Dive into Folk Dances
What are Folk Dances?
Share this information with your child(ren):
- A folk dance is a popular dance known by a community of people.
- This dance is important to their culture and relates to the way they think, act, and move about in their society.
- Many of these dances correspond with special ceremonies or events in that culture.
- These dances often pair with specific styles of music and the dance and music often feel similar to each other, with similar energy.
- Are there dances that you do frequently with your family?
- Do you have certain songs that you listen and dance to with your family or at community events?
- How does it feel when you dance or celebrate music with special people in your life?
Watch and Listen
First, listen to some of the dance music performed in Tiny Tots: Music of the World.
Ah Si Mon Moine Voulait Danser – Canada
Romanian Folk Dances – Romania
The Peat Dance – Denmark
During or after listening, talk about the music with your child(ren). Some great questions to start with:
- Did you have a favorite piece of music?
- Were any of the pieces very different from the others?
- What similarities or differences did each piece have from the others?
- Is the music fast or slow? Happy or sad sounding? Smooth or bouncy?
- Which piece made you want to dance the most?
Learn some traditional dance styles from different countries around the world with these short videos.
Bhangra Dance – India
Folk dances are a glimpse into the story of a community of people. Work with your child(ren) to create a folk dance based on your household or classroom’s culture.
- First, create a list of words that describe your community (classroom, home, school, etc.) culture. What qualities does your community value? What do you enjoy doing together?
- Next, pick a piece of music that you think illustrates your community culture. It can be a song with words or without!
- Either using the whole song or just the chorus or other small section, work together to create a dance to go along. Some tips:
- We suggest coming up with 4 dance moves and repeating them in a pattern over the course of the music.
- In a classroom setting, you can break students into groups and have them each create one dance move. Then bring the classroom together and add the moves together sequentially.