It's no secret -- I love dance class props! I use them for preschool age dancers, but also for my early elementary age classes. I promise you -- the 7 year-olds still love them too. (They aren't too old!)
Whether you are teaching in-studio, teaching virtually, or balancing a hybrid model, I have a solution for getting a ribbon wand prop into the hands of all of your young dancers.
Now, onto the DANCE CLASS FUN! Here's 3 ways I love to use ribbon wands during my classes!
AS A MAGIC WAND
Anytime that you are pretending about anything magical, a ribbon wand is a perfect stand-in for a magic wand! Swirl it around your foot - and poof! Your flexed toes become pointed! Tippy-toe from side to side and sprinkle your magic all around, like the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. Have a dragon to tame? The ribbon wand can become your magic sword as you chasse' forward and back.
AS A WAY TO PRACTICE RIGHT AND LEFT
For younger classes, lunge from side to side and practice switching the ribbon wand from hand to hand. When you lunge to the right, hold it in your right hand and shout "Right right right right!" and same thing to the left.
For older classes, use the ribbon to practice opposition arms during chasse'. Lead with the right foot, and chasse' all the way across with the right, holding the ribbon in your right hand (right arm extended side and left arm extended forward). Repeat on the left, with ribbon in left hand.
AS A WAY TO "BREAK THE ICE" DURING IMPROVISATION
I have noticed that my dancers tend to get more inhibited with their ability to freestyle and improvise, and more self-conscious, as they get older. I see a big change in my students around 1st grade, in terms of their willingness to improvise during class. The magic of holding the ribbon wand in their hands, and putting the focus on making the ribbon dance, instead of just their own bodies, really helps to break the ice when I want them to explore and create movement concepts on their own.
I hope that you found these ideas helpful! If you end up making some fun ribbon wands with your students, please send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org -- I would LOVE to see!
Did you know? I have themed lesson plans available for caregiver-child toddler dance, creative movement for ages 2-3, as well as jazz-and-ballet-based dance for ages 4-5? Check them out here!