8 Mar 2015

Nike Free Run How to Teach Children Rhythms for Dance

Introduce tap dance to your students. Tap shoes can prove to be an effective way to teach the concept of musical beats and rhythmic changes. Tap shoes can also help young dance students develop coordination and balance as they tap the rhythm in sync with the music. For this reason, many studios require young beginners to take tap classes, and many teachers integrate tap exercises into pre ballet or creative movement classes. If you can’t arrange for your students to have tap shoes, use rhythmic dance props from various world dance traditions, such as finger cymbals, tambourines or castanets.

Introduce your students to different rhythms from various musical genres from around the world. Folk dances from Eastern Europe and the Middle East often feature percussive moves such as stomping. The Debkeh is a folk dance from the Eastern Mediterranean, in which the Nike Free Run participants hold hands in a line and the leader of the line creates his own steps and rhythms which the rest of the dancers must follow. Start out as the leader and have your students follow your rhythm, and then go to the back of the line and have the next student lead. The lead student will need to create his own rhythm, and the rest of the class (and you as the teacher) will be challenged to follow and mimic that rhythm. After a number of counts, have the lead student go to the back of the line. Repeat until every student has had a chance to lead.

Play some games. Games that use music can keep students aware of rhythm and allow them to have some fun and a break from the “work” of learning choreography. Adapt a game such as musical chairs to your dance lessons. Musical chairs can help make your students more aware of the rhythms of the music, as they will be anticipating when the music will stop. When playing musical chairs, don’t stop the music after the same amount of counts each time; vary the counts in between the music sessions. Instead of walking around the chairs, have your students make up their own form of dance to perform until the cue to stop and find a seat.

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