Skip to main content
HomeLYBW Prompts/Activities


To add a link to the left side, click in the white space below the existing links.Use the link builder in the toolbar to add a link. The page will automatically style the links. To edit colors, edit the html, and change #4c4c4c and #a12422 to the colors you want. Be careful removing existing links. Don't backspace too far, it'd be better if you edited the html.

NHSDA Love Your Body Week
October 22-28, 2017
A week dedicated to creating body-positive dance environments

 

Discussion Prompts and Activities
During Love Your Body Week, we invite instructors to take time out of every class to intentionally foster body positivity with carefully planned activities using the prompts provided below.  NHSDA host dance programs are encouraged to allow each of these exercises to culminate with the drawing or writing of a positive statement to be posted on the mirror, so that by the end of the week the mirror is completely covered in messages of self-love. 

Preschool 

Book: I Like Me by Nancy Carlson (1988), Puffin Books

Read I Like Me, then have dancers draw pictures of parts of their bodies that they like, just like the piggy likes her body in the book!  We recommend using sheets that already read “I like my _______ because it helps me ________” to make this process run smoothly.  Help dancers by filling in the words of their statement about their body part(s).  

Preschool Prompt Sheets


5-7 year olds

Read Shapesville and ask the following questions to the whole group:
 
• Do you think it's okay for kids to be different shapes, sizes, and colors?
• Do you think it's okay that kids tease each other about being different shapes, sizes, and colors?
• What special talents do you have that make you a star?
• What activities make you feel good about your body? 
 
Give each dancer a piece of paper/markers ask them to draw a picture of a part of their body, and write a statement about what it allows them to do.  “I like my _______ because it helps me to ________.”  We are looking for functional answers (i.e. a part that helps them to do something - I love my legs because they can jump high). Dancers in this age group may or may not need help writing their statements. 


7-9 year olds

Pose the following questions:

• What are some of the things our bodies allow us to do?
• What can we do to keep our bodies healthy (discourage “dieting talk” - don’t discuss certain foods that shouldn’t be eaten, rather state that a wide variety of foods can help us stay healthy)
• Do we all look the same?  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
• Do you think that it’s ever okay for kids to tease each other for being different?
• Why do you think it’s important to love and appreciate our bodies?
 
Give each dancer a piece of paper/markers ask them to draw a picture of a part of their body, and write a statement about what it allows them to do.  “I like my _______ because it helps me to ________.”  We are looking for functional answers (i.e. a part that helps them to do something - I love my legs because they can jump high).  The artwork prompt for this age is the same as the 5-7 year old age group, but it often inspires more complex answers. 


Pre-teen

Break into partners or small groups to discuss the following questions (read one question at a time):

• What are some things that your body helped you do today?
• Do you ever get frustrated with your body?  What are some things you should remember when that happens?
• What are some ways you can thank your body for everything it does?
 
Come back together to discuss as a group (allowing dancers to share with the whole class if they are comfortable).  Hand out papers and markers and ask dancers to write a thank you note to their body, e.g.
 
Dear body,
Thank you for helping me to dance my favorite part of ballet class, waltzing!
Love,
Mary



Teen - Option 1: Compliments

Start by breaking out into partners/small groups.
• Ask them to start by giving each other a compliment or affirmation. Ask them to focus on skills and capabilities, and to be specific (i.e. “I love the way you jump so powerfully” or “your battements have gotten really high this year” rather than “your hair is pretty”).
• Encourage them to take the compliment gracefully (i.e. don’t argue!)
• Now ask them each to give themselves a similar compliment (say it outloud to their partner), encourage them not to qualify it or make excuses, but simply to say something kind to themselves.

Ask them to discuss (read one at a time):
• Which part of that exercise was more difficult for you? Why?
• Think of some of the negative things you have thought or said about yourself. Would you say them about a friend? Why or why not?
• How can someone’s negative statements about themselves impact other people?

Come back together as a large group and ask each set of partners to share (whatever they are comfortable with). Hand out papers and markers and ask them to write a compliment to themselves (the one they told their partner, or a new one if they prefer) to post on the mirror.



Teen - Option 2: Evan Ruggiero

Begin with this introduction:
 As a 19 year old studying Musical Theatre at Montclair State University, Evan Ruggiero lost his leg to cancer in 2010.  After his amputation and a great deal of chemotherapy, Ruggiero is dancing again.  He graduated in 2013 with his BFA.  Regarding his transition back to dancing post-amputation Ruggiero has said “I am a more beautiful dancer now.  I dance for life”.
 
video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjP4oS2zLvI
 
After watching the video, break out into partners/small groups to discuss the following questions (ask one question at a time):
 
• What strikes you most about Ruggiero as a dancer? 
• Reflect on Ruggiero’s statement that he is “a more beautiful dancer now”.  Do you agree? 
• What do you think he means by “I dance for life.” ?
• What can we learn from his story?  How can you apply it to your life as a dancer?
 
Come back together to discuss as a group (allowing dancers to share with the whole class if they are comfortable).  Hand out papers and markers and ask dancers to write a statement about what makes them unique as a dancers, i.e. “I am a beautiful dancer because...” Encourage them to speak positively about something that makes them different, e.g. “I am a beautiful dancer because I dance with my whole heart” or “I am a beautiful dancer because my strong legs give me power”. 


Teen Movement Activities: 

A)   Choreographic Task (created by Karyn Bracilano)
 
Begin by having dancers choose one word that describes their body (e.g. strong, powerful, changing, mine),   and post their “my body is...” statement on the mirror. 
 
Next, ask dancers to craft a phrase inspired by that word and by their body.
 
Options for complexity vary based on age/level (share phrase work with class as it is, or could continue to develop with choreographic tools, put in combination with classmates’ work, etc.).
  
 B)  Improvisation Exercise

This exercise asks for a great deal of vulnerability, and best serves advanced students that are comfortable with improvisation.  Mary has used this exercise yearly for nearly a decade, and has consistently seen it to be one of the most impactful LYBW experiences for many teens. 

Start with some reflective journaling - ask dancers to write about a favorite body part, as well as a least favorite. Two groups take turns improvising for one another.  For the first round, dancers initiate movement  from their favorite body part.  For the second, they initiate movement from their least favorite.  Finally, dancers initiate movement from both.

Allow time for reflection and conversation, facilitating support and community. Dancers are invited to share about their own experience, and/or about the experience of watching their classmates move through this exercise.  In the past, we have not included any mirror posting as a part of this activity.  We often use it at the end of the week when the mirrors are already very full of positive statements, so rather we use this experience to reflect on what it is like to dance without the mirror. During this discussion time, often what comes up is how much beauty dancers see in one another, even when watching their peers move from their least favorite body part.  



Like our Facebook page: "National Honor Society for Dance Arts - NHSDA"
Like our Facebook page: "National Honor Society for Dance Arts - NHSDA"

Follow us on Twitter: @NHSDAofficial
Follow us on Twitter: @NHSDAofficial

Follow our Instagram Account: @nhsdaofficial
Follow our Instagram Account: @nhsdaofficial



NHSDA students are encouraged to take leadership roles in the planning and execution of Love Your Body Week activities under the supervision of a Chapter Sponsor. This is an excellent opportunity for those working towards induction to develop leadership and service learning skills and earn corresponding points.

NDEO would like to thank Mary Pisegna Gorder, Rachel Stewart, and All That Dance studio for preparing all NHSDA Love Your Body Week training materials and guidelines. 

For questions regarding Love Your Body Week or the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, please email NHSDA Director Tiana Chambers at tchambers@ndeo.org.