LOVE TO DANCE AT HOME!

Free dance games and activities you can do at home by yourself, with a partner, or in a group. Share a photo or video, and please tag us on social media. If you’d like to share a photo or video, please tag us on social media so we can see you. We are at facebook.com/dance.houston and instagram.com/dancehouston. #lovetodanceathome

SOLO

Express your feelings whatever they are–happy, sad, excited, angry, frustrated, or scared.

Improvise to music you have never heard before or you don’t know very well.  Let the music move you.

Dream. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself at a ballroom, a party, a concert, a beach or in a field of flowers.

Improve your skills by repeating challenging movements many times. If needed, start slow and do a move three times correctly to build a little muscle memory, then pick up the tempo.

Write a musical. Choreograph it in your head.

Dance to music to help shift your mood.  Dancing is a natural medicine.

Watch a dance video or movie.  Imagery alone increases the secretion of endorphins, so just watching people dance improves your mood by stimulating your brain in a positive way.

Do your chores to music.  Infuse your daily grind with rhythm.

Turn on music from a cable channel or playlist. Dance to songs that inspire you. Sit out the rest.  Stay hydrated.

Take a quick dance break. Get out from behind your computer. Just a dance or two will pick you up.  Go ahead now!

DUET

Relive your first dance.  Your first dance may be the actual very first time you danced together or the dance you did at your wedding.

Make up new moves, lifts and tricks. For big moves, start on a mattress or in the grass. Come up with “your move.”

Do a dance for your partner, or ask your partner to do one for you.

Teach your partner a move or dance, or ask your partner to teach you one.

Take your sweetheart to the prom in your imagination. Get dressed up and put on your favorite songs from your senior year.

GROUP

Recital – invite your family members to watch a recital (online or in person) given by your children (and their cousins or other beloved children.)  Let the kids take turns showing whatever they have prepared be it a puppet show, a dance move, a piano piece, an illustrated story, a song, or a poem.  Make it special by sending an invitation to your guests.

Name Game – Participants make up dance moves that go with their name (one movement per syllable), teach each other, and a new dance is created by stringing all their moves together one name at a time. Dance to music. This develops self-expression, language arts, and memory.

Add-On – 1st person creates a move. All do it. Second person adds on a move. All do both moves. Third person adds on a move. All do all moves. Keep going. This develops memory, coordination, exercise, and social skills.

Monkey See, Monkey Do – Leader demonstrates movements and participants imitate, then participants take turns being the leader. This develops dancing skills and leadership.

Dance Marathon – Participants must dance til they drop! This develops heart health, muscles and athleticism.

Rhythm Game – Participants demonstrate or listen to rhythms and imitate them using different parts of their bodies. This develops rhythm, and motor skills.

Balloon Grab – Participants dance together while holding an object between them. The object can be passed around without hands. This develops cooperation, and coordination.

New Partner – Participants dance in partners, music stops and they change partners. This develops social, and partnering skills.

Conga – Participants step together in a special rhythm, the group tries to make different shapes together in terms of how they travel around the floor. Play “Conga” by Miami Sound Machine. This develops rhythm, leading/following, and geometry skills.

Sculptors – 1 person acts like clay and 1 person is sculptor. They take turns shaping each other. Group can guess what they are making and the person to win gets to go next. This develops creative expression and cooperation.

Shadow Game – One person faces wall with lamp behind him. Other Participants dance by and the first person tries to guess who they are or what object they are trying to represent. This develops imagination, and cognitive thinking.

Red Light, Green Light – Participants dance across room, galloping, skipping, hopping, while playing classic game. This develops motor skills.

Line Dances – Macarena, Casper Cha Cha, Cupid Shuffle, Hokey Pokey, Shim Sham, Electric Slide, The Wobble, Mexican Hat Dance, Vulani Ringi Ring, Cotton Eyed Joe, Footloose, Copperhead Road, Bunny Hop, Do It With Your Boots On. This develops choreography knowledge, memory, self-expression, and social skills.

Animal Game – Participants in 2 groups, leader whispers to teacher the name of an animal (or any other category), then dances like it for group, other participants guess what animal is (like charades.) This develops teamwork and imagination.

Dance from a Book – Read a book or tell a story and have the participants mime it out. This develops interpretative skills and creativity.

Mood Dances – Create a dance that expresses a specific mood. Explore moods and personal stories through movement. This develops self-expression.

Sharp/Smooth – Participants explore sharp and smooth movements. In two groups, participants perform dances using sharp and smooth movements. This develops motor skills.

Dance Maps – Participants see a map on a page and then have to dance through that map using various locomotor skills (tip toes, backwards, sideways, super slow mo.) This develops mapping.

Planet Dance – Participants create pattern of the solar system with their bodies. This develops space, cognitive thinking, mapping.

Gardening – Participants pretend to plant seeds, water, and shine the sun on plants, then they become the growing plants and blow in the wind. This develops imagination, biology.

Alphabet Game – Participants cooperate to make the shapes of letters together, later guessing what shape each other is making. Move on to make words in groups. This develops cooperation, letter recognition, and spelling/reading.

Dancing with the Stars – Watch a music video and try to imitate the moves. Teach a portion of the moves or just let the participants pretend. Pass down every decade’s moves with the next generation (e.g. the charleston, the twist, the hammer.) This develops self-expression, social dance skills, and imagination.

So You Think You Can Dance? – Teach a short routine and then let the participants compete for who performs it the best. May be done in duos or teams. This develops choreography.

Create-a-Dance – Participants choreograph dances as solos, duets, or trios and perform for one another. They can use their own music or a shared song. You can give them various movements to incorporate or let them do everything on their own. This develops choreography, memory, self-expression, and cooperation.

Freeze Dance – Play a favorite song and the Participants MUST dance or they are out. They must FREEZE when music stops or they are out. This develops musicality, improvisation, and social skills.

Robot Game – Dance like a robot (prompt participants to have “glitches”, run out of batteries, charge up, etc.) Play corresponding music like “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” by Daft Punk. This develops imagination, and self-expression.

Guess the Leader – Everybody sits or stands in a circle. One person leaves the room and another is designated to be the leader. The person returns and sits in the middle of the circle without knowing who the leader is. The leader starts a move and everybody copies, then does various moves of his or her choosing. Everybody else in the circle copies the leader. The person in the middle tries to guess who the leader is. This develops peripheral vision, leading/following, observational skills, and social skills.

Fashion Show – Take turns walking an imaginary catwalk. Great for dress-up or costume party. Play themed music like “Vogue” or “I’m Too Sexy.” This develops self-expression and health (laughter is the best medicine!)

Simon Says – Classic game. Do it with dance moves and music. This develops dance vocabulary and listening skills.

Heads Up – Sit in circle. Everybody puts heads down. Leader says heads up and everybody has to look up and immediately look at another person. If two people look at each other, then they are both out. They leave circle and the game begins again. After several go out, scootch the circle in. This develops reasoning and social skills.

Videos/Games – Rent a DVD from the library and follow along. Play “Just Dance” Nintendo. This develops memory and coordination.

Dancing Puppets – put on a puppet show to music.  Get your favorite stuffies kicking, twirling and shimmying.  This develops creativity, social skills and confidence.

Dancing Babies – Same as Dancing Puppets but the puppet is a baby or small child and you are the puppeteer.  Move them to the music!  This is a great way to teach rhythm and coordination kinesthetically.

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