Baseball Dance

 

Background: This dance is a great way to celebrate the opening of baseball season, the World Series or the win of a favorite team.  Students create different variations of pitching, batting, running and catching that emphasize tempo, level and direction. The baseball movements are organized into a dance using a double circle formation.

Grade Level: 3-8

Outcomes:

Equipment Needed:  CD player IPod, music (locate a version of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”), pictures of baseball players using the movements in the dance: pitching, catching, running and batting. Poster with the words; Run, Pitch, Bat, Catch

Formation: Students will learn the dance movements individually and then the whole class forms a double circle to perform the dance.

Description:

Introduction:  Today, we are going to celebrate the opening of baseball season across America by learning a new dance that uses baseball movements.  I have selected pitching, batting, running and catching for the dance.  Look on the pictures of players using these skills.  What do you see?  Can someone choose a picture and make their body into the shape in the picture?  Let’s begin the warm-up pretending we are jogging around the bases.  Everyone stand in one large circle.  Now turn to the right and take seven jogs and one jump to complete an eight-count sequence.  Repeat this sequence four times for thirty-two counts.(This introduction can also be used to celebrate the time during the World Series)

Dance Development

Pitching

The first baseball movement is the pitch.  First, show me how you would pitch a ball to the batter.  Try it several times and think about how your arms move, how your feet move and how the movement starts and ends. [Students practice pitching overhand.]  Now, do the pitch as slowly as possible.  Make the movement big, with a feeling of stretching.  Practice several times and hold your shape at the end of the pitch. [Students practice.]  Add the following counts to the pitch: two slow counts for the windup and two slow counts for the follow-through.  Ready!  Windup, one, two, and follow-through, three four.  Remember to keep the movement slow and continuous and lean back on the windup and forward on the follow-through. 

Batting

 First, bat the way you usually do.  Remember how your feet are placed, your knees are bent, the body twists, your hands hold the bat with elbows lifted and your eyes look at the pitcher.  Try a few swings.  You have four counts to complete the batting.  You can do one swing on each count, use two counts for two swings or one slow swing that takes four counts.  YOu can also take a swing and sping around or point in the air to show a home run.  Let’s practice this part again.

Running

The third movement you will need to learn for the dance is running.  Begin running to the right for 8 counts and then to the left for eight counts. This represents running the bases.  Practice several times

Catching

The fourth movement is catching. We are going to do four catches in a sequence.  Show me a catch reaching up high, now a low catch, a catch reaching to the right at a medium level and then reaching to the left at a medium level.  Together, let's practice the sequence.  Ready?  Catch high, catch low, catch right and catch left.  Use two counts for each catch.  Try it again using the eight counts.  Now, I will assign you a partner.  You and your partner will face each other and perform the eight-count catching sequence in unison.  Practice several times with your partner.

Culminating Dance

We are going to combine all the movements we practiced today into a dance.  The dance will not be exactly like a baseball game; however, there will be parts of the game in the dance.  The formation for the dance is a double circle.  I will assign you a place on the inside circle or the outside circle.  The dancers standing in the inside circle are the pitchers and the dancers standing in the outside circle are the batters.  You are facing a partner.  First, the pitcher will pitch for eight counts and hold still, then the batters perform the batting sequence.  Next, the pitchers go again and hold and then the batters perform. Ready pitchers?  One, two, three, four.  Batters, now do the batting sequence you practiced, swing, swing, swing and spin.  Now, the pitchers go again and then the batters repeat.  The next part of the dance uses the 16-count running phrase beginning with a run to the right for 8 counts and then to the left for 8 counts.  Turn and face your partner at the end of the running.  The third part of the dance uses the catching sequence: catch high, catch low, catch right and catch left.  This sequence is repeated two times by everyone as you face your partner.  You and your partner try to move in unison.  Ready? Catch high one, two, catch low three, four, right, five, six and left seven, eight.  Next, the pitcher and batter change places and give each other a high five or another type of greeting.  [Students switch places and take their new positions.]  Let's try the dance again in these new positions.

 

Music: Walt Disney Records: Children’s Favorite Songs, Vol. 1: 25 Classic Tunes (CD) Take Me Out to the Ballgame (track 12)

Music alternative: John Fogerty (artist) Centerfield (CD) Centerfield (track 7)

Resource: www.baseballhalloffame.org