Teaching Tips

It’s National Goof Off Day—Here’s How to Celebrate in Dance Class

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As dance teachers, we don't have much patience for goofing off. Case in point: Some of our trademark phrases are, "Stretch your legs not your mouths," and "If you have time to talk, you have time to go over the choreography." We are all about efficiency 💁♀️. So, the idea of celebrating National Goof Off Day may sound like the most absurd thing in the world to you, but hear us out. Your dancers work hard, and they sacrifice so much in order to pursue their dreams with you each day. Odds are, they need a break, and one day of goofing off may just be the thing that will help them recharge and come back more focused than ever.

Here's what you can do during class that will help your dancers grow as artists, while allowing them to let loose and chill out. Enjoy!

1. Sharing Is Caring

Spend some time in class when you have your dancers to share their dreams and fears with one another. Ask each of them to tell the story of a time when dance lifted them through a trial, or inspired them to be kinder to others. At the end of class, have your dancers use improvisation to tell the stories they just shared through movement. It will be both therapeutic and informative.

2. Play a Game

Adding a level of lighthearted competition to class can take away the monotony of an ordinary day and make it exciting. One game you could consider playing is animal improv. Have your dancers split into two groups. While one group dances, the other observes. Assign each of your dancers an animal, and ask them to perform a combination you've given them as if they were that animal. Once the combination ends, ask the dancers what animals they think their friends were performing as. Once they've finished guessing, have the groups trade places and repeat the process. The team that best communicates which animals they are wins.

3. Role Reversal

Let your dancers experience a new side of the dance world by giving them the chance to teach a little. Assign each student a different combination to create for the rest of the class. Once they've developed the movement, have them teach it to their fellow dancers and communicate best practices for how to accomplish it effectively. While you will still be overseeing and providing corrections to your students, this shake-up gives them a chance to see class from a different perspective. They may even create combinations that are a little silly. Let it happen! They need to feel some freedom every once in a while.

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