Method – Dancing stops
NAME: Dancing stops
TARGET GROUP: children from 8 to 13 years old.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: from 4 to 8
DURATION: around 30 minutes
- To show them how they can still enjoy music and dancing during physical weakness.
- To help them understand they can still do much to have fun in difficult moments.
- To challenge their shyness.
- To make them laugh.
- To make them use their creativity in movement.
- Some sheets of paper, a marker and something to play music from (like a smartphone).
- We ask the kids to write on different papers different parts of the body. (legs, feet, elbows, shoulders, head, bottom, arms, hands).
- We stick the papers on the wall, equally distant one from the other so that they will shape a circle of different dancing stops (as if they were bus stops).
- There should be one stop for each participant in the game.
- At the count of three, all participants run to one stop of they choose and stay there.
- Music starts playing. Each participant has to dance only with the part of the body specified in their stop (legs, feet, elbows, shoulders, head, bottom etc.).
- The volunteer in charge of the music decides where we change the stops by saying CHANGE. When this happens, all participants have to move to the next stop and change their dancing mode according to the part of the body they should be moving.
- All participants should remember which step they did in every stop because they will have to repeat them in every round.
- This first part of the game works as a training for the memory and to overcome shyness.
- The second part of the game is much more interactive. As in the first part, each participant has to dance to the music only with the part of the body of their stop. But they have to look at each other and to exchange positions when they get tired of their own move.
- When a participant wants to change stops with another participant, he/she has to point at the other participant and scream CHANGE! Both participants have to exchange their positions and dance as the other was doing before in their new stop. This means that one participant will normally change positions with someone who is doing a dancing move he/she likes and would like to try. Both of them have to remember what the other was doing. This means that everybody has to pay attention to everybody in case they are selected to exchange stops and, therefore, moves
- To make the game more fun, at some point, the volunteer in charge can add more parts of the body to some stops. So that one stop will have not only legs but legs, bottom and head, for instance. The person in that stop will have to find a dancing move that involves the three parts of the body.
- Did they have fun?
- Where they too shy or did they overcome it?
- Did they laugh without prejudice to the others’ attempts of trying out a dancing move?
- Did they pay attention to others’ attempts and were willing to try others’ ideas of moves?
- Where they creative in their moves?
- Did they enjoy to move and dance in a context where they did not expect to do it?
- The girls in the hospital improved their ideas during the game.
- At the beginning they were expecting us to do everything but eventually they were also screaming CHANGE to switch their positions with volunteers and to try their dancing moves.
- They did not want to stop the game even if we had tried all its possibilities for long already, but they were just happy to dance with us.
- The volunteers have to be enthusiastic about dancing and moving. If they do not express shyness, children will be more willing to dance and to make up their moves.
- The volunteers should be very involved and pay attention to what others are doing and comment on it joyfully. When a child tries a move and we compliment it, they feel encouraged and happy.