• Carving up Fun Times in Dance Class!

    Benefits of Carving Pumpkins!

    It’s October and Halloween is days away. Most likely you’ve visited the pumpkin patch to select the picture perfect pumpkin for your front porch! You bring your pumpkin home and are ready to get carvin’! Have you ever stopped for a moment to think about the benefits Pumpkin Carving has for your kids? Besides being a lot of fun! Carving up your Halloween Pumpkins can actually teach your kids some valuable lessons and improve their development! At Dance Exploration, we have used the 5 Methods of Dance™ Education and followed the Dance to Learn® Curriculum to ensure that our pumpkin carving adventures in dance class provided additional benefits that the popular tradition may miss! Get out your carving tools, your favorite Halloween tunes and let’s ‘Carve Up Some Good Times’! 

  • Shapes

    Dance Exploration begins our classes by introducing the daily concept: Shapes! Pumpkin carving is all about the shapes! Starting with the shape of the pumpkin! A professional pumpkin carver would know that finding that perfect oblong, oval or circular shaped pumpkin is one of the most important steps to pumpkin carving! In our Creative Dance classes, we begin by talking about the different shapes we may see in a carved up pumpkin beginning with carving out the top so we can scoop out all the seeds and goop! “A round shape!” our students call out as we ask them what shape we should make. Next we progress to the eyes. What shape do you think we should make…a triangle? How many sides are in a triangle? Let’s count them together… 1-2-3! After our triangles we decide upon a diamond nose and finally a mouth that begins like the shape of a moon! Each dancer draws on their own personal pumpkin their carved creation! 

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  • Fine Motor Development

    When carving a real pumpkin, the act of cutting out the top of the pumpkin and then shaping the eyes, nose and mouth is improving a child’s Fine Motor Development. Starting with the physical act of grasping the carving tool and then further developing our fine motor development by cutting the precise sides of each shape will also improve a child’s hand-eye coordination. Then the ever fun process of removing the pumpkin seeds and goop (also known as the pumpkin guts) to further enhance the sensory experience as children can learn to appreciate the texture, temperature, tastes and smells of the inside of the pumpkin. Feel the “guts” compared to the seeds. How they the same or different? Now smell the guts and seeds…do you get a hint of pumpkin spice? Did you know you can also cook up the pumpkin seeds for a toasty autumn snack? But, how does Dance Exploration turn all of this pumpkin play into a dance activity? 

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  • Sequencing

    In the Creative Dance Class Flow, Dance Exploration includes a Story Dance Pathway™️ – a dance based obstacle course that tells a story by linking multiple steps together. This teaches the basis of Choreography. By following a sequence, we dance out each step of the pumpkin carving process. We begin by visiting the pumpkin patch. Hands above your head and high on your toes, tip toe walking to and fro. Stop when you find that perfect pumpkin! 

    Next, cut the top off of the pumpkin! In ballet, rond de jambe, means circle of the leg. So each dancer practices cutting out the top of the pumpkin by piquéing their toes in a circular shape around their pumpkin. Two piqués (toe taps) to the front, two to the side and then pull the carving tool out (kiss your knee with a passé). 

  • Next, the fun part! Bend down low, and scoop out all those pumpkin guts! High up on your tip toes and yell “Ew, Ew, Ew!” as you twirl round and round! 

    The last three parts of our pumpkin carving sequence include cutting out the eyes, nose and mouth! From our shape study, we’ve determined that triangle eyes, a diamond nose and a moon shaped mouth will work the best for our pumpkin, but what dance moves can make those same shapes? 

    Triangle Eyes: Passé
    Diamond Nose: Plié
    Moon Mouth: Piqué Twirl


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