Yoga Freeze Dance
You are probably familiar with the classic freeze dance game where the music plays and everyone dances, then when the music stops everyone freezes in a yoga pose.
This game can be played with all ages, as long as you choose age appropriate music for the dancing.
There are also many variations of the Yoga Freeze Dance game, including those you can learn from the children you teach if you give them an opportunity to show you what they know, like number 4 on the list below that some eleven year old students taught me.
6 Yoga Freeze Dances to Teach that Kids Love
- Who’s the Pose Caller: At the beginning of the game the teacher can call the yoga poses for student’s to freeze in, then switch it up and have the students call out the poses.
- Different Pose Every Time: Each person can choose their own yoga pose when the music stops but they must choose a different pose each time.
- Themed Freezes: Freeze with a theme each time the music stops, for example: Freeze like… your favourite animal (or a creature from the sea, a super hero, a zombie, a partner pose, a group pose, or a letter of the alphabet – your imagination is the limit!).
- Super-Freeze: If someone moves during the freeze dance they do a Super Freeze, meaning they stay on their mat in their yoga pose during the music until someone comes along and unfreezes them by doing the same yoga pose.
- Super-Dance: Listen to different types of music: popular music, hip hop, disco, classical, and let the children explore dancing to these different styles.
- Match the Mystery Card: Pick a pose from a deck of yoga cards while the music plays and place the card face down where everyone can see that it has been chosen. When the music stops people freeze in a yoga pose, then turn over the card. If someone matches the card, they get to pick the next song or yoga pose (make sure you have Spotify or iTunes for this variation so you can play any song and make sure it is the radio version).
Other Considerations for Teaching a Yoga Freeze Dance
- During the freeze part the yoga teacher can give cues to assist the students, like if a child is struggling in a difficult pose, they can have everyone shift into child’s pose or transform their pose into another pose.
- Limit the freeze time to a reasonable amount for your class.
- Let the kids set the pace and tone of the class, let them teach the class and be fair about everyone getting a turn.
- Remind people that if they are getting tired they can freeze in a relaxation pose or child pose. When everyone is in a resting pose that is a good sign to finish the game.
- Otherwise, finish the game on a high note, when everyone is still enjoying it. Don’t be afraid to hear the kids protest that they want the game to last longer. That means they will look forward to playing it next time you put it in your lesson plan.
Kids Creating Lesson Plans for Yoga Class
Indeed, kids like the yoga freeze dance so much that when I gave my class the opportunity to plan our lessons over the summer, two friends chose the freeze dance for their warm up.
This was in a class of senior school age kids in their last year of childcare at one of the centres where I taught a weekly yoga class. The senior school age group can be challenging because a lot of the kids would rather be on their own at home during the summer. Plus many had been doing yoga with me for years so they knew all the games and activities.
To make the summer classes more interesting, the students created a schedule where they would take turns planning the lessons and leading the class. Two girls chose to plan a class together and when their teaching day arrived, they faced a challenge right off the top: rain.
Give Kids Opportunities to Handle Challenges
We couldn’t go outside to do the game they had planned, which needed a lot of space to run around. So they had a choice of postponing their teaching to a day with better weather or changing their game to something we could do inside.
The girls didn’t wanted to miss out on their teaching day so they quickly brainstormed new games and chose the Yoga Freeze Dance as their new warm up.
All the kids enjoyed this activity led by these two best friends. There was no complaining or sitting out! It was such a joy to see all the kids dancing freely then freezing in a yoga pose. And a greater joy to see the happiness of the kids in the role of teacher as they led the class and called out poses, then introduced variation number 4 above.
This activity was a huge hit and went five minutes longer than what was planned for the warm up activity.
Praise for the Freeze Dance
Children start doing the freeze dance at a young age, but don’t be too quick to put it away for older kids. There is something comforting about a familiar activity, it can be a joy for any age.
What’s your favourite song to dance to in a freeze dance?
Let me know in the comments because I love finding new music for my “Freeze Dance”play list.