Learning how to make dance streamers can allow you to execute fun and interesting activities with children, whether you are a dance teacher, recreation leader or parent. Read on to learn more about this simple and cost effective activity that is perfect for any time of year.
The Fun of Streamers
Some dance genres, such as Chinese ribbon dancing, have been using streamers for generations as a form of artistic expression. They add beauty to any routine and are especially captivating in large groups who are able to move in perfect synchrony. On the other end of the spectrum, young children just beginning to explore the world of dance enjoy the bright colors and creative movement that come with using streamers. This is a great way to encourage exercise and imagination, which will foster the development and self-confidence of many children who might otherwise be bored with a standard tap or ballet dance class.
By making homemade streamers, you also have the fun of allowing the children to design the streamers themselves. There are plenty of ways to create them, with a lot of materials to choose from.
How to Make Dance Streamers
You will need a few supplies to make streamers that will last through many dance rehearsal and/or play sessions. First, purchase some wooden dowels (one for each streamer). You can find these at your local home or craft store. The width and length completely depends on the look you want, however a good size to go for is 1/4 to 1" wide, and 36" long, and you can saw each dowel down to the appropriate length for the dancer who will use that particular one.
Next, you'll have to choose a streamer fabric. Traditionally, dance streamers are made out of satin because the weight of this fabric works well for interpretive dances. You can also use any lightweight material, and even large strips of construction or butcher paper for smaller children who are doing a one-time project.
Cut the ribbon so it is about 4" wide and approximately 3 feet long. You may want to sew the edges so they do not fray, or, alternatively, you can use a fabric glue to accomplish this if you are in a hurry. You will then need to attach the ribbon to the dowel.
If this is a one-time activity and the children are using colored paper, Elmer's glue, rubber bands, or packaging table wrapped around the base of the ribbon and dowel will work well for a limited period of time. If you're looking for something more permanent, purchase small nails or tacks and fasten the base of the ribbon to the dowel. You can also use a very strong glue such as Krazy Glue or Gorilla Glue. If you use glue, allow the ribbon enough time to fully attach and dry to the dowel before allowing the children to start playing.
You can add embellishments to your streamers. Try cutting out different colors of fabric or paper and sewing/gluing them to your main streamer. You can make hearts, stars, stripes or swirls for a personalized look your students will love. You can allow them to choose their own design so they can take pride in completing the job themselves.
Find some Chinese music or other accompaniment with a unique tempo, and allow your children to participate in some interpretive dance. If it is a formal class, you'll want to teach them some choreography as well, but they will enjoy themselves the most just working with their new streamers and creating in their own special way. If they've been involved in every step of creating the streamers, they might also enjoy teaching other children how to make dance streamers.