Galloping comes naturally to most little dancers, which makes it great for practicing other skills like rhythm, patterns, pathways, spatial relationships, and partnering. Here's a quick traveling combo that targets patterning, spatial relationships, and partnering, while still being a lot of fun for the dancers.
Rating: Very challenging for 5/6 Year Olds (expect them to perfect it over the period of a month), Moderately difficult for 7/8 Year Olds (good review and can be mastered in a single class).
Prep: Line your dancers up to travel across the floor. Each dancer holds a partner's inside hand with the outside hand on his/her hip. Each dancer stretches his/her inside foot to the front (the foot closest to the partner). Dancers will switch feet after every two gallops.
Combination: Gallop front, front, side, side, back, back, and turn away from your partner to return to your original setup. Repeat.
Breakdown: Two forward gallops with their inside feet and holding inside hands.
Two sideways gallops holding both hands and bellies facing each other (dancers will be leading with the foot that used to be the "outside" foot).
Two backward gallops holding inside hands and using the outside foot. Dancers let go with one hand and turn backwards so that their bellies are facing the remaining dancers in line.
Letting go of hands, turn away from your partner (bellies toward the outer walls), grab inside hands and stretch inside feet to restart.
Check out the video above for a demo of how I explained this combination to my 5 year olds. - Please excuse my wiggly worms. It was the week of Halloween :)