Q: At my school, where I see my students once a week, teachers come to me for advice on an easy way to include more movement in their classes. What do you suggest?
A: In a perfect world, there would be dance for every student. But that’s not the world we live in. I recommend GoNoodle.com to my co-workers. It has videos of all lengths that include guided dancing, yoga, meditation and fitness. There are even curricular tie-ins in areas like nutrition and science. In general, students watch the videos and must copy the movement demonstrated. A free membership gives you plenty to choose from, but there’s also a premium edition for $10 a month.
If you’re comfortable showing videos from YouTube but don’t want to have to search for videos within the site, try some of the “Just Dance Kids” channels others have created. (With these channels, someone else has searched through YouTube looking for videos taken from the dance video game Just Dance.)
If you end up using these videos, I also recommend you try to make the movement creative. Have your students take some of the material they just danced and play with it. They can reorganize three different movements into a short dance, or take it up a notch and change those three moves in some way to make them their own.
Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty at the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.