A few weeks ago, you joined us and got crafty when you made your very own
D-A-N-C-E-R Stick! The goal of the D-A-N-C-E-R Stick is to assign an acronym to each letter so dancers in your class can exhibit common behavioral traits that dancers are known for:
Get a Refresh on the D-A-N-C-E-R stick or make your own by clicking here
The D-A-N-C-E-R Stick is only the first part to creating a classroom full of DANCERS! How do you use the D-A-N-C-E-R Stick to encourage your students to exhibit the behaviors you expect?
Each and every class, sit dancers down and remind them what each letter of the D-A-N-C-E-R Stick stands for and the behavior that goes with it. If you don't explain the behavior, you may not experience a change in your dancers. Here are some examples of how we explain the D-A-N-C-E-R Stick at Dance Exploration:
A disciplined dancer is someone who is in control of their body. They are following movement directions. They use walking feet to transition and stand tall and proud like dancer statues when they are ready to continue.
Having a good attitude means that we come to dance class with a willingness to learn new things! We are happy and excited for the class and what we will be learning. We are always positive in our words and actions and try to encourage others to share in our enthusiasm.
Being nice to each other can include simple actions such as helping another dancer with a difficult move or task, giving someone a compliment, making a person smile, giving high fives, sharing, and being polite.
A committed dancer never uses the phrase "I can't". They never give up even when a move is challenging. They try their best and ask for help if they don't understand a direction or how to perform a movement.
Being excited about dance and learning new moves every week. Also, sharing that excitement with others and encouraging others when they feel down.
Respecting the classroom including keeping hands and feet off of the mirrors, cleaning up messes, taking home all belongings and wearing only dance shoes on the floor. Coming to class dressed appropriately. Respecting the rules and expectations as set forth by the instructor. Respecting your fellow peers by listening when others are talking and keeping within personal boundaries of space.
As you see dancers exhibiting the letters in D-A-N-C-E-R turn the letter around on the dancer stick and let the class know why the letter was earned. For example:
"I just saw Angela helping Tye with his kick ball change! That was very nice, so you have earned the N in D-A-N-C-E-R!"
You can also turn letters around when you see behaviors that do not exhibit D-A-N-C-E-R behavior, for example:
"Briana, I do not appreciate how you pushed Rebecca down. You have lost the N for Nice. The class must earn this letter back.
The goal is for the class collectively to have all letters of D-A-N-C-E-R turned around on their D-A-N-C-E-R stick by the end of the class. If the class has spelled D-A-N-C-E-R based on their behavior, they will be awarded a Dance Savvy Card!
What is a Dance Savvy Card?
In our 'Dance to Learn!'® Elementary classes at Dance Exploration, we distribute Dance Savvy cards to dancers throughout our classes. Dance Savvy Cards celebrate dancers that have mastered a hard step or a behavior they may have been struggling with. The Dance Savvy card recognizes their hard work and celebrates their accomplishment with a physical reminder that they can keep and take home. Each Dance Savvy card is different with a fun illustration, bright colors and catchy phrase, so dancers can feel excited to collect a different card each week until they've earned them all! You can pass cards out to a class collectively (like when they have earned the full D-A-N-C-E-R on their stick) or individually.
How and When are Dance Savvy Cards Distributed?
A Dance Savvy Card can be distributed anytime you see a dancer performing a dance move, or behaving in a way that you feel stands out from the rest. A few things you can reward with a Dance Savvy Card:
1) Mastering a hard move that the dancer has been struggling with
2) Mastering a dance element or concept the dancer has been struggling with (traveling down the floor in a straight line ex).
3) Exhibiting any part of the D-A-N-C-E-R Acronym
A group of Dance Exploration Hip Hoppers show off their Dance Savvy Cards
When you see a dancer performing above the rest, you award them the Dance Savvy Card! On the back of the card is a spot that says:
"Today I mastered..."
You write exactly what they mastered. Take their photo and hashtag #dancesavvy be sure to tag @dancetolearn so we can celebrate in their awesomeness too!