Spook-tacular Halloweek Activities for Dance Class!
It’s October, and that means it’s almost Halloweek! Even though it’s a crazy time at the studio, it’s also such a fun time for your dancers! From spook-tacular decor to ghoulish games and fang-tastic dance moves, we’re sharing some ideas of how you can #makedancefun during Halloweek at your studio! And, if you’ve followed us for a while, you already know about our annual #halloweekonthedancefloor combo tradition. And yes, it’s coming back again this year…be on the lookout for #halloweekonthedancefloor 3.0 next week! If you aren’t familiar with it, keep reading to learn more details – you’ll want to know!
Create a Boo-rific Backdrop in your studio!
Your dancers will love to pose and snap pics with their dance besties in their fun costumes in front of your Halloween wall! We love creating our Halloween wall every year! Last year, we used scrapbook paper, poster board and lots of stickers, and we came up with some silly Halloween puns and put them on our poster board ghosts! This year, we actually incorporated our year-end show theme – Willy Wonka! We simply turned some quotes and characters from the movie into fun Halloween puns and wrote them out in sticker letters on some Willy Wonka hats we created of foam paper. We glued on some googly eyes and sunglasses, and added some fun Halloween stickers!
You can also create your very own hashtag for Halloweek and encourage dancers use the hashtag when they post pics in front of your fun backdrop! For a little extra incentive, you could enter each post into a drawing for a prize, which could be a tuition credit, a gift card to your studio boutique or even a sweet Halloween treat!
Let the Halloweek Games Begin!
Playing games in class are fun, but they need to keep DANCE as the focus! We have three SPOOK-TACULARLY imaginative games to share that will be a SKELE-TON of fun in class!
Haunted Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses are ghoulish fun for all ages, and HALLOWEEK is the perfect time to create one for your dancers! Start by giving your obstacle course a Halloween inspired name. For your tiniest dancers, you could call it the Goblin Garden, BOOgie-oogie Obstacle Course or The Pumpkin Patch. For your older dancers, you can use a spookier name, like Graveyard Crawl, Haunted Highway or Zombie Zig-Zag.
Next, create a path around your dance floor with SPOOKY stops along the way. To make the path come to life, you can use props from your prop/craft closet, Halloween decorations, crepe paper, orange/black Washi Tape or even real pumpkins. If you have black lights, strobe lights and/or a disco ball, this would be a FANG-TASTIC time to use them!
Here are a few dance activities to incorporate at each spooky stop along the ghoulish path. These examples are geared toward the little ghouls, but the concepts can easily be adapted to the age and skill level for each of your classes!
First, have your dancers tip-toe in a sneaky, spooky style, as if they are trying to hide, until they reach the first stop. Have them pretend to pick up the biggest pumpkin in the patch (unless you have real inflatable pumpkins:) to hold in front of them while they demonstrate plié and relevé in first position. When finished, jump out to 2nd position with jazz hands around their face and shout “BOO”!
Continue traveling to the next stop with grand battements alternating feet while holding their arms straight out in front of them with flexed hands. We call these Frankenstein Walks! Once they reach this stop, have them demonstrate pas de chat (step of the “BLACK” cat) with their cat claws out. Once finished, jump out to 2nd position with jazz hands around their face and shout “BOO”!
Next, travel to the last stop while demonstrating BOO-urrée. Once they arrive, let them free dance like a scary skeleton, finishing with a jump to 2nd position with jazz hands around face shouting “BOO”!
Lastly, fly like bat and end the obstacle course with a ghoul-ish grand jeté toward the end of the line.
The possibilities are endless with this concept. You can give them more challenging steps, or it could even be an improv activity with you calling out alternating Halloween words they mimic, such as witches cauldron, cobweb, ghoul, goblin, haunted, creepy, spooky, fangs, grave, potion, tombstone, mummy, owl, spider, vampire, zombie, spell, magic…and so on. Endless options and endless fun!
This fun activity is inspired by Project Runway’s “unconventional” challenge, and is such a fun idea for your older classes! We’ve used this activity in class several times, and everyone loved it! For starters, we went through our costume/craft closet (we have a LOT of stuff!) and randomly selected several items…an old recital t-shirt, ribbons, tape, pipe cleaners, felt, scraps of fabric, straws, buttons, pom pom balls, trash bag, etc. You can really use anything you have on hand! After you collect your supplies, mix them up and place an equal number of items in several bags. Divide your class in to groups of 3 or 4 (based on the size of the class) and give each group a bag. Supply scissors and safety pins for them to “sew” their garments.
Each group will either draw from several themes you prepare before class, or you can have them come up with their own theme. Give them a time limit to create a short piece of choreography AND design a costume based on their theme. Don’t give them too much time! The idea is to make it happen quickly and see what they come up with! Some of our groups use one dancer as their “model” and others decided to use parts of the supplies for each person. There are no specific rules! The last 10 minutes of class, have each group perform their choreography for the class! You can award a prize (WOW card anyone!?) to the winning group! You can have the class vote on the winners, or you can choose!
Here are some sample themes and music ideas:
Preppy Zombies – I’m in Love with a Monster by Fifth Harmony
Revenge of the Birds – Bird Flu – M.I.A.
Mad Scientists – Creator – Santigold
Red Queen Madness – Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Witching Hour – Night of the Dancing Flame – Roisin Murphy
Vampire Garden – The Garden – Mirah
Your dancing “boos” and “ghouls” will all love this fun show-and-tell choreography activity! First, write out several dance steps on notecards (enough for 2-3 per student). Also, add a few fun Halloween improv topics like Sneaky Spider, Creepy Cat, Spooky Skeleton, Ghastly Ghost, Wicked Witch, Zany Zombie, Gregarious Goblins, Ballerina Bats, etc.
Place all the notecards in a plastic pumpkin (Or, you can use a plastic black witches cauldron and call the activity Cauldron Choreography). You can allow dancers to be in teams, in pairs or to perform the activity on their own. Depending on how you structure it, each group or dancer will draw three cards. Give them about 10 minutes to prepare one or two eight-counts of choreography combining all three cards, and then they can perform it for the class. To make it more challenging, dancers can each teach their choreography to the rest of the class. By the end of class, they will have a fun Halloween-inspired combo!
An alternate version for your younger dancers is to simply have dancers draw one card and demonstrate the step or action. Or, the entire class can perform each action, alternating the dancer who draws the card.
Every year, we create a fun Halloween combo, complete with a tutorial, for you to learn and teach in your classes during Halloweek! Then, we challenge you to video your class(es) performing the choreo and post it using our hashtag #halloweekonthedancefloor for everyone to see! It’s a super fun way for our dance community to share our love of dance with each other! You can check out our combos from the last two years:
2016 – The Monster Mash
2017 – It’s a Hip Hop Halloween Night
2018…what will this year’s theme be?? Find out in next week’s blog post!
Happy (almost) Halloween!