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  1. #1
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    Default Social dance for primary school graduation

    (Moderators, feel free move this post if this is not the best place, thanks!)

    Haven't been around much lately, but it's nice to see some familiar names and some new ones here...

    Now to my problem, not belly dance, but hoping there's a dance enthusiast out there who can help:

    I've been assigned the joy of teaching some dances for a primary school graduation. That means shy, excitable 12-year-olds who nervously ask "We don't actually have to touch a boy/girl, do we?" or make loud groans at the mention. To add to the joy, the event is only a few weeks away, just after their Human Growth and Development (read Sex-Ed) course and a school camp. Bad timing, or very bad timing??

    So far, teaching Nutbush and Macarena have been fun for the ones-mostly girls- who have joined in willingly. But we still need to tackle the growing-up, dancing with a partner at a formal event aspect. It was suggested (by the Principal) that they also learn the Pride of Erin. I've been looking at videos and it seems waaaay to complicated for most of this group to learn in the time available.

    So any suggestions for a simple ballroom-style dance suitable for a school occasion? It was such a long time ago that I did school dance lessons myself, I can't even remember any names, but was thinking a progressive dance might be the way to go. The kids can line up next to their friends and won't be teased about who they partnered with.

    Big thanks to anyone who give this some thought!

  2. #2
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    I hated the Pride of Erin. All the boys kept feeling me up. It's not a good social dance to teach inter-gender contact in a healthful way.

  3. #3
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Sorry for the double post.

    Why not just teach them a basic box-step where they hold hands. They can do the physical contact thing and giggle over tangled feet. Plus it's just complicated enough to keep them concentrating, but simple enough to not stress them too much. Either that or a basic waltz.

  4. #4
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Hmm, I'll have to look into this Pride of Erin thing.

    Do you have square dance in Australia? Contact is made but is fleeting. Not exactly ballroom, though...

    How about one of the English country dances? Perhaps that's what you mean about a progressive dance?
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    How about a barndance-jive;



    Progression can occur when the partners chasse away from each other and the partner on the inside chasses forward one place on the return, to a new partner. Although I have reservations about the polkaing!

  6. #6
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    The boys in the class used the dance as an excuse to grope our boobs. Absolutely horrible, do NOT put your female students in the position of having to fend off wandering hands like I did.

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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    No, no, no. Teach your female students to summarily deal with continental manners (Russian hands and Roman fingers) then turn them loose on any male who exhibits the same. They'll get more good from it later than from being protected.

    When I started dating, my dad showed me how to deal with unwanted advances; the least painful was to double the offender's small finger in half and squeeze like hell while pushing up and in. Nothing like being raised by a man who has had riot training.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

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    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    I've never heard of Pride of Erin, guess I'll have to Google it, too.

  9. #9
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    No, no, no. Teach your female students to summarily deal with continental manners (Russian hands and Roman fingers) then turn them loose on any male who exhibits the same. They'll get more good from it later than from being protected.

    When I started dating, my dad showed me how to deal with unwanted advances; the least painful was to double the offender's small finger in half and squeeze like hell while pushing up and in. Nothing like being raised by a man who has had riot training.
    Not something you want a pre-teen to have to deal with. Not all of them have the emotional strength to deal with 60-odd boys groping them through "dance class".

  10. #10
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    Oh Darshiva, what a horrible experience! bad enough when one is a young adult, let alone just confronting adolescence. So how to respond to "inappropriate" touching will be in the lesson plan ( but that word is itself "inappropriate". Some things are just wrong.) Shanazel, the pinky-bending sounds like good advice for the right people- with this client group, I can see all sorts of potential...

    Liking the basic box step; it could be practiced to any number of pop songs. I'd have to practice waltzing myself. It's been a few decades, but I remember loving the graceful spirals. I should keep that as the next step, when the kids can cope with touching each other in a dance hold. Australia doesn't have square dancing, or much of any kind of dancing really, in the mainstream. It used to be taught in school dance lessons back when dinosaurs were young, but not since the swingin' sixties, or maybe the slovenly seventies. Getting sets of four couples onto a dance floor and coordinating their directions if they haven't had it in their culture... well, no wonder our national maths achievement is slipping!

    Duvet, that video looks like the right kind of thing for the circumstances. I love a larrikin polka! Maybe it is what those reluctant boys need to get motivated to join in.

    Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. Now there are so many ideas I have to choose

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