We dance and do yoga on Friday! For the songs, in parentheses you will see a code; the number is how many people are dancing together: singles, or pairs, or more. And the letter is for the risqueness: Low, Medium, or High.
I always explain to my students the differences in culture between Latin dancing and American dancing because sometimes all that hip shaking makes my students uncomfortable. I never ever make them dance but I do require that they stand up. I'll usually dance next to a non-dancer for a bit and see if I can at least get them to wiggle a finger! Sometimes it helps to give the dance moves funny names like "Step on a Bug" or "Wash the Windows."
“Latin dance is based on emotion. You get to let go, like you don’t have to feel pressure on your body. You just get to let go and kind of let go of yourself and you kind of forget about other things.”
It’s a very quick way to get to know people
It is a great way to reduce stress and to have fun.
Latin dance is both about the celebration of the beautiful parts of life and the overcoming of the difficult parts
Having trouble getting buy in? Here are some things to try:
Lucy Louise: I choose a different French song every week (I use the same one for all classes). We start every class by standing in a circle. I start the music, and the kids and I play a clapping communication game. Here's how to play: you pass the clap around the circle. Everyone is clapping to the beat of the music, but when you're passing the clap, toy turn and face the next person and give eye contact (the point of this activity is non-verbal communication, which I talk about all the time with them). If you want to switch directions, you do two claps. If toy want to pas the clap to someone across the circle, it's 3 claps, and you step forward and really intentionally give eye contact, so the person receiving the clap knows it's for them. If you want to skip the person next to you, you clap above your head (you can combine this with the two claps to change directions and switch directions). The rules were never explained; the kids figured them out through non-verbal communication cues (eye contact, body direction). The kids love this. The different claps always give funky rhythms, and I get a sense of their mood that day depending on their level of enthusiasm. Even 7 months into the school year, they still laugh and smile every single time. And kids who like dancing will dance to the music while clapping, or tap their feet, etc. It's also sets the tone: that this class involves a lot of movement, being out of your seat, and fun!!
AnneMarie Chase My “rule” is... if you don’t dance, you have to move your hands and your feet. A few weeks ago I noticed in one class a lot of kids were just standing around being lame, so I stopped the song and told everyone to sit down and we continued with class. The following Friday the asked for Baile Viernes and I told them No! I told them hurt my feelings that they were just standing around. They begged but I was firm. Last week they asked again, and I asked if they were going to dance or stand around lamely. The promised me they would dance and they didn’t let me down! I think the non dancers felt the peer pressure of the kids who love it... and it worked 🙂