International Dance Day is on 29 April 2012
International Dance Day was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute, and is celebrated on April 29 every year right around the world. The date was suggested by the International Dance Committee to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), the creator of modern ballet.
An outstanding choreographer or dancer is invited to deliver a message which is circulated throughout the world every year.
So lets all celebrate Dance on 29 April this year. Lets revel in the universality of this art form! Dance crosses all political, cultural and ethnic barriers. Dance has a common language right across the whole world.
Kids just love to dance — they’re determined to celebrate life to the full, and movement is the most exciting and stimulating way to do just that. Dancing comes as naturally to kids as breathing, eating and laughing. They love nothing better than to move their bodies to the beat of their favourite music.
Try this dance for fun!!!! I bet you didn’t know these words for the song?!
THE CHICKEN DANCE
Don’t wanna be a chicken,
Don’t wanna be a duck,
So I shake my tail
Clap, clap, clap, clap.
Watch some children perform the Chicken Dance (with no words!) on YouTube!!
The “Chicken Dance” is a very popular dance around the world probably because it is so simple. You only need to learn 4 moves and they are repeated over and over again. You can learn these moves by watching the children perform on the YouTube link above. The actual song was composed by accordion (Handharmonika) player Werner Thomas from Switzerland in the 1950s! It is so much fun to perform the dance with a group of people.
Birth to six months: (baby lying on the floor or on a rug) Sit or kneel where your child can look at you performing this silly dance. You can hum or otherwise sing the tune and do all the actions – exaggerate all the actions and smile and laugh with them. Tell them you are doing a silly Chicken Dance especially for them!! When your child is older pick them up in the chorus and dance them around the room. This is exercise for the child as well as you!!
Six months to 5+ years: Show your child the actions to the Chicken Dance lots of times encouraging them to join in. Lift them up or dance with them around the room in the chorus. Enjoy this silly dance with your child and give them lots of hugs as they try to copy the actions! Laugh and enjoy this silly time with your child.
The Importance of Dance in Childhood
Dancing with your baby provides vital brain activity, stimulates growth and develops coordination and awareness of rhythm in babies.
It can also help younger babies develop the muscle strength they will need to crawl and walk.
And dancing is a great way for new mothers to lose their baby weight at the same time as developing a bond with their child.
Dancing benefits a child’s learning. Through dance, children not only learn the benefits of exercising, but they also learn coordination, balance, flexibility, stamina, stability, memory and discipline.
Dancing boosts self esteem and social skills.
Dancing Improves Memory because it requires memorization of steps.
Dance is pre-verbal, beginning before words can be formed. It is innate in children before they possess command over language. Children move easily and naturally. They are not inhibited! They are able to express thoughts and feelings through movement.
Do lots of dancing with your child – put on some music and just dance around the room with them. Encourage them to express themselves to the music. Do other community dances with them such as the Macarena when they are older. Invite other children to your house and put on some music for them to all dance to!! What a lot of fun!
Most importantly have fun with your child. Laughter helps to release endorphins in the brain which assists everyone to learn better and develop stronger family relationships.
Our National Year of Reading page has some great book recommendations for this month’s theme! WHY NOT HAVE A LOOK!