Kindergarten Week 25: Galloping, Skipping, and Sliding to Music




WEEK 25 Galloping, Skipping, and Sliding to Music


Kindergarten Dance – Uneven Rhythms and Locomotor Moves Developing the gallop, skip, and slide, traveling into empty spaces to rhythmic patterns and music Drum, recording of “The Irish Washerwoman” or another jig. You may substitute a variety of spirited, traditional folk dance music (see Celtic Dances and Aires).


SHAPE Elementary School GLOs:

    • Standard 1. The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
      • Performs locomotor skills in response to teacher-led creative dance. (S1.E5.K)
    • Standard 2. The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles,strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.
    • Standard 3. The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
      • Actively participates in physical education class. (S3.E2.K) 
      • Participates in cool down and stretching activities during class. (S3.E4.K)
    • Standard 4. The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.
      • Follows directions in group settings (e.g. safe behaviours, following rules, taking turns). (S4.E1.K)
      • Acknowledges responsibility for behaviour when prompted. (S4.E2.K)
      • Follows instruction/directions when prompted. (S4.E3.K)
      • Shares equipment and space with others. (S4.E4.K)
      • Recognizes the established protocols for class activities. (S4.E5.K)
      • Follows teacher directions for safe participation and proper use of equipment with minimal reminders. (S4.E6.K)
    • Standard 5. The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction. 
      • Works safely and cooperatively with others in the class. (S5.E4.K)

Expected Outcomes:

The Student will be able to:


  1. Demonstrate increasingly mature patterns of skipping, galloping, and slid­ing (reflects National Standard in Dance lb).
  2. Sometimes demonstrate accuracy in moving to a musical beat by galloping, skipping, sliding, and pausing to 16-count phrases; and by clapping or tapping body parts while traveling and pausing (reflects National Standard in Dance lf)


  1. Observe and describe skipping, galloping, and sliding movements, demon­strating changes in the lead foot and direction (reflects National Standard in Dance lh)


  1. Travel carefully about the room without bumping others, thereby maintain­ing a safe working environment for everyone





Teaching Tips, Assessments & Differentiation Strategies

Entrance Routine 1< min Have the space set up with the boundaries clearly marked, have the music on low as the children arrive.
Transition 1 < min Welcome, come into the boundaries and begin traveling around to all the open spaces.
Part 1 Warm Up Review 5­‐10 min Warm up with a fun movement song.  this one works on listening and moving like various animals and sports activities.


Transition 1 < min Stay in your own space
Part 2 New Skill 10­‐20 min Skip, Gallop, and Slide!

1.0 [Play music softly.] Show me how you can travel to all the empty spaces in the room. When the music stops, everyone stop quickly so we can check our spacing. [Watch for children who tend to follow their friends, go around the perimeter of the room rather than throughout the room, or bunch in little groups.] I see a lonely space over there [pointing]. And over there. [Start and stop chil­dren frequently.]

1.1 Some of you have nice open spaces around you. Let’s all try very hard to keep big, empty spaces or bubbles around us as we travel to the music. Be careful not to bump anyone’s bubble.

1.2 [Observe for different ways of traveling as well as for children traveling into open spaces. Some will run and jump, others may skip, gallop, or slide.] I see so many different ways of traveling! [Lisa], show us how you can gallop. Each time she gallops, [Lisa] reaches out with the same foot. I’ll play my drum ­listen [uneven long-short, long-short rhythm]. Let’s all try galloping, keeping one foot out in front. [After several steps, change the lead foot.] Give your other foot a turn being the leader.

1.3 Really push off into the air as you gallop! Show a proud, high-stepping gallop. [Emphasize a strong takeoff or push off with the feet.]

1.4 Now, watch [Doug]. He can travel sideways [child demonstrates]. When you travel sideways, keep reaching out with the same foot. Your gallop magi­cally becomes a slide! Let’s all try to travel sideways and slide. Ready? Slide, and slide, reach out, reach out! [Repeat this long-short rhythm, starting and stopping often.] Can you change directions each time we stop? Reach out with your other foot. Slide sideways the other way!

1.5 Try to make your slide as smooth as ice. Glide across our dancing space. Can you slide to your other side? [Practice sliding to both sides, then forward.] Try gal­loping forward, but make it smooth! We call this a slide, too! Slide your front foot forward instead of lifting it. What directions can we slide to? [Sideways, forward.]

1.6 Let’s watch [John] skip. Do you notice how his front foot changes every time he skips? Push off the floor with one foot and then with the other. Let’s all try skipping. [Play a long-short, long-short rhythm, accenting the takeoff-a strong push off into a hop. Join hands and skip with a child who is having difficulty, or pair him or her with a child who shows a two-foot skip. Join hands on the side with little or no lift or hopping action.]

1. 7 Cover our whole dancing space with skipping! Keep looking for empty spaces in front of you. [Continue uneven rhythm.] Remember to wait or skip in place so others may pass by [or skip around somebody, or face a different way and skip to a new empty space]. Really push off the floor with the balls of your feet. Take your skip into the air. [Ob­serve the leg and arm actions of this skipping pattern.

Teaching TipEmphasize skipping forward at first. As they make developmental progress, children will vary their directions, skipping back­ward, sideways, or turning.

Differentiation Strategy: Slow the tempo of the skipping rhythm to encour­age children to cover more space or to lift their knees higher into the air]

Assessment Strategies: Do children show a one­ foot or two-foot skip? Does the heel touch down when landing [flat-footed] or is weight transferred quickly to the other foot? Do arms pump up and down to­gether, move out in front of the body, or swing smoothly in opposition? Estab­lish a baseline for assessing developmental sequences in skipping by using the assessment scale at the end of this lesson

Transition 1 < min Stay in your own space.
Part 3 Practice 5­‐15 min Moving to a Beat

2.0 Mix up the ways you travel. Show skipping, galloping, and sliding. [Play an uneven drum rhythm or music.] Can you change the size of your traveling steps? Sometimes make steps very big and other times make them very small. Big, long steps. Little, short steps.

2.1 Let’s see if we can travel for twelve counts, pause for four counts, and travel again for twelve counts. [This may be done without the music. Count for the children saying, ‘Travel 2, 3, 4 (and so on to count 12), pause 2, 3, 4 ….’ Repeat verbal cues several times, then let children try repeating the phrase on their own.]

2. 2 Children on this side of the room sit with me and watch. I wonder if the dancers on that side of the room can travel for twelve counts and pause for four counts all on their own? Count quietly to yourselves and see if they are really counting to twelve and pausing for four. [Change roles.]

2.3 Everyone moving together again, As you pause for four counts, show what your hands and feet do to keep time to the music. [Tap or stamp feet, clap hands, slap sides.] Let’s all try [Julita’s ] way of keeping time to the music. [Tim ] had a different way to keep time to the music. Can you try [Julita’s or Tim’s] way?

2.4 Let’s put our traveling [for twelve counts ] and our hand-foot actions [for four counts ] together. So, it’s ‘Travel 2, 3, 4 [and so on to 12 ], pause 2, 3, 4. …’ [Repeat many times.] Remember to keep time to the music on the four count pauses by clapping your hands, tapping feet, slapping sides. [Play music and repeat verbal cues as needed.]

Can You Vary Your Movement?

3.0 You have all shown different ways to skip, gallop, and slide to the music. Let’s see who can skip, gallop, or slide for twelve counts, pause for four counts, then change the way of traveling on the next twelve counts? [This can be done without, then with, music. Count beats with the children.]

3.1 Some people have combined skipping and galloping; others are putting sliding and skipping together. Be sure you travel one way for twelve counts, pause on the spot for four, then travel a different way for twelve more counts. [Play music and count beats with the children. Gradually leave out counts, encouraging children to anticipate phrase changes.] As you dance, think about what will happen next. Listen to the music and feel the changes coming. [Half of the class can demonstrate while the other half watches. Reverse roles.]

3.2 You are getting so good at repeating your patterns. I think we are ready to put all three locomotor movements together. Let’s all do the same pattern this time. First, we will skip for twelve counts, pause four; then, gallop twelve, pause four; last, we’ll slide twelve, pause four. Say the sequence with me. ‘Skip twelve, pause four; gallop twelve, pause four; slide twelve, pause four.’ You are fast thinkers and sharp listeners! Now, with the music [give verbal cues and help children count the sequence ]. Ready and, ‘Skip, 2 … [to 12 ], pause 2, 3, 4; gallop, 2 … [to 12], pause 2, 3, 4; slide, 2 … [to 12], pause, 2, 3, 4.’ [Repeat sequence and verbal cues as needed.]

3.3 Let’s try our sequence again and travel lightly by staying on the balls of our feet. No heavy, loud feet. Show light, quick stepping that matches the music. [Repeat entire sequence, turning volume down.]

3.4 Do you think we can add one more part to our dance to make it an even longer dance? You do? That will make four activities you must remember. How about adding spinning and turning on the spot for twelve counts? You can spin on your seat, feet, tummy, back, or turn on hands and feet [knees]. Okay, try the whole sequence and see how it works. [Talk children through the whole dance with music.] Ready, and ‘Skip, 2 … [to 12], pause, 2, 3, 4; gallop, 2 .. . [to 12], pause, 2, 3, 4; slide, 2 … [to 12], pause, 2, 3, 4; spin or turn, 2 .. . [to 12], pause, 2, 3, 4. [Repeat two or three times, then let children try the dance on their own. You may substitute stillness for the spin or turn.]

3.5 All children on this side of the room come over and sit with me. We will be the audience. Remember, a good audience sits straight and tall and shows polite behavior [no talking] while others are performing. The performers are going to show us their dance. Begin in a very still position. Look where you will travel first. Don’t move a muscle until the introduction is over. Ready [wait] and ‘Skip, 2 … [to12], pause, 2, 3, 4, gallop [and so on].’ [Have children show the entire dance two or three times, then switch roles.]

3.6 When you perform for an audience, hold your beginning position or shape very still. This tells the audience to pay attention I You must also show the audience when your dance is finished by holding your ending position very still. Let’s try the dance again and see if you can hold your beginning and ending positions as still as a stone statue.

3. 7 As you travel, try to focus [glue] your eyes on something far away that will make you hold your head up high. This is called a focal point. [Repeat part of the dance.] You want to have a nice long feeling from your head to your toes as you travel. Stretch and lift through your chest.

Let’s Try It With a Partner!

4.0 You people are showing the best performance of this dance I’ve seen! Maybe we can think of some ways to make it even better. Do you think you could work with a partner and travel together? Try to stay with your partner by taking the same size steps as you skip. [Without music.]

4.1 If you can skip together easily, begin to count twelve skipping steps and pause for four counts. Can you clap your partner’s hands while you pause? What else can you do for four counts? [Tyler and Hans] are holding hands and turning around. [Brian and Leonardo] are jumping up and down together. [Give children time to experiment and discover different things to do.]

4.2 You skipped together so nicely. Can you gallop and slide together as well? Try galloping and sliding with your partner.

4.3 Be sure to count how many gallops and slides you are taking so you are ready to stop and pause four counts.

4.4 It’s time to put our partner dances together from the very beginning. What was the very first way we traveled? Skipping-good for you. [Review with the chil­dren the order of traveling steps and pauses, then start the dance.] Focus on [look at] your partner. Feel tall and important with your heads held high. Ready, begin. [Play the music and talk children through the whole dance again, counting out the beats when needed. Give feedback about focus and posture. Children love to show their work to teachers, principals, and other classes. Give them a chance to do this and watch for improvement in their work! Videotape the performance and replay for self-evaluation (focus, posture, and sequence) and further teacher analysis.]

Transition 1 < min Get a mat from the boundaries and put it in an own space for stretching
Part  4 Cool Down 5 min Cool Down

Choose 3 stretches to do with the class.


  1. What were the three locomotor moves we used today? (Skip, Gallop & Slide)
  2. Turn to your partner and tell each other what your favorite part of the partner dance was.


Irish Washerwoman mp3


Additional Part 3 Activities:
Supplementary Information:

Click the link to get a PDF of the two forms below: