Diwali is one of our favourite times in the academic year, as we love teaching Indian dance workshops!
The Hindu Festival of Lights is a wonderful celebration, and has loads of different aspects that can be taught in classroom activities. As well as dance there is music, art and storytelling – so much that can be linked to Diwali time.
In our Indian dance workshops we start by telling the traditional story of Rama and Sita and talk about how it links with Diwali. We then show Diva Lamps that we bring in so that the students can see the patterns, shapes and colours of the different styles they can come in.
We then talk about what the Zest teachers is wearing (they always dress up when teaching the workshops) and the significance of their Indian clothing, jewellery and Bindis, and how it all relates to Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Next we get the students dressed up: in Bindis and Belly scarves for the girls, and our gold medal props for the boys. Everyone loves getting dressed up as it feels exciting and transports them to another country.
Then we let the school decide (in advance) which kind of dance workshop they would like us to teach.
Storytelling through dance:
In our storytelling workshops we create the Rama and Sita story through an epic dance routine, using the whole class to create the different characters in the story. It culminates with the whole class doing a Bollywood dance routine as a celebration, representing the end of the story when Rama and Sita follow the Diva lights and return home from the forest.
In our Bollywood dance workshops we start by teaching different Mudras (traditional hand positions). Then we teach lots of Bhangra moves to get us really warmed up and get the blood pumping. Next we teach a Bollywood dance routine for the whole class to enjoy, incorporating lots of the Bhangra moves. It will be high energy, fun and always looks spectacular in the end.
We can also incorporate a Diwali themed assembly into the day. Either at the start of the day to introduce the themed to everyone in the school, or at the end of the day where we get each class to perform their Indian dance routine to everyone else!
For videos and more info on our Indian dance workshops take a look at our Bollywood dance workshop page.
So if you like the sound of things and would like one for your school to enjoy, you know what to do!