In the past, I have often made the mistake of thinking that my students are too mature for fairy tales. I don’t know what could have influenced this assumption, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Kids love silliness.
Don’t underestimate the power of imagination.
“Walk like a princess” is one of my students’ favorite activities. Before beginning this exercise, I ask the girls to imagine they are princesses. This always results in a chorus of voices telling me what kind of princesses they want to be. I’ve heard everything from fairy to vampire queen. It doesn’t matter what kind of princess they choose, as long as they feel elegant. I then ask the girls what princesses wear.
I’m looking for three specific items: tiara, glass slippers, and ball gown. Each of these items has a purpose.
- The tiara is very fragile when placed on their head. (I ask them to act out putting it on their heads).
“What happens if you look down?”
Most common response: “It’ll fall off and smash into a million pieces!”
Bingo. Don’t look down.
- The glass slippers are obviously made of glass.
“What happens if we stomp our feet instead of walking softly?”
“The glass breaks and we get bloody feet!” (Kids don’t play around).
- The ball gown is very big and covers our feet.
“How do we make sure everyone can see our pretty shoes?”
“We point our toes out and hold up our skirts.”
My dancers reward me by walking across the room as if it was a palace. They walk with grace and pride, because they feel like princesses. This is only one example of using imagination. I’ve found that involving them in a little bit of creativity holds their attention for a little while longer. Plus, it’s fun.