Props are very important in our lessons and the TRS Teachers have lots of different things they can use. We even have the TRS Library Service where we share props so that there’s always something new and our lessons are always interesting!
Props are a great addition or inspiration for dance and movement play and there are things you can use that aren’t specific to dance.
If you’re a family at home you might be lucky enough to have some sensory play things to use or have props such as scarves, pom poms or ribbon sticks, but not everyone has these things so here are some ideas for everyday objects you can dance with.
The picture is of Steph’s prop collection. Steph works with people of all ages so there’s something for everyone!
Colourful and cheap, but make sure they’re clean! You could dance to ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ or songs about sunshine because they’re bright and colourful.
We use ribbons all the time for lots of different things. Orange and black for Halloween, Blues and silvers for a Frozen or sea theme, Multi coloured for flying kites with Mary Poppins. Hair ribbons work just as well, in fact, the ribbon we use could just have easily have ended up as hair ribbons. We also have ribbon sticks, large and small. Why not find some straight sticks in the garden or get some dowel from the shed if you can. Tie the ribbons on and you can do so much with them.
Odds, pairs or lots tied together, these could be an alternative to pom poms or even a fun prop on their own.
Something for the evening when no natural light’s coming in. You can either give everyone a torch or take turns. Turn the lights out, put some inspiring music on and dance in the dark with the torches. You can also try shadow puppets, explained in the first Everybody Moving blog.
Not the cheer dance pom poms we have, you can make these from cardboard and wool. There are lots of instructions online so find out how to make them, use whatever wool you have an dance with them. Leave a long length of string on to hold or use them like balls. TRS Teacher, Hayley has been making pom poms, her dog has been enjoying them too!
A great alternative to scarves. Check with the person in charge of the kitchen first though!
You can use these as rhythm sticks, tapping them together like Morris Dancers.
An alternative to a Pilates/gym ball. It could also be a mini stage if you have a suitable poufe and a small dance!
Dining Room Chairs
An alternative to a ballet barre. Some of the TRS Teachers have been delivering online ballet lessons and dining room chairs have become essential equipment!
Thank you to TRS Teacher, Clare, for sharing her photo of an online Bridge Academy Ballet Lesson.
Any tights so long as you have permission from the owner! They will end up stretched and out of shape. They can have holes in them, that doesn’t matter. You can use them like you might use a giant elastic in a circle, stretch them across the room to create a web or each hold two different pairs, have someone tangle them a bit and do a dance. They look fantastic as they move! The photo is of the spider web at Little Court for Halloween!
Pillow cases could be used like scarves or you could put your arms inside and experiment with how they move. You could also sit down and put your legs into the pillow case and see how you can move. If you’ve got a big, safe space, you could sit in the pillow case and slide around the room on your bottom or tummy being caterpillars, worms or cars!
Brooms and Mops
Be careful with these, but they do make fun props! Pretend microphones or dance partners or as walking sticks or umbrellas to use like in old musicals.
The top of your mop can be a pom pom!
They feel similar to our fake snowballs and could be used in the same way. They squish well and then bounce back. They could be stepping stones, balls or for balancing.
We use all sorts of different types of material in our lessons. From Liquid Gold to stretchy lycra, a bit of material makes a great prop. You can use whatever you have. Maybe blankets or the big scarves that open up wide. You could use them like parachutes, as props to wave as a group, for games like keep the balls on or for many other things depending on the material. Be inspired by it!
We’d love to hear about the props you’ve found. Please share them with us using #EverybodyMoving
For more ideas, see our other blogs…