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  1. #1
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    Question Advice On Dancing For 4-7 Yr Olds

    Hi everyone
    I would like your advice on doing a very small show for 4-7yr olds. My daughters' school is having a world culture week and I have been persuaded to do something for them.
    I thought three dances should be enough, one, a veil dance, another, a dance made up by my teacher to a song she's heard and liked while she was in Cairo and one to a pop song. A range of different things.

    What do you all think about dress, accessories, props etc. I will wear a choli not a bra.
    I'll probably have to give a small talk too, ideas what I should talk about?

    Basically any ideas or advice about anything including dances/music are gratefully recieved as I have never danced solo before and have only danced in public once before and I don't want to bomb out!

    Wiggle

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    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    My first thought is, how long can these kids pay attention, and how much will it bother you if they lose focus?

    I don't know that much about kids in that age group. Hopefully you do!

    I would say to go with bright colors in the costume, keep the talk short (and don't mention stripping, temples, or harems) and have fun!

    EDIT: I think manipulating an object will help keep the children's attention. Cane or sword would be cool.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Amarise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggle View Post
    Hi everyone
    I would like your advice on doing a very small show for 4-7yr olds. My daughters' school is having a world culture week and I have been persuaded to do something for them.
    I thought three dances should be enough, one, a veil dance, another, a dance made up by my teacher to a song she's heard and liked while she was in Cairo and one to a pop song. A range of different things.

    What do you all think about dress, accessories, props etc. I will wear a choli not a bra.
    I'll probably have to give a small talk too, ideas what I should talk about?

    Basically any ideas or advice about anything including dances/music are gratefully recieved as I have never danced solo before and have only danced in public once before and I don't want to bomb out!

    Wiggle

    Bring several easy, safe props that you could share with anyone interested. Little kids love to participate. I would also call the person in charge and ask if they want your stomach covered. You might want to wear a beledi dress or similar. I have been to very conservative venues where they do not want to see a bare middle at all and definitely no cleavage.

    Make your talk very short or intersperse it with hands on activities and "see and do." I would not talk too long for any long stretch.

    Amarise

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    I think any conservatism in dress is for the teachers, not the kids. One of my preschool teachers was from India and wore a sari almost every day with a choli underneath, and I thought nothing of the bare midriff. I was very impressed by her appearance, though: Sparkly! Pretty colors! My teacher is so pretty!.
    Last edited by da Sage; 05-25-2008 at 06:47 AM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Amarise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    I think any conservatism in dress is for the teachers, not the kids. One of my preschool teachers was from India and wore a sari almost every day with a choli underneath, and I thought nothing of the bare midriff. I was very impressed by her appearance, though: Sparkly! Pretty colors! My teacher is so pretty!.
    I feel that the area you live in makes a big difference. We live in a conservative town and I always call and check to be sure their idea of what I will wear is the same as mine. In the schools I grew up in, midriffs were not allowed to be bared, especially by teachers.

    There is never any harm in checking. It also shows that you are thinking ahead and want to be considerate to everyone's tastes.

    Amarise

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    Hi Wiggle
    Has the teacher given you a time frame to work with? That age group has short attention span and a gift for interruption
    Usually in a school culture day there are many cultures shared so there may only be a few minutes for your actual dance- especially if you are talking to them too. I suggest speaking to the teacher and getting some sort of time frame but keep in mind it can change at a moments notice
    Props are great but have someone keep an eye on them for you while they are not in your hands or line of vision - kids are insatiably curious.
    Involving them is also great- teaching to clap rhythm, swing a veil(scarves from 2ndhand stores!!!) or doing a hip movement helps to keep them focussed and also burn energy in a good way.
    Checking about midriffs etc is also a very good idea as there may be kids who come from a very different background whose parents would have problems with midriffs etc. Especially since so many people still think BD is akin to stripping!

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    Thanks everyone lots of constructive advice.

    I will check out with the co-ordinater of the week time frames and her ideas about clothes as we do have one or two Pakistani and Polish children in our school.

    All three of the dances I had in mind were short varying from 2-4 mins. My daughter's are only four and five and I'm gauging it on them.

    The choli I was thinking about using was french navy with lots of danglies and beads and sequins and has a peice hanging down so will cover my tummy but leaves a small band across my lower back bare. That one will go with my fuschia coloured skirt which I've got purple harem pants to go under. I have a duller silver coin belt from Cairo which will go with the top, it's quite noisy. I thought they might like that but I prefer gold so I might see if I can make a top in a brighter colour and perk it up with sequins and beads, add some floaty sleeves and then I could wear a gold belt I have which has some amazing earrings to go with it.

    I don't have many props only some zills(is it sagats), a few veils and some belts. Any suggestions on some good ones, I might be able to borrow some.

    Mind you my three girls have a belly dance outfit each (discreet ones I might add) so I thought I might take them and then at least the children will have something to try on, if they were allowed.

    If you were doing a small talk, what would you talk about?

    Wiggle

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    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggle View Post

    If you were doing a small talk, what would you talk about?

    Wiggle
    Maybe you can show on a map where the dance is from, that people who live there speak another language, and eat different food. Also explain that your costume is a stage costume, but that people (men and women, boys and girls) dance this dance for fun while wearing everyday clothes, too.

    Seriously, there is not very much to say about the dance itself to young children. It is best for them to just experience it; don't worry too much about teaching them anything, unless they say something that needs gentle correction, or if they ask questions.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amarise View Post
    I feel that the area you live in makes a big difference. We live in a conservative town and I always call and check to be sure their idea of what I will wear is the same as mine. In the schools I grew up in, midriffs were not allowed to be bared, especially by teachers.

    There is never any harm in checking. It also shows that you are thinking ahead and want to be considerate to everyone's tastes.

    Amarise
    This was the Bible Belt, but I'll grant that the preschool itself was fairly progressive. I agree Wiggle probably should check to see if the teachers are OK with her costume - although IMO people who ask a belly dancer to perform, should not be surprised if she does so with a bare belly!

  10. #10
    Junior Member Amarise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggle View Post
    Thanks everyone lots of constructive advice.

    I will check out with the co-ordinater of the week time frames and her ideas about clothes as we do have one or two Pakistani and Polish children in our school.

    All three of the dances I had in mind were short varying from 2-4 mins. My daughter's are only four and five and I'm gauging it on them.

    The choli I was thinking about using was french navy with lots of danglies and beads and sequins and has a peice hanging down so will cover my tummy but leaves a small band across my lower back bare. That one will go with my fuschia coloured skirt which I've got purple harem pants to go under. I have a duller silver coin belt from Cairo which will go with the top, it's quite noisy. I thought they might like that but I prefer gold so I might see if I can make a top in a brighter colour and perk it up with sequins and beads, add some floaty sleeves and then I could wear a gold belt I have which has some amazing earrings to go with it.

    I don't have many props only some zills(is it sagats), a few veils and some belts. Any suggestions on some good ones, I might be able to borrow some.

    Mind you my three girls have a belly dance outfit each (discreet ones I might add) so I thought I might take them and then at least the children will have something to try on, if they were allowed.

    If you were doing a small talk, what would you talk about?

    Wiggle
    As far as props, kids love the veils and zils. What kid does not like to make a little noise.

    Amarise

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