Are you wondering how to keep students moving and dancing, while also social distancing? Last week, I wrote about singing games for social distancing. In this blog post, I’ll detail five folk dances that could work well for social distancing.
Before I begin, a disclaimer: I’ve heard some music educators discuss how folk dancing might not be safe during COVID-19, because it is a form of exercise, and students might be breathing heavier. It is something to consider, for sure. A solution may be to have students dance for a shorter time. I suggest speaking with your administrator about this, to see how he/she would like you to proceed.
Here are five folk dances that could work well for social distancing:
L'Hereu Riera: A Catalan folk dance
I learned about this dance on Facebook, from my former teacher and mentor Joan Litman. This could work really well for social distancing!
This is a dance from the Torres Strait Islands that I learned years ago and have really enjoyed teaching. The dance can be done in straight lines, with students being social distanced. This video is of my Kodály Level I class at DePaul University performing the dance; if doing with students, you would spread out more than we have here.
I love a Rainy Night
This dance, one of my favorites, can be found here. Typically, the dance would be done in a longways set. To adapt, students could be standing in lines, socially distanced, all facing front. For the 8 counts in which they would switch spots with a partner, you could have them adapt the dance and create another move they can do safely! For example, they could pat their laps 4 times and then clap 4 times instead.
I love that in this video, the dance is being performed while socially distancing! The only part of it that looks like it would need adapted is the part in which dancers walk in. Just like with “I love a rainy night,” you could have students create another move for that part.
This dance is great for social distancing! Students could stand socially distanced in lines (spread out more than in this video), all facing front, and could still perform!
Wanting to index other folk dances? Sign up below to receive a folk dance index for social distancing.
You can find this folk dance index as well as other long-range planning materials in this set:
I hope you are able to find other dances that students can perform while social distancing, so that they can be engaged, move, and stay safe! Happy planning, and happy dancing!