Create it! Dance Activities for the Whole Family

We’re welcoming 2021 with joy and celebration. What better way to express joy than to dance? This January, express yourself through dance with us!

For Young Elementary Students:

Five Ballet Positions


Suggested Book/Read Aloud:

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen


Audio book available here.


Materials: open space, device to play music and videos

Illustrations by Kadie Nelson

The directions will show you how to move your body into the five positions of ballet. Caregivers can read the directions out loud for children to follow along with, or scroll down to see Artistic Director Gianna Cioffi show you the moves!


  1. Listen to the Story of Dancing in the Wings to help get you in the mood to become a dancer just like Sassy.

  2. First Position: Kiss your heels together so they point out towards the sides. Arms should be a big round circle, like you are holding a beachball in front of your belly. 

  3. Second Position: Slide your feet so they are wide apart, but you can still stand strong. Arms are wide and open as if you are reaching to try and touch something far away. 

  4. Third Position: Start in first position. Slide your right foot to the middle of your left foot. Your right arm goes up in the shape of the letter C above your head and your left arm reaches out long. Switch sides. 

  5. Fourth Position: Start in third position. Slide your right foot out so your right heel is slightly in front of your left toe. They should not be touching. Make a big round circle with your arms in front of your belly. One arm moves up over your head in the shape of the letter C and the other stays in the circle. Switch sides. 

  6. Fifth Position: Start in fourth position. Slide your right foot so your heel touches the toe of your other foot. Arms make a big circle above your head. Switch sides. 

  7. Listen to music and try all the different ballet positions. You can find a list of ballet music here, but you can do ballet moves to any kind of music! Pick your favorite song and see what dance moves you can do from each of the five ballet positions.

Get inspiration from Debbie Allen and her amazing students by watching the documentary

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

on Netflix!

Bonus: Take a video of your dance moves and send it us at!

For Middle/High School Students:

Swing Out!


Learn about Frankie Manning on his website. To learn more, read Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop by Frankie Manning and Cynthia R. Millman

Materials: open space, flat shoes, a device to play music and videos

After exploring the life of Frankie Manning, get ready to start dancing! Read the directions below, or scroll down to watch Artistic Director Gianna Cioffi show you some moves!


  1. Start with your feet hip width apart and knees should be slightly bent and bouncy. Your body should be upright and hands should be as if they are sitting on a tabletop. 

  2. Pick up your right foot slightly off the ground. 

  3. Step your right foot back down to the right side. Be sure to shift your weight to the right as you do.

  4. Pick up your left foot slightly off the ground.

  5. Step your left foot to the left side. Be sure to shift your weight to your left as you do. 

  6. Pick up your right foot.

  7. Step your right foot behind you. 

  8. Shift your weight to your back leg. Shifting from back to front is called a rock step.

  9. Lift your left foot off the ground.

  10. Step your left foot down in place shifting your weight forward to the front foot. 

  11. Pick up your back right foot. 

  12. Step your back foot to your right side. 

  13. Step your left foot to the left side.

  14. Repeat the cycle to the music, starting with the rock step. 

Show us your best moves by tagging @EmitTheatre on Instagram!

Emit Theatre

New York, NY


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