This year I am back to teaching each class for 30 minutes once a week and it is NOT ENOUGH TIME to teach everything, so I try to find any time at all that I can to teach something of value. No minute goes unnoticed!! Up until now I have always used some sort of recorded song to warm the kids up ~ shake your hands, wiggle your nose, jump up 5 times, etc…., but this year I decided to do something different!

“How can I warm up the kids and teach something briefly AND have a blast while doing it?”

Of course, all of the cool dances of the decades in the United States came to mind…. after some thought, of course!

We are in school from August to May ~ 10 months/ 10 decades; however, there are so many dances of the 1960’s that I am covering that decade for 2 months!! I am starting with the 1920’s and going until the present (where I am sure the kids will need to teach me what dances are popular at the moment!!).

Here is the list as it stands right now:

  • Aug: 1920’s ~ the Charleston
  • Sept: 1930’s ~ Lindy Hop
  • Oct: 1940’s ~ Jitterbug
  • Nov: 1950’s ~ Original Stroll, the Bop
  • Dec: 1960’s ~ the Twist, the Locomotion
  • Jan: 1960’s ~ the Watusi, the Swim
  • Feb: 1970’s ~ the Hustle, YMCA, Disco Finger, Electric Slide
  • Mar: 1980’s ~ (I already have had a request for the Moonwalk!!!) Jackson Moves, MC Hammer moves
  • Apr: 1990’s ~ Macarena, the Running Man, Vogueing
  • May: 2000’s ~ Gangnam Style and dances they want to show me!

This week I started with the Charleston. I was able to give a few facts about the 1920’s and will continue to as the month goes on. My second – sixth graders were soooo cute!! They all tried (even the kids who were NOT AMUSED) and some danced very well! The biggest lesson I learned was that I needed to slow things down!! I kind of just went into it at first to see what would happen ~ some kids got it, some did not. By my last class, I was breaking the dance down step by step and that helped! Live and learn!

My favorite thing about this is that we start the class off in a fun way! We are all laughing and enjoying the music, regardless of ability. This continues throughout the class and makes teaching in this weird time so much more enjoyable!! Let me know in the comments below any dances you do with your students!!