Teaching the Dance Concepts: Tempo

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Teaching the Dance Concepts: Tempo

Tempo refers to the speed of which dancers move. While there are numerous tempos we start with the basic: Fast & Slow

How to Teach the Concept:

I love to include props when teaching about tempo! Some of my favorite props include:

🔴 Music Makers such as egg shakers, maracas, drums or jingle bells

🟠 Scarves! Scarves are a great way to play and explore tempo

🟡 Parachute! The parachute is a great prop for tempo exploration as you shake the parachute fast or slow!


Finding the right music is important when teaching tempo! Some of our favorite songs for each prop are:

🟥 Egg Shakers: I know a Chicken by The Laurie Berkner Band

🟧 Scarves: Xylophone Slow & Fast

🟨 Parachute: Slow & Fast by Hap Palmer

Themed Class Exploration:

We’ve used several themes to explore the Dance Concept of Tempo, but one of our favorites is exploring the Life Cycle of a Butterfly! We compare how we move slowly like a caterpillar to flying quickly like a butterfly! Building a caterpillar with our Lily and River stepping stones gives us a foundation to practice some slow tip toe walks like a caterpillar. Some butterfly wings from the Dollar Tree helps us chassé fast like a butterfly! We take a break to sip some nectar from a flower with our arabesque!

Get the Life Cycle of a Butterfly Lesson Plan FREE!

Why is learning tempo important?

Understanding tempo is important for dancers to build musicality, fluidity and the phrasing and dynamics of movement. Before dancers can understand the rhythm, counts and patterns of music they need to understand the basic tempo or speed of the music and how to move their bodies accordingly.

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