Jazz Class Carnival Fun

by on Nov 15 '17

Everyone loves a carnival! And, with our dance year approaching the mid-season mark, now might be a good time to change up our routines a little bit and insert some fun…with a Jazz Class Carnival!

This fun theme is a great idea for your elementary-aged dancers, but you can also scale it up to your older classes or scale it down to preschool. Turning your class into a carnival provides a fun and unique way for you to relate jazz to your dancers. Bonus: a fun activity like this can also help hold the attention of holiday-happy, distracted, excited dancers!

Set the Carnival Tone

All kids get excited when they walk into a transformed dance room…especially if it is a carnival theme! Create a backdrop wall with red and white striped wrapping paper, balloons, images of popcorn, carousels and funhouses, and anything else you can find carnival related! You could also hang red and yellow streamers from the door as they walk into class as well as on the ends of the mirrors. A quick search on Pinterest or a party supply store is sure to provide endless ideas for fun decor at a low cost!

Carnival-Up Your Jazz Basics

Add a little fun + flair to some of the jazz basics you are already practicing in each class. Here area few ideas of how you can incorporate a carnival theme across the floor or center floor:

  • Laser Lindy – Use their hands to aim their lasers while they lindy
  • Popcorn Pivots – Pivot and then pop up in the air with feet together
  • Funhouse Jazz Walks – Use a variety of jazz walks emulating things you’d find in a fun house…tilted floors, spinning rooms, rocking bridges, or even a tightrope challenge
  • Chassé Carousel – Make a circle around the room and chassé in sync in one direction, then switch to the other side
  • Jumping Jazz Hands – Act as clowns performing a series of silly jumps using jazz hands

You can even pair a few steps together for a fun combo! For example: Laser Lindy, Laser Lindy, 4-counts of Funhouse Walks, then two Popcorn Pivots.

Or, create a carnival obstacle course where dancers travel from station to station doing funhouse walks, then perform each step at each stop along the way. You can play fun carnival music throughout class as well. Here are a few ideas!

We Go Together from the Grease Soundtrack

Love Rollercoaster by Ohio Players

Circus by Kidz Bop Kids

Cotton Candy Cloudz by Muck Sticky

Anything from Kids Carnival Songs by Kid’s Carnival DJs

Carnival Contests

To really kick the carnival fun up a notch, you could hold a Carnival Contest with a series of challenges where dancers earn carnival tickets like these for each challenge they can complete. You could even include some fun, inexpensive prizes (Oriental Trading or Party City have lots of affordable options!) for them to trade in their tickets to win. This could help push them into trying harder in class!

Balance Challenge

Who can hold the longest passé or elevé/relevé (For older dancers, you could add attitude or coupé to the mix.)?

Strong Man/Woman Challenge

Who can do the most sit-ups, push-ups or hold the longest plank?

Flexibility Challenge

Who can do a fully extended heel stretch or right, left and center splits?

There are so many more fun things you can do with this theme, the options are endless! Making a few simple changes to turn your jazz class into a Jazz Class Carnival is a sure way to #makedancefun while reinforcing jazz basics!


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