Audio CD and
by Kristen Bissinger
36 tracks, 72 minutes; 32 pages
A useful tool for any creative-dance teacher, Wake Your Brain and Your Body!: Creative Movement and Dance Activities for Children offers 36 activities to beef up creative-dance curricula. The CD’s acoustic tracks pair with movement activities, explained step-by-step in the companion booklet. Activity objectives vary—getting rid of excess energy, practicing tempo changes, transforming pantomime into dance, learning folk dances and exploring Laban’s qualities of movement. With guiding vocals by Kristen Bissinger, co-director of Feet First Dance near Philadelphia, many of the games need little initial instruction. And Bissinger builds in opportunities to customize moods and actions, such as in the second verses of many of the songs. For instance, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” becomes “If you’re ____ and you know it ____.” (It’s best to prepare students by group-brainstorming ways of moving and names body parts, in advance.) Once the students get savvy, try assigning one to delegate the narrative to the class.