YMCA | Ophea Teaching Tools

    YMCA

    Intermediate
    Physical Activity Level
    • Moderate

    Facilities
    • Classroom

    • Gymnasium

    • Multipurpose

    Equipment
      • Appendix B

      • Audio equipment and the song “YMCA” (by the Village People) or other upbeat music

    Safety Considerations

    Move furniture to the perimeter of the room so it does not pose a hazard. Check that the floor is not slippery and is free from all obstacles. Remind students to be cautious when moving and to be aware of the personal space of others.

    Overview

    Students will actively and safely explore dance through a choreographed sequence.

    Warm Up

    Get Down

    • Students walk quickly around the activity area.
    • When you call out “Get Down”, students quickly crouch down, and then get back up and continue walking.
    • Challenge students to get up as quickly as possible.
    • For variety, ask students to choose different ways of traveling (e.g., hop, skip, walk backwards).
    Getting Active

    YMCA

    Start the dance when lyrics begin.

    Verse 1

    • March (4 counts of 8)
    • Alternating knee lifts (4 counts of 8)
    • Jump up with both feet, arms held high x5)

    Chorus

    • “Y-M-C-A”: make the letter formations with arms (x2)
    • 4 side steps right, and right arm makes a “lassoing” motion (8 counts)
    • 4 side steps left, and left arm makes a “lassoing” motion (8 counts)
    • Repeat

    Verse 2

    • Walk forward (8 steps)
    • Walk backward (8 steps)
    • Repeat
    • Step touches (32 counts)
    • Jump up with both feet, arms held high (x5)

    Chorus

    • See above or make up other movements ( e.g., punch arms out and bob head right (x4) as foot taps (x4) then “raise the roof”)

    Verse 3

    • Grapevine right 4 steps (4th step is a step together) and grapevine left 4 steps (4 counts of 8)
    • Alternating knee lifts (4 counts of 8)
    • Jump up with both feet, arms held high (x5)

    Chorus

    • See above or make up other movements
    Cool Down
    • Students walk around the activity area in pairs, quietly discussing topics you have given to them (e.g., favourite way to be physically active with friends, favourite sports, or a new sport they would like to try).
    • Give them a new topic to discuss every 30–60 seconds.
    • Encourage students to gradually slow their walking speed.
    • Lead a stretching routine (or ask a student to lead). See Appendix B for ideas.
    Other Considerations
    • During the warm-up, instead of calling out the signal “Get Down”, reinforce concepts learned in class by asking students to crouch when they hear key words (e.g., call out the names of cities and students should “get down” when they hear a capital; call out numbers and students should “get down” when they hear a multiple of 6; or, if students know or are learning their traditional language, students should “get down” when they hear the word for a certain animal, number or other object or concept).
    • For variation, divide students into groups of 4-6 and ask them to come up with different steps and actions for one of the verses.
    • Alternatively, use a different song than “YMCA”. Consider using a song by an Aboriginal artist and ask the students to come up with different steps and actions for the verses. (See Appendix D for ideas).
    • If space is limited in the classroom, students can perform steps on the spot, or instruct them to use very small steps.