Dance Baseball

This is a fun dance game that my students love playing in class.  I hesitate to call it a “game” because I try to make a lot of our exercises in class fun, and it also is a good review of technique.  Either way, the kids see it as a game and they love playing, so I like to save it for special times of the year.

As a side note, one of my 7 year olds who started playing softball in the spring was so proud that she was the only one on her softball team that year who knew how the game worked because we had played “ballet baseball” in class…wasn’t exactly what I was hoping she would learn from ballet class, but hey at least she learned something!

Dance Baseball

Ages 7 & Up (dancers need a basic understanding of baseball/softball)

Class:  Adaptable to any style of class where the students have learned specific technique skills that they can be called upon to remember.  I will use a beginning ballet class in my description below.

My ballerinas lined up to play (purple cone is 1st base)

Set-Up:  Designate bases around the room (we use the traditional diamond shape, but your dance baseball field can have as many bases as you like).  I usually use small cones, but little rugs or tape mark would work.  The pitcher (usually that’s me) stands in the middle.

The Goal: The whole class is one team and their goal is to get as many “runs” around the bases as a class as they can against the pitcher, who’s goal is to stump them and get them “out”.

How we play:  The first dancer comes “up to bat” (steps up to home plate) and I “pitch” them a dance step (2nd position demi plie). If they can do it, they move (we bourree) to first base.

The second dancer steps up to home plate and I “pitch” them a different step (degagé).  If they can do it, they move to first base and the first dancer moves to second.  If the do not know the step or do it incorrectly, the team has an “out”.  Depending on the age, I will give hints or three tries to the dancer who is up.  If I’m able to stump someone, I keep using the same step until someone gets it.

This continues and if dancers know the step, they all move up one base, eventually getting all the way back home and earning a “run”.

We play to three outs and count up the runs.  We try to beat our highest score as a class the next time we play.

Stealing a base in ballet baseball

Advanced Dance Baseball:  “Stealing bases”

With my tweens and teens, I allow “base stealing”.  The pitcher holds a beanbag and dancers may attempt to steal a base by tiptoeing… however if they try to steal a base, I can toss the beanbag at them to try to get them out.  This usually causes lots of giggles since I have pretty bad aim ☺

Just remind them that they are in dance class, not a field, so no running (or sliding).  Sometimes I allow multiple people on the bases – modify the rules as you see fit!

I hope you like our fun alternative to reviewing dance steps – make it your own!  Play ball!

Creative Movement: The Name Dance

One of my favorite activities to do on the first day of Dance Camp or the first day of class is to create a “Name Dance”.  It is a simple and fun activity that helps us learn each other’s names.

The Name Dance
To begin, start in a circle.  One at a time, each student says their name with a simple gesture. Encourage the students to do whatever movement they want – does not have to be a ‘technical step’. Let them experiment with how they say their name – rhythmic, loud, soft, etc.

Go around the circle a second time; students may keep their same gesture or change it.  This time, when a student does their name gesture, the class must echo them in both movement and sound.

The third time around, build the dance.  Link a few name gestures together and practice saying / doing them in a row. See if you can make it all the way around the circle to finish the full Name Dance.

Bonus Name Dance Activities
If everyone is still enjoying the Name Game and you’ve gotten the hang of it, try going faster, in slow motion, facing outside the circle or going in reverse order.

This game is a lot of fun and students will remember their step for weeks to come – I’ve had students say “oh, now we’re doing The Emma” or “can we add a Sophia in here”.  Some of my classes like to greet each other with the other person’s gesture.

And by the way, a “Miss Cait” is a very fancy curtsey 🙂

Rock Star Camp Day 4: Bling Bling

Read more about our camp here!

Day #4 Set List

  • Warm-Up:  Jazz warm-up and across the floor progressions
  • Class Time:  Jazz class – learn dance #3
  • Craft Time:  Sunglasses & Necklaces
  • Snack
  • Class Time:  Tap class – learn dance #3
  • Fun Time:  Relay Races
Playlist
On Day 4, we learned our final dances to “We Built This City” We Built This City - Now That's What I Call the 80s by Starship and Hannah Montana’s “Rock Star”Rock Star - Hannah Montana 2: Non-Stop Dance Party.Since we needed more time to practice our dances, we kept craft time shorter than the other days.

Craft #1:  Blinged-Out Sunnies
Supplies:  Cardstock or Folders, Gem Rhinestones, Glue, Paintbrushes

Teacher Prep:  Cut out glasses from cardstock.

Using glue and plastic gems, decorate glasses.

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Rock Star Camp Day 2: Rockin’ Guitars & Hats

See more about our camps here – Rock Star Theme Camp.  

Day #2 Set List

  • Warm-Up:  Jazz warm-up and across the floor progressions
  • Class Time:  Jazz class – learn dance #2
  • Craft Time:  Guitars, Hats, Microphones
  • Snack
  • Class Time:  Tap class – learn dance #2
  • Fun Time:  Limbo & Beanbag pass
Microphone bases (left) and guitar necks (right)

Main Craft: Guitars

You Will Need:
– Various cardboard boxes (tissue boxes, shoe boxes, pasta boxes, etc) – 1 per guitar
– 1-foot piece of cardboard tube (wrapping paper or paper towel tube) – 1 per guitar
– Construction or contact paper to cover box
– Rubber bands (6 per guitar)
– Crayons (2 per guitar)
– Paint & paint brushes
– Hot glue gun
– Glue sticks for glue gun

1.  Paint cardboard tube.  Set aside to dry.

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