4th grade Integrated Dance Lesson
Chelsea Holland, Dance Specialist
* Midas Creek Elementary*
Plastic pvc Electrical tape
piping 5/8” thick Pac cutting tools
Create enough hoops in your class for each student to have one hoop each
make more if you can.
Teacher uses hoops and demonstrates Butterfly and Caterpillar dance moves.
To explore the significance of the circle and the four directions in Native
To learn about a Pow Wow and explore Native American culture.
To lead children in a kinesthetic journey honoring animals and earth.
To develop memorization, improvisation, and understand the term grounded.
Dance Vocabulary Activity: Four Corners (Chug, Pony, Improvisation (Feet),
Why do Native Americans Dance? Brainstorm.
i. Speak to students about the importance of being grounded and how it relates
to current dance forms (hip hop, modern dance).
ii. Model and practice Native American dance moves so they may participate
with more confidence.
iii. Tell students that Native Americans believe that the earth is a drum and that
you play the drum by using your feet.
iv. Continue practicing creating combinations and listening to the drum.
Work Procedures: Hoop Dance
What Types of Native American Dance Are There?
“Native American Hoop Dance is a form of storytelling dance incorporating
anywhere from 1 to 30 hoops as props, which are used to create both static and
dynamic shapes, or formations, representing various animals and storytelling
elements. It is generally performed by a solo dancer with many hoops.
During the dance, shapes are formed in storytelling ritual such as the butterfly, the
eagle, the snake, and the coyote, with the hoop symbolizing the never-ending circle
of life. Native American Hoop dance focuses on very rapid moves, and the
construction of hoop formations around and about the body. The hoops used are
typically of very small diameter (1-2.5 feet). In elaborate sequences of moves, the
hoops are made to interlock, and in such a way they can be extended from the body
of the dancer to form appendages such as wings and tails. The hoops are often
handmade by the dancers out of simple plastic piping and wrapped in colorful
tapes, similar to the construction techniques used by non-Native American hoop-
Native American Hoop Dance has been formally recognized as a cultural heritage,
embodied in both documentary films and as a living tradition in formal
competition. The most popular competition occurs annually at the Heard Museum
in Phoenix, Arizona. Up to 80 dancers have participated on any given year, and the
competitions have drawn as many as 10,000 spectators. “ Wikipedia
SHOW STUDENTS PICTURES AND VIDEO OF HOOP DANCING.
Teach students how to hold the hoop.
Teach students how to place the hoop for each exercise.
- In and out - Large Butterfly
- Spinners - Caterpillar
- Small Butterfly - Eagle
I. Teach Students Partner Pony
II. Have create there own combination of Native American Hoop Dance moves
and plan your class Pow Wow. Students can rotate as dancers judges,
vendors, and spectators.
III. Hold a Pow Wow. Have students compete and judge the Native American
Hoop Dancers. Have students use the Elements of B.E.S. T to evaluate each
dancer and their combination. Give away a prize to the winner.
IV. Create a class dance story and tell it using the shapes created with hoops.
Assessment or Performance: Have judges/students use the Elements of B.E.S. T
to evaluate each dancers and their story combination.
Can you see if the dancer is grounded?
What characters were in the dancers story?
BEST and Native American Dance
What are the parts of a story?
Why was dance important to Native Americans?
What is the significance of the hoop and circle in Native American Culture?
Extensions or Re-teach:
Perform for parents or other classes. Have students write about their experience.