What's Going On?

Born to dance

Activity overview

15 mins
Ages 5 – 7

Science topics:

Animals, including humans

Spark a conversation with this video showing dancers of different ages. This activity is great for describing observations and applying ideas in unfamiliar contexts.

Run the activity

1. You’re going to watch a short video. The aim isn't to find right answers, it's to explore ideas and find out what they know.

  • Do they know what might happen based on the image?

2. After you've watched the video, lead a discussion with your class:

  • What is different about the dancers?
  • How do the movements change?
  • What can older dancers do that younger dancers cannot?
  • How have their bodies changed?

3. Ask the class to describe what they saw using only one word.

Background science

This video shows many different styles of dance and techniques but as you watch the video, you will see a progression in the dancers ages, and with that different capabilities and skills: balance, flexibility, coordination and increasing complexity in the dances. As children grow the proportions of their head size to body length and limb length varies, which impacts on coordination and balance. At birth, the head is approximately one quarter of total body length, while at 25 years of age the head is only approximately one-eighth of the total length. Limbs become longer relative to total body length during the years of growth. We can also train our bodies to move in new ways and build muscle to achieve strength and athleticism, such as when combing gymnastic movments with dance, and memorize more complex dance routines responding to different musical rhythms.

Take it further

Younger children

Use these activities from In the Zone to investigate further how our bodies move. These activites include full lesson plans.

Older children could keep a record of how much exercise they do a week and sort it into aerobic exercise and exercises to strengthen their muscles and bones. The NHS recommends an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity a day across the week.