Dare to Dance!
Dance your name and feelings in this fun dancing game!
What you’ll need: Another person, or group of people, piece of paper and pen (optional)
What’s it for?
This activity allows you to communicate through dance and movement - without using words. It is a good ice-breaker for new groups where people don’t yet know each other very well. It is another powerful way for you to express your feelings and have fun using a creative art form!
Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
How does your body feel?
Each person playing needs to think or write down their name and how they are feeling on a separate slip of paper. Really try to be thoughtful about choosing your feeling word - the game is more fun if there are lots of different feelings presented. Don’t show this to others!
Choose some fun music to play in the background as a group. It should have a strong and clear beat so that it’s easy to move to.
Each person takes a turn to move to the centre of the group and ‘dance’ their name and feeling. The other group members need to guess the name and feeling from the movement.
Here’s how to do it: spell out the different letters of your name and feeling with different body parts going from your head down to your feet:
1st letter: Head
2nd letter: Arm
3rd letter: Hips
4th letter: Knee
5th letter: Foot
If you have more than five letters in your name and feeling, just start again through the sequence of body parts.
For example, if your name is Katy - make a ‘K’ shape with your head, an ‘A’ with your arms, a ‘T’ with your hips, and a ‘Y’ with your knee. If you’re feeling ‘bubbly’, carry on by spelling it out with ‘B’ with your foot / feet, ‘U’ (back to the top of the list of body parts) with your head, ‘B’ with your arms, ‘B’ with your hips, ‘L’ with your knee, and ‘Y’ with your foot / feet!
If you have a very long name, you might choose to dance out a shorter nickname - it’s up to you!
You might want to indicate to the group when your name ends and the feeling begins!
Try to make your movements in time with the music the group chose.
See if you can make your movements also match the feeling you chose in some way - quick movements if you’re feeling ‘excited’, for example, or smooth movements if you’re feeling ‘calm’.
Continue until everyone in the group has had a turn.
Extra Activity: If your group gets good at dancing names and feelings to each other, try sending dance messages in the same way!
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
Did you find it easy or difficult to spell out your name and feelings with your body?
How did it feel using dance to communicate?
Did you learn anything new about yourself while you did this activity?
Was it tricky keeping to the beat of the music while you were moving?
Did anything surprise you about this activity?
This activity helps you to develop the ability to express yourself and your feelings through dance and movement. Sometimes using creative art forms can be a powerful and fun way to communicate something about yourself or situation without using words.
Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?
If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity, or would like to send us any pictures (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!
Created by Ian Grundy © September 2021
Creative Arts Used: Dance
Psychological Areas Explored: Communication, Play, Relationships, Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Literacy, Self Exploration
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These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.
This website was made by CAT Corner to help you explore your feelings through fun creative arts activities. The people using the website and the people responsible for them need to make sure they stay safe (full disclaimer on About page).