Get kids up and moving while they practice braille skills and learn about direction!
This dance activity reinforces body movements and helps blind and visually impaired children develop awareness of where their bodies are in space. It's also a perfect way to pass a rainy afternoon, entertain a crowd at a party, or exercise as a family.
What You'll Need
Dance! Dance! for Blind Kidsbased on the Dance Dance Revolution video game by Konami
Preparing to Play
- 1. Braille or print each of the cardinal directions on a separate index card (north, south, east, west). For older or more advanced players, add southeast, southwest, northeast, and northwest.
- 2. Braille or print each of the following dance moves on separate index cards: hop, step, jump, stomp, spin, slide, and grapevine.
- 3. Braille each of the following hand motions on separate index cards: clap hands, snap fingers, cross arms, pat head, and slap thighs.
- 4. You will have 3 categories of index cards (Directions, Dance Moves, and Hand Motions); place in separate piles.
- Before you begin:
- Make sure all those who will be playing the game understand cardinal directions.
- Explain and practice the dance moves so each player understands the movements.
For example, grapevine means to step with one foot in any direction, then cross your opposite foot behind the foot you first used to step. For example, step left with your right foot, cross your left foot behind, and then step again with your right foot to the left and tap your toe. (Watch the video to the right for more help.)
- Explain and practice the hand movements. This may require the hand-under-hand or hand-over-hand technique, depending on the age of the players.
- Once the dance moves are understood, practice combining these with the cardinal directions. For example: "hop north," "stomp south," and "grapevine east."
- When dancers have this down, add all three categories: Directions, Dance Moves, and Hand Motions together. For example, "jump and clap hands north" or "grapevine and slap thighs south."
Playing the Game
- Mix the cards in each pile.
- Decide who will be the "caller" who will draw a card from each pile and tell the dancer(s) what to do based on what each card says. Callers can be switched as often as desired so everyone can have a chance to call and dance.
- The caller can call the steps as fast or slow as desired.
- The caller can constantly mix the cards in each pile, or he or she can choose cards from each pile in order and then mix the pile when all of the cards have been used.
- Now, turn on some great dance music and Dance! Dance!
to the sound of her instructor's movements.