January and February can be tough months to teach. It’s cold, the holiday fun is over, then mix in a few snow-days (or worse yet – a day you THOUGHT they would call off) to get everybody off schedule… sometimes you need something different to get their attention again!
Dance can do that… but if you’re like me, my dance skills aren’t good enough to get in front of my students and freestyle! Nope… just no.
German teacher, Candis Carey, shared this great idea at her TL music session during ACTFL 2018. She taught us about using “Just Dance” in the language classroom. It’s a video game that challenges you to follow the choreography to pop music and uses a camera to score you on how closely you match the games’ dancers. People started recording themselves playing the game with near perfect scores and put these recordings on YouTube. The YouTube version means you can’t actually get a score and there’s no camera – but it’s fun! Why is it good for a language class? Target language songs with the lyrics on the screen.
Here’s how it works:
Each person picks one player to follow in the video. Sometimes the players dance the same moves, other times they dance differently! Look at the scrolling images on the bottom of the screen for hints to help you get ready for the upcoming moves!
So, pick a video and try it out at your next department meeting or in your living room with your spouse/kid/dog. See if you don’t have a little fun AND feel more energized in just a few minutes!
Again, huge thanks to Candis for sharing the idea and for forcing all of us teachers to actually dance during her session! We loved it and I’m sure your students will, too!
Have you done this in class? Any tips for the rest of us?
Share your favorite target language videos to use in class below!
You ladies just made my day! Thank you! I will be sharing this with my teachers immediately!
Yay, Mara! I wish I could observe it in different language classes! It’s usually pretty hilarious!
I use so many of your ideas and am so glad you could use and share one of mine! Now, we just need more German Just Dance songs!
Yes, they do! I found a lot in Russian (I think) – and the German one I included is older. Let us know if you have a favorite that you use! Thanks again for the awesome idea, friend!
I should mention this idea was actually not mine but found on the Brain Breaks-World Language group page on Facebook. Interesting that there are so many in Russian!
Here are two more in German:
OMG! We just started the fine arts unit and we always spend time on dance. This new add will be amazing.
Sounds like a great fit! Have fun!
SWeeeeT!! 🤩 -45 with windchill today. I know what I’m doing next class. Let’s see if I can only convince my reserved adults to dance in front of their co-workers!👍😜👍
Love that you included multiple languages…MERCI!!
Yikes – you all need to be dancing just to stay WARM! Glad you can use it!
I do this as a way to kick off my Fridays in my classes. I call it Baile Viernes. My students love it and even request certain songs or videos. If you search Baile viernes on youtube you can find premade playlists!
Fun! I heard of Baile Viernes traditional from Allison Weinhold – that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing the tip for finding the playlist.
How do I find one in Italian?
Found more in Italian (not sure if lyrics are appropriate or not):