• Jessica Strong

Classroom Management in the Dance Studio - Sitting Vs. Standing while Waiting Turns

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Let’s Talk: Classroom Management!

A major change I made to my classroom years ago was to eliminate standing & waiting in line to go across the floor. When I was a new teacher, I would get frustrated that dancers would start running around the room as soon as the music played instead of waiting their turns to dance. It was a huge distraction & took so much time to get them refocused & back into a line. One day I decided to have them sit & wait their turn. It was a game changer.

To ensure this works for you:

🟥 Find a wall in your classroom that is free from distractions ie: no barre to hang on or mirror to touch.

🟧 Give each dancer a poly spot to sit on.

🟨 Give clear expectations of how they should sit to wait for their turn (criss cross applesauce spoons in the bowl).

🟩 For large classes, to avoid dancers sitting too long, consider multiple dancers going across the floor or completing an obstacle course at one time.

✨Magic Super Glue Game✨

Each dancer holds their hand out to get magic super glue from their teacher. They can pick what color super glue they want (rainbow sparkle is pretty popular). They rub the super glue on their hands, backs & bottoms & glue themselves to the wall & poly dot. Only the teacher can un-glue them when it’s their turn. If a dancer comes un-glued too soon it’s an easy reminder to say “oh no you ran out of magic super glue! You’d better get some more!

Having our dancers sit & wait for their turn to dance also teaches them some important social-emotional skills:

🟥Patience! We live in a world of instant gratification. It’s important to remind our little ones that sometimes they have to wait for their turn. Knowing how to wait is important for self-regulation.

🟧 More Focused. I’ve noticed my dancers have a better chance of following directions when expectations or combinations are demonstrated while they are sitting down, focused on the teacher rather than standing.

🟨 Fewer conflicts. When dancers stood in line, they were also more likely to touch other dancers, try to “cut” in line or would stand too close to someone even with a spot to stand on.

🗣 Do your dancers sit or stand for dancing across the floor?

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