Dance dynamics: Jungle jive

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By Kara Herbertfounder of Tempo Dance Company

Join the king of the swingers and become jungle VIPS with this Jungle Book-inspired dance routine, says Kara Herbert

jungle jive

This is a contemporary dance routine for four- to seven-year-olds, inspired by the apes dancing in the classic Disney film, The Jungle Book. Teach the routine bit by bit, adding on a little section at a time, and practise with the music as you go.

You will need: large clean space, with appropriate flooring; CD player; ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ music from The Jungle Book; large pen and paper.

Before you begin

Ask the children to discuss their thoughts and imagery on the jungle theme. What might they find in the jungle? Use your pen and paper to note their ideas, and keep this displayed for them throughout the workshop. Encourage the children to demonstrate their ideas physically, putting actions to their words.

Warm up

It is always essential to get the children warmed up before they dance. Begin with an aerobic game then do some simple stretches, such as lunges and side stretches. A good game to warm up for this workshop is ‘Cat and Mouse’, although this time we’re going to call it ‘Ape and Chimp’!

Select two children to be Ape and Chimp. The other children need to form a grid by standing in rows with their arms stretched out to the sides and their fingers touching. When you shout Change, the children have to turn 90° either right or left, so that the rows of the grid are now running north to south instead of east to west. Ape has to catch Chimp by running in and out of the grid. Use the ‘change’ command to obstruct or help Chimp. Children take it in turns to be Ape and Chimp; alternatively, let them choose which jungle animal they want to be.

The routine

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