Dance Revolution

Humans have been dancing for at least 9,000 years. (Whew, that's a lot of popping and locking.) And if you think about it, it's kinda... weird. Dancing can be social or ceremonial, like when we're at parties or weddings, and it can even be competitive, like the challenges we see everywhere on TV or social media. What about music drives us to get up and move our bodies around in strange ways? How can that one impulse lead to such different dances, from ballet and ballroom to line-dancing and disco? Why do certain dance moves catch on and spread like crazy, like the floss, while others don't?

We have a lot of questions about dance, and this week at Camp Kinda, we're sliding our way into some answers. Join us as we step into a few flash mobs, master some viral dance moves, and explore dances, rhythms, and music from around the world. Even if you don't like dancing, you're sure to feel a little twitch in your hips by the time we're done—and maybe, just maybe, you'll discover something that really moves you.

Note for parents: It's hard to explore contemporary dance without touching on video-sharing platforms like Tik Tok—but we know not everyone is comfortable with them. None of our activities ask kids to use these sites, but you may see them referenced here and there.

what you’ll need

  • Your Camp Kinda toolkit
  • Black construction paper
  • Empty buckets, trashcans, boxes, and pans to use as drums
  • Something that can used as drumstick (like wooden spoons)
  • Acrylic paint in a few colors (optional)
  • A paper plate (optional)
  • Packing tape (optional)
  • A printer (optional)

weekly family activity

Kick off your dancing shoes and watch the documentary film "Mad, Hot Ballroom," about a group of kids competing against students from other schools in high-stakes ballroom dance competitions. You'll see them experience victory as well as the occasional setback as they gain a new skill and work harder than they ever have before! Click here to check out the Common Sense Media review.

this week’s content builder:

Sanita Irvin

Sanita Irvin serves as a director on Teach For Ameria's Teacher Leadership Development Team in New Orleans. Her 17-year career in education includes roles as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, instructional leader, academic dean, and assistant principal. She does daily solo dance performances in her living room.

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You have probably heard of Anne Frank, the girl whose diary helped give voice to the suffering of millions during World War II, or Greta Thunberg, who has called out leaders around the globe for failing to act on climate change. But did you know that the Braille alphabet for the blind was created by a French teenager? Have you met Marley Dias, who is bringing thousands of books with Black main characters to libraries across America?

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