As I talked about in Dance ED Tip # 19: Alternative to giving out stickers
, dance games at the end of class can be great motivators for students and freeze dance is usually a dance teacher’s go-to game. It’s quick and easy and can be a great reward for hardworking dancers. After a while, however, the students can get bored with freeze dance and it loses its luster. In my student teaching internship during graduate school, my cooperating teacher Michele Stevens (who is absolutely incredible and was a huge influence on my teaching) from Franklin Public School District and I made up the Moon Dust game. Michele now calls it “Alien and Astronauts,” which is a great title too! I have been playing Moon Dust with all my students ever since and it is a hit with every group I teach.
Here’s how you play:
1. You need scarves students can dance with.
2. Explain that we are no longer in the classroom and we have now traveled to the moon.
3. The students’ scarves are magical moon dust that make them dance when they hear music playing.
4. When the music stops, that means that the astronaut from earth (the teacher) has landed on the moon. The astronaut is looking to take a dancing alien back to earth with them.
5. When the music stops, the students must disguise themselves as moon rocks with their moon dust. Therefore, they need to be frozen in space making rock-like shapes with their scarves on some part of their body.
6. The astronaut then walks around the space to see if they can find any aliens.
7. Overtime, students will try to change shapes when your back is turned. If I catch them moving or giggling at any point, they are out for 1 round.
No stepping on the scarves while we are dancing.
No tying the scarves around your neck.
I love this game because the structure allows for so many variations. You can imbed other concepts such as shape, levels, positive and negative space, etc. The possibilities are endless and being able to dance with the scarf is just so much fun. Michele and I would always play-act landing on the moon and floating around the space and the students just ate it up. I think we, as dance teachers, can sometimes get so caught up in the technical aspect of dance that we forget to focus on the whimsy and fun that made us fall in love with it in the first place. This game keeps the joy of dance alive and I promise that if you try it with your students it will be a hit!