Salsa Class: Teaching Ideas to children
Teaching salsa class to children requires different methods. Children do not respond to teaching in a similar way to adults. But if you make the teaching interesting and fun, it will most likely capture their attention. The key to holding their attention is to present your class in an interesting manner.
Use the game technique in doing the salsa class. When the young students see it as a game rather than a chore they will most likely remember the lessons. They respond to fun and play-acting. So tell them to play act while they are dancing. Let their imagination soar as you tell them that they are princesses or prince attending a ball just like Cinderella.
This will make the teaching of concepts and skills easier. The young kids are more confident if they are doing something new based on something they are familiar with. The kids are familiar with games so make it as your basis for teaching them.
A very fun way of teaching dance to little kids is to tell them to move like an animal. They could pretend to be a cat, a dog, a fish, whatever fancies them. Then tell them to copy the movement of their chosen animal. This will be a very exciting activity for the kids. Also, it will enable them to improve their flexibility.
If you decide to act out the movements of a cat then it is time to call out your instructions to them. Tell them to act out a cat sleeping, walking, eating, purring and so many other cat actions. Then let them choose a partner. Let the partners mirror each other’s movements.
Play Salsa Music
This will allow the children to feel the Latin vibe. The most important aspect of salsa dancing aside from footwork is hip movement. Teach them how to move their hips properly. Remember that the hip movement must emanate from the footwork.
Teaching the kids the basic salsa steps may take some time. Some kids are naturally inclined to dance and thus, learn faster than the others.
The basic salsa steps include forward basic for the boys or the lead and back basic for the girls or follow. They do the reverse of each other’s movements. If the boy steps forward with his left foot, the girl moves with her right.
Salsa dancing follows eight beats. Dancers move on the first three beats then pause on the fourth. Repeat this procedure until you reach the eight beat. They move left-right-left-pause twice.
You can slowly introduce variations later. But the kids need to master the basic steps first before you progress to the more complex ones.
After you taught the kids the basic steps, it is time to practice on a real social setting. You can invite the parents for the salsa party so the kids will be inspired to dance and show their dancing skills.
Another way to stimulate the creativity of the children is to ask them to wear costumes. A salsa costume party is a good alternative to an ordinary party. This will enable the kids to act out a certain character, for instance, prince and princess, fairies, dwarves, angels and other characters. Children are then taught to dance their character, embodying the emotions suitable for their chosen costumes.
Praise the Students
Recognize the students’ efforts to improve. Praise them for their hard work. If they get recognized in front of the entire salsa class, the more they will be motivated to do well. However, you need to be careful with this strategy since you do not want to make other less improved students feel left out. Do not play favorites. Be fair to all in your salsa class.