Break the Routine Rut with a Pattern Clash!
5,6,7,8…warm-up, across the floor, center floor combo, cool down, andddd the end.
Are you in a rut with your daily routines in dance class? Do you follow the same exact class flow each and every week? If so, it might be time for a change! Sure, keeping some order in your class can be necessary (like beginning class with a warm-up). But, if we follow the exact same routine week after week after week, class can become an hour of same-ness and a little boring. And boring isn’t fun! So, let’s change things up a bit with a Dance Class Pattern Clash!
Simple Changes, Big Impact
By simply making a few minor changes to the flow and function in your class, you can add so much fun and flair! Here are just a few easy suggestions:
- The week before, tell your dancers to wear dance clothes that clash to get them excited about the activities of the coming week. You can dress the part as well!
- When class begins, hold your warm-up facing the back of the room, not the mirror.
- When going across the floor, start on the left side, and reverse your combos to start on the left!
- In your advanced classes, have your dancers do the same combo (for example, chaînés or piqués across the floor) beginning at the same time from the right and the left. They will need to execute the combo going through each other while maintaining their spot, direction, etc. This will help with spatial awareness and prepare them for intricate staging patterns! You can make the combo simple or complex! Beginner dancers could practice this same exercise doing more simple movements like jazz walks or chassés through each other.
Need a bigger change of pattern? Try our fun 567cre8 cards! There are two versions: one for ages 6-12 and another for ages 12+. There are 54 cards in each deck and both versions include lots of opposites. For example, in the younger level, one card features a sneaky, graceful and sly cat, while another shows an energetic, playful and goofy puppy. A lemon is described as zesty, fresh and sour, with a contrasting cupcake image described as sweet, festive and cute. Your dancers can perform the same across-the-floor steps in the style of each one to show how they clash.
For the older dancers, a different graphic pattern is featured on each card with a word that describes the pattern. Each card has an opposite card that can be juxtaposed with another for a pattern clash. For example, use the following cards together to demonstrate emotions, movement and energy: relaxed and nervous, high and low, or happy and sad. Both sets of cards offer at least eight other fun suggestions of how you can use them to add fun and change up your dance class! Check out this blog post to learn more about our 567cre8 Cards and get yours today in our Confetti Shop!
Dance Class Pattern Clash Activity
If you want to take the Pattern Clash theme even more literal, add this fun activity to your dance class! The description below is geared toward elementary aged classes, but you can easily adapt the activity for younger or more advanced dancers.
Begin by splitting your dancers into two groups and lining them up on opposite sides of the room. Let the dancers come up with two characters that “clash” with each other. They could choose characters like Winnie the Pooh and Tigger or Galinda and Elphaba, or select something more general like cats and dogs or sunshine and rain. During this activity, they will work as a team/partners and each demonstrate basic jazz movement while portraying their designated “clashing” character. To make it more fun, you can use Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract” during this activity!
The first dancer in each line will start by demonstrating traveling steps of your choice toward their partner until they meet in the middle. For example: 4 jazz walks and 2 poses, each in the style of character. Repeat this until they’ve met in the middle of the room. Once they reach each other, they can circle each other while doing jazz walks, each staying in their clashing character. Next, they can face each other and demonstrate a combination of technique jazz movement of your choice. (Example: 2 jazz squares, bend down touch the floor, pop up with feet apart in second position, pivot turn, pivot turn.) From there, have them pass each other heading back to the end of their line while demonstrating another traveling step of your choice. (Example: Chassé alternating feet or grapevines.) Continue until every clashing duo (or trio) takes a turn!
Whether it’s simple changes or a full-on opposites-themed dance class, changing things up every now and then will inject more fun into your class and make the day more memorable for both you and your dancers!