Special Needs and Folk Dancing
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I have a third grade student who uses a walker. I would love to teach folk dance in class however I am inexperienced when it comes to making accomodations. I guess I’m afraid of hurting his feelings if he does the actions in place!
Thank you for any suggestions.
The folk dance curriculum Teaching Folk Dance: Successful Steps by Phyllis Weikart includes suggestions for almost every dance for “chair dancing”–basically doing the dance from a stationary position. Maybe with the class that he is in you could teach the dance initially this way, then once the larger group is ready to put the dance in a circle or line you could have half of the class do the dance the traditional way while the other half continues to do the chair dance version, and then switch… that way the boy wouldn’t be doing the stationary version by himself. I am not sure if the book I have is still being published–there is a newer book by Weikart called Teaching and Movement and Dance… I’m not what the difference is between the 2 books, but according to this table of contents http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip069/2006006373.html it explains chair dancing used as a modification.
Is it the kind with wheels or the kind without? I used a walker in fourth grade – the kind without wheels – and I could actually move pretty fast in it (but only when the teachers weren’t looking 😉 ). The bigger issue would be that his arms aren’t free. If he can move around reasonably well this or a similar contradance might work: http://www.dancingmasters.com/newdances/kings_and_queens.html The emphasis is on acting like royalty (read: slow and stately). Or perhaps a circle dance: walking around the circle, in towards the middle, out again, etc.? It depends on his specific situation.
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