Ready for Life: Dance Off

Dancing isn’t just fun, its good exercise. So turn up a song your child loves listening to, and get moving.If your child is young, get them to mimic your moves. Then ask them to lead the way. If your child is older, choreograph more advanced steps together that get them to improve their co-ordination and depend on their memory. Here are a few moves to include in your routine:

THE BOX STEP

The box step makes the shape of a box on the floor and is a good one to start off with.

First half-box:

  1. Step forward with your left foot
  2. Step forward and across to the right with your right foot
  3. Move your left foot across to your right foot, so your feet are together

Second half-box:

  • Step backwards with your right foot
  • Move your left foot back to your original start position
  • Move your right foot next across to your left, so your feet are together (you should be back where you started!)

JAZZ SPLIT

This is a split on the floor with the back leg bent upward from the knee. Sometimes the knee can be grabbed or the head can be arched back towards it.

THE TWIST

The twist is performed by pivoting from one foot to the other.

CHICKEN DANCE

  1. Pinch your fingers and thumbs together in front of your chest 4 times.
  2. Flap your arms 4 times.
  3. Wiggle side to side 4 times while getting your back side as close to the ground as you can.
  4. Clap 4 times.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you hear the swing-like music.

THE DOLPHIN

This is a movement where the body flows in a snake type movement starting from the chest moving up.

HOP

This is a jump off of one foot that lands on the same foot. Like in hop scotch…

LIMBO

We’ve all done or seen the limbo! Basically walking in a hinge and sometimes adding a shimmie to the shoulders.

THE MOONWALK

Michael Jackson signature move!

  1. Place one foot directly in front of the other and stand on the toes of your back leg. Then, lift your right leg and place the toes of your right foot facing the floor, approximately a foot behind your left leg. Keep your arms at your sides -- you can worry about them later. Keep your left foot flat on the ground.
  2. Keep your balance. You can do this by increasing the width between your legs and feet until you feel stable. A good rule of thumb is to have them about 3-6 inches (the width of one of your feet) apart. As you get more comfortable with this move, you can do the moonwalk with your legs closer together. You can lift your arms a bit if that helps you keep your balance as you move backward.
  3. Slide your left heel back and "into" the floor. Do this as you lean back on your right leg so that your left foot finishes behind the right leg. During this, the heel of your right foot should still remain in the air, with the toes pointed down on the floor. Put all of the weight into your lifted leg, so the leg that is flat on the floor feels weightless.
  4. Snap the heel of your left foot up off the floor as you simultaneously snap the heel of your right foot down. Now you are in the same position you started with, only your feet have changed positions. Your right foot should now be in front of your left leg instead of the other way around. To do the moonwalk correctly, only one of your feet should be in the air at any given time. Always one; never two, and never zero.
  5. Repeat the previous two steps, switching the roles of your left and right foot.The moonwalk can really be mastered by perfecting these movements over and over, until it looks like you're really walking on the moon and when your feet are really moving back and back smoothly, without any kinks.

SHIMMIE

This movement is done from the shoulders. One shoulder moves forward while the other moves back and is done really fast in a shake.