One-day camps are a fantastic way to bring additional excitement (and revenue) to your studio! Unlike a multiple day camp that is limited to longer breaks such as summer or winter breaks, these events can be sprinkled throughout your season. Offering a one-day camp allows new students the opportunity to learn more about the overall experience they can expect if they decide to further their dance education at your studio. For current students, these camps are bonus events to add to their regular dance schedule and the perfect occasion to invite non-dance friends. Students also have the opportunity to explore a new dance style they may not have the opportunity to experience weekly.
By approaching these camps conceptually (learn more about this approach here), you can create gender-neutral and developmentally appropriate lessons that will welcome all children. Pairing each dance concept with a theme and specific style of dance, will create an experience that is truly unique, creative, and of course, FUN!
Create your own FUNday camp in 3 steps!
Step one is to choose a theme. Here are some examples, but also consider themes that are currently relevant with your students.
|Step 1- Choose a Theme|
|Under the Sea|
|Under the Big Top|
|Jammin’ in my Jammies|
|Around the Campfire|
|Royal Tea Party|
|Christmas in July|
|In My Garden|
Once you have the theme, it’s time for step 2. Think about the style of dance that would best fit that theme. For example, when I think “In My Garden”, ballet is an obvious choice for me. For “Under the Big Top”, I think acrobats therefore I will pair it with acro. Here are some other ideas:
|Step 1- Choose a Theme||Step 2- Choose a Style|
|Under the Sea||Creative Dance|
|Under the Big Top||Acro|
|Jammin’ in my Jammies||Jazz|
|Around the Campfire||Creative Dance|
|Royal Tea Party||Ballet|
|Christmas in July||Ballet|
|Dino Rock||Hip Hop|
|In My Garden||Ballet|
Now that we have a theme and style of dance, think about the objective of the class you want to teach. Which concept fits acro/”At the Big Top” best? We can somersault forwards and backwards, we can handstand with our head reaching down and our feet reaching up, and we can walk along the tightrope (balance beam) sideways. Therefore, directions would be a great option for this style/theme. Here are some other pairing examples:
|Step 1- Choose a Theme||Step 2- Choose a Style||Step 3- Choose a Concept|
|Under the Sea||Creative Dance||Size|
|Under the Big Top||Acro||Directions|
|Jammin’ in my Jammies||Jazz||Level|
|Around the Campfire||Creative Dance||Relationships|
|Royal Tea Party||Ballet||Body Shapes|
|Christmas in July||Ballet||Energy|
|Dino Rock||Hip Hop||Weight|
|In My Garden||Ballet||Place|
Now we have our theme, style of dance, and concept. Let’s begin planning our FUNday camp! Here is a 90-minute FUNday outline to consider:
Dance Class (45 Minutes)- FUNday classes are focused on, you guessed it, FUN! Keep it simple, interactive, and fast-paced. Incorporate colorful props, student-focused explorations and obstacle courses all connected to the theme and style of dance.
Water & Restroom Break (10 Minutes)- Transition from the high-energy dance class to the craft by taking a short break to use the restroom, have some water, rest our bodies, and socialize with our campmates.
Craft (15 Minutes)- Get on pinterest and search “preschool whatever your theme is crafts”. The preschool word is important here. You want something easy for the students to create without much help from grown-ups.
Create (15 minutes)- After the craft, it’s time to dance again! You can do a freeze dance or simple follow along song to get the body moving, then create or teach a combination. If your class is a creative dance class, consider working together to create a dance. If it is a specific style of dance, you will create a short combo to teach. Keep it simple as they only have minutes to learn before performing for their family. You will be performing with them so the goal is not to memorize the choreography. The goal here is to shine and to show the caregivers how much fun you are having.
Perform (5 minutes)- FUNday camps fly by and now it’s time for pick up. Be sure caregivers know beforehand that there will be a short performance at the end of the camp. Ask them to arrive five minutes early for pick up. Once the families have arrived, be sure to introduce yourself and talk about everything you did during the FUNday camp. This is also the perfect opportunity to talk about the next FUNday, classes, and other upcoming events. Perhaps, offer an incentive if they sign up before they leave the FUNday camp.
There are so many possibilities with FUNday camps. I hope these ideas have inspired you to get your first one on the calendar!
Andrea Trench is dedicated to helping dance teachers create and deliver content that is research-based and developmentally appropriate for children under the age of 6. Her primary focus is classroom management, conceptual teaching, and foundational movement skill development in early childhood dance education. In addition, Andrea uses her 12 years of experience as a partner in a dance studio to inspire, equip, and empower educators.