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  • This Jefferson & Liberty dance would be a great way to re-emphasize with students how happy, relieved and free the colonists felt once the Revolutionary War had been won and they had freedom from the rules, taxes and restrictions they had experienced under British rule.  It's also fast paced and non-threatening, so it's not a big deal if someone messes up and misses a part, or missteps.  Just count to 8 and carry on!!

    It also is an opportunity to talk about the change in the sound of the music.  An introduction of fiddle, fife and drum from the Celtic cultures that were coming to America and melding with English, Irish and Scottish cultures.  Also the fast pace of the music requires dancers to concentrate on teamwork, not on their personal, individual selves, or foibles.

  • My main use of dances in the past has been as team builders.  I am glad you mentioned the caveat of having boys play the girls role in dances.  I don't think I would have thought of that, and I have far less girls than boys this year.  So, I will probably do more group dances.  Although I do have stuffed animals in my room and that was a good suggestion. 

    I have never connected dances to periods of history and like this aspect.  It will be a nice way to work in more history while I continue dancing as team building.  Even if the students didn't do some of the couples dances, I could expose them to them with video, so they could see the style and fashion of the time.  I've contra danced in the past, and did not know that contra dancing came from the country dances. 

    I think it would be fun to play music from these different eras for the kids and see what kinds of ways they feel like moving their bodies (like making up their own dances) and what kinds of feelings the different music stir in them.  Also, playing music and having kids draw or sketch to the different styles of music and seeing how the styles change in their art, or if they do. 

  • The Contra dance seems like such an American revolution in dance.  No true form, but creates a community feel as we all have to move together in a fluid motion. So republican!

    This a such a change from the stiffness, orderly waltz.  Anyone can quickly join in and participate.  Great comparison to the spirit of the 1800s.

  • This era is pretty fun and I can see how incorporating this into my classroom would be fun and educational. We already do a lot of dances but this would be a great team building activity. This is truly a Monday morning idea. The beats are fun and once my students got the giggles out I think they would truly enjoy these dances.

    I like how things are getting more fun and entertaining as the time periods move on.

  • I was flying in a plane for this section... but I did have fun participating in the end dance!  Happy to be here in person!

  • These dances might be more fun for my students.  They have a little bit faster beat, and I think students might relate to that a bit better.  The dances are also harder to do, though, so it would require lots of practice.

    It would be fun to have students do these dances as a starting point for a discussion on how culture changes.  I'm sure many of them would say, "So old!" or "So boring!"  But a couple hundred years from now, maybe teachers will be watching a video to "teach me how to Dougie." :-)  I guess these were the popular dances of their day.

  • The Jefferson and Liberty would be a perfect dance to teach my students when we're talking about colonial America!  I literally just finished up colonial America and I'm pretty sure Monday we're going to dance a bit, just as a little extra to take away from the unit.  It's a great dance to use when I have a class that's mostly boys or mostly girls.  I'm definitely going to have to look into a few more group dances to use, if anything just to get blood pumping in the morning :D 

    I really like the idea of team building too.  We're doing duel language, so just promoting team work of any kind would really help out and get the students a bit more motivated to work together.  Like what was discussed, there is no time to be super self conscious and it's fun! 

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