Dance ED Tip #37:
Olivia’s Must-Haves for this Dance Season

July 31, 2018 - Olivia Mode-Cater

 
August is the time of year when teachers do most of their back to school shopping! This can be fun, but overwhelming! There’s so much stuff out there and it can be hard to decipher what will really be useful in your classroom and what will be a waste of money. To make things easier for you I’ve created my list of must-haves for this year!  This is NOT a sponsored post. All of these items are things that I genuinely bought last year when creating my K-12 program. If you want the full list along with links and pricing be sure to sign up for my mailing list!  Click here to sign up for the mailing list.
 
I hope this list takes away some of the stress in planning for your year and inspires you to buy some new things to spice up your classroom! So without futher ado, here are my must-haves:
 



 
My first must-have are my poly spots! I use these almost every day. For elementary dancers, these are absolutely amazing! I use them to tell my dancers where to stand to do their warm up and to go across the floor. They’re also great for high school and higher education when I do station work. ​
 

 

Next, I recommend some type of brightly colored masking tape. I like to use it to tape out different areas of my room and I also use it tape out the actual size of our performance space for rehearsal.

 

 

Every dance teacher needs at least 1 drum. Drums and tambourines are particularly helpful when doing stop and go activities and improvisation as they remove the need to keep running to the sound system. They are also useful when you can’t find music that is the right tempo for the exercise that you are teaching.

 

 
Scarves!  These I mostly use for my elementary dancers. We use them to play this awesome game called Moon Dust.  Click here to learn how to play! The scarves can also be used with high school students when discussing movement qualities and can be a good tool for improvisation.  
 
 
The next item is rhythm sticks. They are made for younger students to tap out rhythms and learn about counting; however, I’ve found a lot of uses for them for my high school dancers too. I use them often as a prop to help dancers engage their arms and back when turning.  
 
 
Yoga mats and yoga blocks are great! I love having the option of doing somatic practices with my students. I also have found a lot of creative uses for yoga blocks to help with turning, jumping, and grand pliés.   Check one idea out here.

 

 
Every dance teacher needs a job chart! Some teachers think that job charts are too juvenile for their dancers, but I use a job chart in every setting I teach, EVEN HIGHER EDUCATION. Classroom jobs make students accountable for the classroom environment, it also frees the teacher to actually do more teaching.
 
 
The last item was a LIFESAVER for me while I was trying to figure out costumes for all of my students. They are Closet Dividers.  You label them and then put them on a clothing rack. I put my students’ names on these so they knew which costumes were theirs on the day of the show. I love attaching paper to them, as shown in the image, so you can reuse them over and over!