Circus Dance

This time of year, my students start talking about the circus. This must be the season for the circus? Confession: I have never been to the circus! Have you? Please tell me I am not the only one.  Anyway, one day in class since every. single. child. was talking about how fun going to the circus was I thought it might be fun to make a dance. Here is what we did:

1) Tightrope walker: Try to walk one foot in front of the other. If there are lines on the floor, have each dancer find the a line and try to walk on their toes on the line. Reach hands out straight for balance. Sometimes for fun, we like to pretend to fall off! haha it’s so funny. If there are no lines, I have also used rope. Have each dancer walk between two narrow ropes on the floor. It’s just as fun, and the visual is awesome.

2) Juggler: Pretend you are juggling different things. Heavy things like balls, light things like scarves, balloons and bowling pins were all on our list. We tried to juggle down low, up high, and in the middle. Try it fast and slow and with a partner!

3) Cycler: Lie down on the floor and use your legs to pedal the bicycle. Use legs to cycle side to side to make BIG turns. Make a line of cyclers too. This is really fun if you have a mirror to look at the line. I give them challenges like, “everyone try to pedal in unison! Try to pedal the exact same way as your neighbor.” It’s a really great challenge and looks really cool too!

4) Water Slide (?): Yep, this one came from them. Are there really water slides at the circus? If so, I am totally missing out! I used my slide idea from the playground dance on this one. We slide front and back and  in a swirl. I then sprayed them all with water (pretend, of course) and they got to slide fast down the water slide.

5) Animals: Who could forget the circus has animals? Some of our favorites are the elephants, tigers and birds. I split the group into 3 and each group was a different animal! It truly was a circus! 🙂

6) Band of Instruments: Pick an instrument and play it. You can make a parade or just take turns playing each instrument. I like to see who picks what. Some popular ones from my students are the drums, the trumpet, and the tuba!

For this dance, I like to use music from Richard Maddock called Story Dance: A Day at the Circus. It’s instrumental but has different changes in the music so every time it changes you can do a new part. It also has people clapping at the beginning and at the end. I love to say “listen, the audience is clapping for you!” It’s perfect.

Have you ever done a circus dance? I would love to hear what other ideas you or your students have come up with. If you haven’t done it, I highly recommend it. I am convinced it’s much more fun than buying a ticket to the real circus. 😉



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