Your competition team could be the most talented dancers in the world, but if they don’t trust each other, they’re going to struggle to achieve their goals. Trust, camaraderie and respect are all essential characteristics of a dance competition team.
If your dancers aren’t meshing quite as well as you’d like, a few team-building games might be in order. Use one of these activities to break down barriers between your students and help them grow and flourish as a cohesive unit.
1. Guess Who
This classic ice breaker is a go-to for the American Dance and Drill Team. It requires a little bit of preparation on your part, but will really help to get your dancers talking, laughing and working as a team. You’ll need a stack of index cards and some tape. Prepare by writing the names of famous people on each index card. You can use historical figures like George Washington, modern stars such as Lady Gaga or even fictional characters like Harry Potter.
Once you’re in rehearsal, ask your dancers to line up, then tape one index card onto each student’s back. Explain that they need to figure out who they are by asking teammates only yes-or-no questions, similar to how they would play 20 questions. Each player can only ask two questions to any given teammate. Your dancers will quickly discover that they must rely on each other to solve tricky problems.
2. Human Dragons
This activity from M.A. Dance will really get your dancers moving. Create a few lines of six to eight students. The leader of the line is the “head” of the dragon and the last person is the “tail.” The players must hold onto each other’s waists. The object of the game is for the head of a dragon to tag the tail of another. The dancers who make up each dragon will have to balance following the head and simultaneously protecting their tail. The last dragon standing wins!
3. Trust Walk
If you want to build some one-on-one relationships, this trust walk exercise is really helpful. Pair up your students and blindfold one person in each duo. Set up a series of obstacles in your practice space, such as a few stairs, a hula hoop to climb through or a bridge to walk over. Each pair must successfully navigate the course with the blindfolded member receiving only verbal directions from her partner. Once they make it through the obstacles, have the dancers switch places and traverse the course again.