Choreographing for Kids at the Corps
Are you leading a group of young dancers at your corps? Here are some quick tips to help you create a strong and effective piece of choreography with tiny dancers.
- Kids under the age of 7 have not yet developed their peripheral vision, so holding hands is one of the best ways to keep them in a straight line.
- Stick to straight arms and legs. You can develop that attitude and ballet arms later when they’ve mastered the fundamentals.
- You’d think that the most natural thing for kids to do is skip, but getting them all to skip at the same time is a challenge indeed! Try marches, walks or step-kicks instead.
- Focus on the meaning of the piece you’re working on. If they ‘get it’, the message will be that much clearer for your audience.
- Nobody wants to watch the same choreography repeated every chorus, but if you’re running out of time, try dancing the repeated chorus: in cannon, as a solo, facing a different direction, in a new formation or with a level variation.
- Use sign language as a jumping off point for bringing lyrics to life.
- There’s no shame in doing repetitive movements in groups of 4 for young dancers. Save your creative chops for those teens who want a challenge.
- Pick strong leaders to begin cannons or lead snake lines. The wrong choice will be difficult to undo later without tears.
- Rights and lefts can be a challenge, so try to avoid alternating starting sides when using repetitive movements. (Ex. Always start your walks on the right, always start waves on your left…)
- You don’t have to keep the cute little ones in the front. They are more likely forget the dance or develop stage fright. Mix it up! Just keep your lines staggered and everyone will be seen.
- Use a verse to feature your stronger dancers. This will give them a chance to be challenged and it will provide the others something so strive towards.
- Pirouettes are a no-go. Try sticking to chaine turns until they develop stronger balance and coordination.
- Take a video at the end of class, because you know they’re not going to remember it next week.
- That beautiful vision of the dance in your head… yeah, it’s not going to look like that. So don’t beat yourself up.
- Use these Star Search marking rubrics as a reference!