It doesn’t matter if you’re working with preschoolers or pre-professionals – dance props can be a welcome addition to just about any class. There are lots of items that can be incorporated into dance lessons, from floor spots to umbrellas and hats. If you’re looking to switch up your usual class structure, use these four tips to incorporate some fun props into the mix.
1. Consider Safety
Before you choose dance props to work with in class, it’s essential that you take safety considerations into account. DanceStudioOwner.com explained that you’ll want to think about the space you’re teaching in when picking items. Your dancers should be able to move freely with the prop without running into others, so canes or umbrellas aren’t a good idea if you have a big class. Similarly, you’ll want to choose items that are proportionate to the age of your students. Long ribbons are easy to trip on, so save them for older students. Think through your prop choices carefully and try to anticipate any problems you may run into.
2. Get Creative
Many dance teachers have a few go-to dance props, such as scarves, hats and canes, but the sky is the limit if you use your imagination. Head to a local dollar store to pick up some unique items to incorporate into your lessons. Dance Advantage suggested using masks, beanie animals, stretchy bands or bandanas as teaching aids. You can also play around with fake flowers, cones, baskets, novelty items, accessories, fans, toy instruments, sporting equipment and more!
3. Drive the Lesson Home
Props are fun to perform with, but they can also be used to teach important lessons. Bean bags can be used to help dancers improve their posture, while stretchy bands can help students execute a series of sharp movements. When you’re using props to teach a skill, don’t let your students get too distracted by the change of pace. Be sure that your lesson is clear and that the objects are being used to their full potential.
4. Use Props in Competition
If you find that your students work well with props, you may want to consider using the objects in an upcoming performance or competition. Dance Studio Life noted that the right supplement can help augment a theme and bring your team to the next level. However, you’ll want to be sure your dancers can handle the props like pros, otherwise it can make for a sloppy performance.