Twist and Twirl

Marbles Rings

Get moving to the music with dance mats that teach classic dance moves along with a little math.

What You Need: 

  • Colored construction paper or cardstock 
  • Markers 
  • Scissors 
  • Poster Board (optional) 
  • Glue (optional)
  • Duct tape or masking tape (optional) 
  • Music 

What You Do: 

  1. Trace your feet multiple times on construction paper and cut out. 
  2. Place the feet cutouts on the poster board in an interesting dance pattern.  The one pictured is a simple box step for the waltz. 
  3. Glue or tape the feet down.  If you use painter’s tape, you can tape the feet to the floor and skip the poster board and move them around for different moves. 
  4. Use the marker to write numbers on each foot in the order that they should be stepped on to make the dance pattern. 
  5. Add strips of tape as directional arrows in the order that you should move your feet on the mat or floor. 
  6. Turn on the music and follow the numbers and arrows with your feet as you move to the rhythm. 

Words to Use: 

  • Ballroom dancing: A type of dancing that is done with a partner and has different steps for particular types of music, such as the waltz. 
  • Waltz: A fairly slow dance with a regular pattern of three beats. 
  • Rhythm: A regular repeated pattern of sounds or movements. 
  • Beat: To make a regular, continuous sound.  
  • Heartbeat: The action or sound of your heart as it pumps blood through your body. 

What to Talk About: 

  • How does the music make you want to move? 
  • How does the beat of your heart change as you dance?  What if you speed up your dancing? 
  • What ways of dancing do you enjoy the most? 

Change It Up:  

  • Make up your own dance by moving the feet and numbers to different spots on the floor.  Follow the steps and give your new dance a name.   
  • Change the music that you dance to and try doing the same steps to different types of music. Dance to music with a faster or slower beat, music played with stringed instruments or music played with brass instruments. 
  • Create several dance mats – one for each person in your family and have a dance party together. Let everyone pick their favorite song to dance to. 
  • Use ribbon wands to dance and twirl. (See Twirlygig Play-to-Go for how to make your own ribbon wand.) 


Learning Connections:  

  • Communication 
  • Creativity 
  • Visual-Spatial Thinking 
  • Gross Motor Development 
  • Physical Activity 


Curriculum Connections:  

  • Dance: K.CP.1, K.DM.1, 1.CP.1, 1.DM.1.4, 1.DM.1.5, 2.CP.2.2, 2.DM.1.4, 2.DM.1.5, 3.CP.1.1, 3.DM.1.5, 4.CP.1.2, 4.CP.1.1, 5.CP.1.2, 5.CP.1.1, 5.CP.2 
  • Physical Education: K.MS.1, PE.1.MS.1.4, 2.MS.1, 3.MS.1, PE.3.MC.2.1, 4.MS.1, PE.4.MC.2.1, PE.5.MS.1.4

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