Dance is found in every society in the world and Indian dance is one of the most ancient forms surviving. Its basic elements, it is believed, are much as they were many thousands of years ago.
Many of the classical dance styles found in Indian are complicated and are not entirely suitable for children of a young age. When teaching dance to young children it is important to start by making a full risk assessment of the surroundings in which you are working. Indian dance styles involving props such as veils may seem appealing, however having thirty children moving in an enclosed space with items which could cause tripping accidents may not be ideal. A good warm up is obviously a must, why not try to incorporate a story telling aspect to this. One of the oldest forms of theatrical dance in the sambalpuri dance world, Kathak, which literally translates as “story”, involves the use of story-telling Mudras hand gestures, allowing the children to create their own characters and stories.
Search out one of the many websites which can provide you with these easy to use gestures and get the children to make up stories in small groups to show to the rest of the class. Kathak dance is treasured for its intricacy, elegance and charm, it originated in the Hindu temples of northern India and later became popular in the royal courts. It is very graceful and works well with Junior classes. From a cross-curricular point of view it’s also a great way of introducing other subjects by discussing other cultures, traditions, Gods and Godesses of Hinduism or the geography of the country/ regions.
As well as the more elegant classical dances there is the more exuberant Bollywood style, full of the vibrancy of the Subcontinent. Bollywood is one of the hottest dance styles around. Taking dance moves from some of the most spectacular Indian cinema, it is a fusion of Western choreography and Indian tradition. It’s exciting and easy to learn, which makes it particularly good for infant classes, but can be equally enjoyed by older children. Indian Dance is an extremely fun and appealing way to deliver a multicultural lesson in Primary Schools and there are many ways this can be linked with the other statutory subjects in a fun and inspiring way.