It is something my minis and juniors are obsessed with: Freeze Dance. It is great for the first class, since more already are familiar with it, and it is also great for warm-up, because it is one of the few well-known games that include both music and moving. But let us be honest, it either gets boring quite fast or first time-students are hesitant to move at all. Here is a quick list of Freeze Dance-variations that I have used lately:
Freeze Connect: Whenever the music stops, I call out a body part (hand, feet, head, elbow…) so that they have to find a partner or two and connect those body parts. Great for students who are new to each other to lose the usual first class-shyness, but I like to add the rule that you cannot connect with the same partner twice.
Teddy Freeze: There is a teddy being passed around and whenever the music stops, the dancer who has it has to watch until the music stops again. As you can imagine, it becomes more of a running than a dancing game, but I like to use it with “athletic” groups who need to run before they can focus.
Island Freeze: I use my theraband to create a circle in the middle which is the “island”. We dance around and whenever the music stops, the water comes and we have to flea to the island. Whoever is last gets to watch until the music stops again.
Variation for advanced students: This one is more of an exercise than a warm-up, so you do not have to watch if you are last. When the music stops, I call out one body part (belly button, hand, ear…) that pulls the dancer towards to island. I have used this with my teens and seniors as well to give them the chance to experiment with forces.
Step Freeze: I call out a simple step (step touch, jazz walks…) that has to be done while the music plays. The dancer that moves first while the music is off gets to choose the next step but also has to perform it first (because otherwise everybody is moving).
We Go Together: Actually, it does not have a real name, but when I first used it, I was using lots of Grease songs with the kids, so… I suppose, you get the name 😉 Whenever the music stops, I call out hair color, eye color, grade etc. and the kids with the same form groups.
Each of this games has advantages and disadvantages. I would not play “We Go Together” with a group where there is one student who I know is older than the others – or at least I would not call out “age” or “grade”, but otherwise it is nice for the students to get to know each other. I am also careful with when and how much to play, because there are groups who lose focus if we play in the beginning of the class, others that are super-shy if we start dancing right away and a lot whom I can convince to do the technique exercises, because afterwards we get to play.
And last but not least, variations – put it all together. Step Freeze und Connect Freeze are super for combining for example once the students know both and get bored with it.
What dance games do you use in class?
Do you have variations for your older dancers as well?