Thursday, December 2, 2010

Students Moved to Move

by Carrie Gibson, PE4life Event Manager

I was fortunate to have attended a PE4life Introductory Workshop in Des Moines, IA earlier this week. This was my first chance to see all of the exciting things we’ve got going on in Iowa and meet with some of the schools who have been awarded an Adopt-A-School Challenge Scholarship. While there were many great take-aways from my visit, I have to address the most pressing… the song that is stuck in my head!

Northview Middle School (Ankeny School District), one of the PE4life Model Sites, the very first thing I noticed was the music playing in the different PE classes. It was constant and it was invigorating! Anyone who was subjected to the music felt compelled to MOVE! Set to timed increments, the students knew that if the music was playing they should be moving. Once the music stopped, it was a transition period and time to move on to the next activity. I thought this was great as it allowed for the teacher to focus on the students individually, rather than constantly checking his watch.

While playing four on four field hockey, the teams that weren’t competing were on the sidelines doing arm curls with resistance bands – constant movement, maximizing class time for each student. And then it happened – The Cupid Shuffle blasted through the speakers. Regardless of where they were in the gym – kids (and teachers) began busting a move. Now I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this song. I wasn’t. But after a mad internet search, I’ve been introduced to this contagious line dance called The Cupid Shuffle, and am singing it over, and over, and over…

Now when I was in junior high, I’d say I was pretty normal. I was a bit awkward and a little unsure of myself as I was growing into my body – and I was definitely aware of and avoided most situations where I could make a fool of myself. What struck me about these students is that they felt free enough and compelled enough to dance and move around, without fear of criticism. The music literally moved them. They were being active at their own will and having fun doing it.

Not only was I inspired by what I saw, the school districts who attended the workshop left committed to adding music to their programs. So...

Do YOU play music during your class?
What kind of music gets the best response from your students?
Do YOU dance with your kids like the teachers at Northview Middle School?
What equipment and tools do you use for adding music to your classroom?

Check out The Cupid Shuffle:

Learn how to teach your students the Cupid Shuffle (it is super easy) and other
line dances here at

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