollarTree – Nutcracker Ornaments, 2 for $1

You have to buy a case of 48 units (so 96 ornaments), but if anyone has lots of little ones, might make a good gift for a good price!

They are 5″ tall, which is a pretty decent size.

In other news, yuck, I can’t believe I posted about Christmas ornaments in October.  Shame on me!

Link Love: Olympic-Inspired Movement

Thanks to Teach Preschool’s post about the Olympic Blog Hop, I discovered a bunch of great Olympics-inspired movement posts for the little ones and had to share!

Move Like a Gymnast from Creative Family Fun – these activities might be fun to incorporate into a summer camp next year.

Pom Pom Games – These pom poms look fairly easy to make and would be a fun alternative to bean bags in the classroom.

Movement Games for Young Children – a few ideas and a great list of guidelines for creating your own movement game.

Ring-Based Movement Ideas – You could easily translate these ideas to non-Olympic rings by using some hoola hoops or rubber circles.

Olympic Family Fitness from The Iowa Farmer’s Wife – a 15-minute fitness lesson for a 3-year old including warm-up, activity and cool down.

Cute London Bus Prop Idea – ok, so this one has nothing to do with movement, but the London bus they made from a cardboard box would be a cute prop!

Have you been watching the Olympics?  Will any Olympic inspired movement be making its way into your classrooms this year?

Reading List

I started titling this entry “Summer Reading List”, but then realized that it’s already August!  Yikes!  So I will call this my Late-Summer / Early-Fall reading list and hope I get through most of the books by the time the leaves start to fall.This is also my response to August’s Blog Challenge – what are you reading?

And p.s…. Happy National Book Lover’s Day!  Total unplanned coincidence!

Dance Books

The Human Alphabet by Pilobolus – can’t wait to use this one in creative movement class in the fall!

The Souls of Your Feet by Acia Gray – a tap book!

Twyla Tharp: The Creative Habit – I have been meaning to read this book for ages…

Creative Dance for All Ages by Anne Green Gilbert – this was recommended to me by a colleague as a springboard for developing creative movement ideas


Business Books

The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte – I started reading this the other day and so far it is a nice change of pace from usual business books – it’s like a breath of fresh air!

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon – a nice little book that promises to be full of inspiration, if its anything like his blog


Quick word about my affiliate relationship with Amazon so we’re all clear:  If you click the links above and end up purchasing a book, I get a teeny percentage of the sale.  If you don’t want to do this, you can search for the book on another site or use Amazon without clicking the links.  Yay freedom of choices!