November is a month of gratitude, and there are several ways to incorporate the thankful themes of the season into your dance classes!

1. Sharing Thanks! When taking attendance, ask students to respond with something they are thankful to have in their lives. Answers range from sweet to thoughtful to candid to funny.

2. Celebrate the Colors of the Wind! With the leaves showing their true beauty, it is always fun to incorporate a classroom activity to celebrate the autumnal glow. Distribute scarves of different colors and allow students to improv to ‘Colors of the Wind’ from Pocahontas. Depending on class age/level, encourage the formation of shapes and the use of levels.

3. Have a Movement Feast! PE Central offers a great lesson plan for using movement to enact the items of a traditional Thanksgiving feast: mashed potatoes, apple pie, cranberries, green beans, and thanksgiving. This is a fun activity that can be adjusted and tailored to accommodate a variety of age ranges!

4. Seasonal Music! Be sure to incorporate the following songs of the season:

  • An Attitude of Gratitude by Jimmy Buffett
  • Things I’m Thankful For by Hap Palmer
  • Turkey Hoedown by Christopher Zondaflex Tyler
  • Thanksgiving Circus by Thanksgiving Kids
  • Turkey In The Straw Medley (instrumental) by John Cali
  • Turkey In The Straw (with lyrics) by Goofy

5. Dance Turkey! Have students attach dance terminology as “feathers” to a “turkey” to reiterate skills and steps that are taught in class. Prior to attaching the feather, the dancer may demonstrate the movement. For a Ballet Turkey, the feathers may include first position, plie, tendu, curtsy, etc. For a Tap Turkey, the feathers may include shuffle, flap, cramproll, etc. You can either cut the turkey shape out of construction paper or  buy turkey foam cut-out packs in large quantities at your local craft store.

Gobble up the fun of the season!


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