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May I Have This Dance?
Spring fever is a real thing, no?
My students get increasingly wiggly this time of year — even my preschoolers who don’t know their months of the year from their graham crackers.
It’s like they can feel it in their bones: Summer. Is. Coming.
It’s time to get outside and breathe fresh air.
School is wrapping up.
If your kids are the same way, and no one wants to sit still for math problems or handwriting exercises, I’ve got a new tool for your perseverance arsenal:
The Classical Music Dance Party.
Sometimes kids just need to get up and move. It gets the blood pumping and the laughter flowing. Before long, the dopamine and the serotonin are flowing as well…making little brains happier and happier. Music is good for you. Even science says so:
“…listening to upbeat music can increase the number of antibodies in your system which are crucial to identifying and eliminating harmful bacteria and viruses.” (source)
Who knows, the classical music dance party might just get you through the next flu season!
The truth is, there is a ton of classical music that is really just a rip-roaring good time. You won’t be able to sit still, even if you want to. Spend five minutes having a classical music dance party, and your kids will be better on the other side – promise.
I’ve got ten favorites for you – let’s go!
The William Tell Overture // Rossini
No piece of classical music embodies high energy and fast movement more than the finale of Rossini’s William Tell Overture. Start with this one!
Sabre Dance // Khachaturian
This composer’s name is probably unfamiliar, but the piece won’t be. Originally part of what is now a pretty obscure ballet, Sabre Dance has been used in countless films, commercials, and television shows — even the circus! It’s perfect for getting kids up on their feet.
Hoedown from Rodeo // Copland
Hoedown is just the most fun ever. From Copland’s ballet Rodeo, this one will be familiar as well.
Summer from The Four Seasons (3rd Movement) // Vivaldi
Sometimes referred to as the “rock anthem” of classical music, the third movement of Vivaldi’s Summer is really intense. My students are always surprised that classical music can sound this powerful!
Russian Dance from The Nutcracker // Tchaikovsky
The most upbeat portion of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, the Russian dance is short and sweet. (Bonus tip: make it a game to see how many toys your kids can pick up before it’s over!)
March of the Toreadors from Carmen // Bizet
A familiar tune from arguably the most famous opera EVER. Perfect for getting a little Spanish culture flowing in your home…
Can-Can // Offenbach
This is true dancing music! Another you will recognize…
Ride of the Valkryies // Wagner
Boys especially enjoy the adventurous feel of Richard Wagner’s famous Ride of the Valkryies!
Gopak from The Fair at Sorochyntsi // Mussorgsky
You’ve probably never heard of this one, but it’s a favorite of mine. A gopak is a Ukranian dance. See, dance is built right in!
I’ve Got Rhythm // Gershwin
Finally, a little jazz for you with this Gershwin classic. Do a little tap dancing on the kitchen floor!
I hope this playlist is useful for getting your kids up and moving! Don’t take yourselves too seriously, and most of all – have fun.