Teaching Rhythm with Sticks

This week in my tap classes I started using rhythm sticks for age groups 5-10. It was so much fun, the dancers loved it and my favorite part… they can be creative!

I gave them each 2 sticks and told them they needed to come up with a rhythm on the sticks and then come up with a tap step in the same rhythm. They could put steps together or use a step they already know to make the rhythm. They had to be able to count the rhythm too.

Once they had the rhythm they went to the front and got to play teacher! They loved this part. Everyone showed their rhythm with counts and then taught their step. The entire class then repeated the rhythm and then the step. I loved to see them coming up with new steps. Who knows, I may even sneak some of them into their combination.

I would love to be daring and use these in my creative dance classes to teach rhythm and counting. What do you think? Good idea? Do you ever use rhythm sticks with your dancers? I would love to hear!


  1. First thought was –
    Clave! 🙂
    Second thought – mimicing someone’s basic ryhthm, then doing 1/2 speed, or 2x speed, then trying other rhythms that fit with it.

  2. Pingback: Call and Response « Maria's Movers

Leave a Comment