Teaching your students to breathe while dancing

Probably the first thing that your teacher might teach at dance classes for kids would be breathing techniques. All dancers need to breathe. After all, breathing is a natural and necessary function that occurs whether we know it or not. However, not all dancers would understand how they can use their breath to maximize their dancing skills.

At the most basic level, dancers should use inhalation to emphasize their growing movements and exhaling to extend their shrinking movements. The use of breath provides a greater fluidity of movement, music and in some cases also creates an enduring quality that would foster enjoyment of movement.

Partner exercise: using the breath to communicate

Pair your dancers up and spread the pairs out in the space. Play soft music that the dancers can hear you speak over. Then, ask your dancers to improvise movements while incorporating audible breathing in a conversation, or call and response, with their partners. When one of the partners begins by improvising a movement that uses breath that their partner can hear, the second partner responds, also breathing out loud while improvising a movement. Well, encouraging contact between dancers during this exercise may help form a more intimate connection between the two.

Once your dancers have understood this basic principle of using their breath with movement, they are more likely to master this on their own body through discovery and experiment.

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