Teaching Tips

It’s the New Dance Year! 4 Dance-tastic Ice-breaker Games to Use the First Day of Class

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It's finally September, and we are SO ready for the exciting new dance year ahead. We're confident that the life lessons you will be teaching, the pristine technique you will be perfecting, and the compelling choreography you will be creating will be better than ever!

But first, you've got to break the ice on that very first day of classes. To help, we've compiled a list of dance-tactic ice breakers that are sure to get your students feeling comfortable, and excited to boogie!!

You're welcome!

1. Telephone: The Dance Edition

Play the game of telephone with your students, using only dance-themed sentences. For your little ones, you could try "5, 6, 7, 8!" For your older dancers, you might want to try something a little more challenging like, "Tombé pas de bourrée, glissade, saut de chat."

*In case any of you forgot how to play the game telephone, sit in a circle with all of your dancers. Begin the game by whispering a sentence into the ear of the student next to you. Have that student relay what you said into the ear of the person next to them. This continues until the sentence has traveled all the way around the circle. Once it returns to you, say the sentence out loud. Your dancers are sure to devolve into giggles when they realize how much it changed!

2. The Line-Up Game

Separate your class into teams of five or six. Then call out the words, "Everyone please now line up," followed by a specific direction. For example, you might say, "Everyone please now line up in order of age, oldest at the front, youngest at the back," or "Everyone please now line up by height, shortest first"or "Everyone please now line up according to your birthdays—first in the year goes first." Once they've made their line, have them choreograph a set of eight to demonstrate from the class that doesn't move away from the line. Then do the whole thing again.

3. Follow Instructions

Have your dancers sit in rows. Once they come into class, lay a handout face-down in front of them. On the paper is a list of 10–15 dance steps. At the top of the sheet is the line, "Read the entire list of prompts before starting." The last activity will say that they should ignore all the other prompts and only introduce themselves to the person next to them. Have your students flip over the sheet of paper and begin. Your dancers won't be able to stop laughing as they discover that they have been tricked.

4. Getting to Know You

Have your dancers stand in a circle. Begin the game by throwing a beanbag or ball at someone in the circle and asking them a question like, "What is your favorite step within adagio?", "What's your favorite song to dance to?" or "What's a step that took you a long time to get, but now you are really strong at?" and so on. The person who catches the beanbag/ball must answer the question and then throw it on and ask their own question.

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