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  • Waltz in class –

    Excellent way to engage kids in history and music.  Music innately has the ability to use right and left brain simultaneously.   When instruction is slowly sequenced in rhythm of dance/meter of music, the opportunity to engage students in a memorable relevant activity is present.  The waltz was introduced in England in 1816 (France ~ 1790) under the scrutiny of reporters who deemed it immoral.  Too much body contact of this type would certainly lead to an immoral society according to the London Times.

    Reading newspaper articles and learning how to partner and dance what would become famous waltzes introduces  new understanding in a student.

  • I really enjoyed Elizabeth’s presentation of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.  I love the richness of the music in this era.  The connects of history with the music were great.  I love music history and introducing my students to composers and eras.  As for the dancing, I absolutely enjoyed learning the Waltz.  I have referenced the waltz and it’s meter before but have not actually taught it or any type of truly formal dance to my students.  I would be very interested in adding it to a dance unit and felt that this process would be fairly easy to transfer.  I liked the idea of using modern and slower music before actually introducing a waltz piece of music.  I think my kids would really react best to using something modern first.  I think that my students would really enjoy the history of waltz and how “naughty” it was to touch in that way in public!

  • I think it would be wonderful to have students learn waltzing.  The class was laughing and having fun.  Though I’m not very coordinated, others encouraged me, including much better partners!  Traditional dancing gives cohesion to a society.  Like the 50’s through the 90’s, everyone watched the same TV and all had the same experiences, you could go to a different town or area and dance with a partner with the same rhythm.  Fourth graders could talk about the timing and rhythm and work on the dance steps.  I say bring back the waltz,…can we imagine a prom with traditional dancing! 

  • Thanks for letting me lead!  No feet were harmed in the making of this 'waltzer.'  To all of my waltz partners, Thank you!   I would certainly be able to insert a waltz unit into my classroom.  I try to incorporate as much movement as possible, but haven't been brave enough to go for the waltz.  Thank you for sharing strategies on how to get things started.  This would be an excellent addition to my unit on music of the Baroque.  The kids can describe a waltz, but what better way than to LIVE IT! 

    I love having more historical meat to add to my presentations as well. Having just finished oral comprehensives for my masters last February, history is still very fresh in my head, but I was able to make a few more connections today.  HOORAY!

  • Baroque era boasted of ostentatious style, whether in architect, fashion, art and music. The bigger and more ornate, the better. Dancing was still fairly modest, however, with as little touching as possible. The waltz is a great extension for a lesson on the Baroque era. It's a hands-on activity that helps engage the children by getting them up and involved in something that really happened in the era they’re studying.  

  • Waltz reflection
    Liked the step by step instruction... We are usually quick to say don't know how to dance but with small instruction easy to get started. Also the connection to history..origins and a time way back when...then start the dance lesson with current day music.
    I might use this as an intro to how history connects to our everyday lives. Here is a dance that started way back around the 1500s still used today. Also liked the theme of "showing off" during minuet...more connections with our everyday life.
  • Students might be interested in discovering how children of this era learned to dance. Research questions could include: Did students learn in schools or from tutors and governesses? Did parents make it a point to teach their children the proper dances of the day? At what age could children dance in public?

    Without the ability to use recorded music, how did people practice? Probably only the wealthiest families had musicians at their disposal. My guess is that certain members of the family were the musicians. Harpsichord, recorder, and lute players may have provided the music while the rest of the family danced. Maybe the people with "two left feet" were assigned to instruments!

  • When I begin the year discussing colonization through Queen Elizabeth I, I would like to share a minuet by Handel and discuss the etiquite of the dance during that time. I spend about 3 hours teaching this period, which is not much, so I will use the Giovanni Gabrielle chant call and response to show the kids the style of worship used in the Catholic church of the time as a brief example to set the tone.. If I have time I would like to play a Purcell piece and connect this composer to "The Who." I'm not sure if I will be able to spend much time to teaching the minute dance to the kids.

  • Reflection #1 (post-waltz): 

    I love the idea of getting the kids moving at school. I hate sitting down all day and I know it’s unnatural for the kids, too. I also think beat is something that’s integral, although it has to be taught and learned sometimes. Moving one’s body and feeling the music is a visceral way of experiencing and learning. If the kids can make some connections between music they listen to and more unfamiliar forms (like waltz) that would be very cool. I think if they can connect to people in earlier times at this kind of level it might help make the history sink in in a more personal way.

    In the social-emotional range of things, I like the idea of having everyone dance because I see it as a leveling force that can make everyone feel equal, even if equally silly!

  • Reflection #1 (post-waltz):     After the administrative “stuff” which is necessary, the Library of Congress site was very eye-opening. I had never been to the site before, but I will definitely return again to utilize fully the recourses available for all to see.


    I would’ve liked to have done some of the “Z” dance.  I’ve seen this done in period movies like the original Pride and Prejudice. Seeing the progression of dancing as associated with cultural beliefs is highly affective and demonstrates much of the why behind what was happening in history. The “Z” dance would also have been a great introduction to dance for kids due to the fact that they don’t need to touch.


    I really like the Waltz because it has different teaching levels.  When a group of student has the box step down, they can move on while others are still working on the basics. I love leveled activities.  Also, changing partners helps to slow down the progress of those quick learners.

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