*This is a repeat posting of a previous topic!
Icebreakers can play an important role in helping teams integrate and make connections with one another in a group environment. Icebreakers can also enhance your coaching by helping to stimulate cooperation and participation – teaching dancers how to “please” you! They can also provide positive momentum for teams by:
Helping a new team get to know one another
Helping new members to integrate into the existing team
Helping young people feel comfortable together
Encouraging cooperation, listening & working together as a group
Encouraging dancers to break out of their cliques
Developing social skills—face-to-face connection
Building a rapport with coaches
Creating a FUN atmosphere for learning and participation
Icebreakers and Coaches
• Be enthusiastic, whatever happens, be enthusiastic!
• Choose volunteers carefully and don’t cause embarrassment.
• If something is not working move quickly on to the next activity.
• Timing is important—don’t overuse any icebreaker. 1 or 2 icebreakers as a 20-30 minutes introduction to your practice. Finish each icebreaker while dancers are still enjoying it.
• Choose icebreakers appropriate for your group. No group is the same and your understanding of what will and will not work with your group is a coaching skill.
ICE BREAKERS FOR DANCE COACHES
Two Truths & a Lie—on a small slip of paper, have dancers write 3 things about themselves… two truths & a lie. Coach collects & then pulls a slip to read at random. Team attempts to discover who the author is. Great because you can save the slips for another time—use when you have time to fill before or after an activity.
Blanket Game—Supplies: 1 large blanket or tarp, it has to be big enough for 1/2 of the team to hide behind, can’t be see through. Break your team into 1/2 in a way that mixes rookies & vets. Have them sit/hide facing the other group, behind the blanket, held up in the middle between two coaches/volunteers. First girl from each “team” comes to the line/front of the group, to the blanket. Coaches drop the blanket. Girls are face to face now – first girl to name the other “wins” and the other girl is out. (Moves to the side to watch.) Rotate through until one side has no players left. Takes 5-10 minutes, depending on how long you are laughing and how many players you have.
Last Pic On Your Phone—select a small group (your name ends with an “A” or your birthday is in April) and have them grab their phones to share the last (appropriate) picture they took. Have them show & tell about the photo. (Do at the end of practice…)
Would You Rather? – played in a long line. Determine two opposites or something that has an extreme—pose the question and let the girls sort themselves (on the line) to indicate their preference. Example… “I love to work hard” center of the line/room is neutral, left is YES, right is NO. “I like loud music.” “I’m a night owl.” “I like to study.” “I like scary movies.” “I like to follow others.” etc.
Around The World—first person says the name of a country, river, city, ocean or mountain—anything that could be found in an atlas. Next person must repeat that, plus add another name that begins with the last letter of the first word. Example London, Niagara Falls, Switzerland, Demark, etc. (Geography version of “I’m Going Camping & I’m Bringing…)
Put Yourselves In Order—have the team start by lining up on the gym floor—on a long tape line. Ask them to re-sort themselves on the same line by… birthdays, middles names, mom’s names, eye color, shoe size, height. The twist is—you cannot have your feet leave the line and you cannot speak! (Good to partner with “Would You Rather” because you are in a line.)
Balloon Hugs—you’ll need two balloons/dancer and dancers divided up into pairs. Give each team 4 balloons. When you say “GO!” each dancer/pair must blow up their balloons and HUG to pop all 4 of their balloons. First team to pop all balloons wins!
Who Am I? – you’ll need a post-it note with famous person, place or thing written on it, one for each dancer. Stick the note on their back. Dancers ask questions of other dancers to discover their identity. Only one question per person— Dancer A can only ask Dancer B one question. Dancer B can ask Dancer A—then this pair cannot speak to each other again. Only yes or no questions. If you have lots of time, play until everyone has spoken to each other once. OR to keep it short, play until your first winner! (If you use Post-It Notes, you can re-use them a few times before they lose their “sticky.”)
Song Scramble—bring a list of descriptors or themes and divide teams into smaller groups of 3-4. Give them a theme (Love) and 1 minute to plan. Groups face each other in a circle and sing a snipet of the song to “qualify” for that theme. “If you see a painted sign at the side of the road that says 15 miles to the LOVE shack!” (next group) “I wanna know what LOVE is… I want you to show me.” (next group) If every group goes, you’re on to the next word or theme. Songs cannot be repeated in the same round, even if there is another verse. If a group gets stuck or doesn’t meet the requirement with their song, they are out. Play until you have a winner. (You can play this with multiple groups,
as long as you have a even number of groups so you can have “playoffs.”)
Wink Murder—Team sits in a circle facing out with their eyes closed. Coach circles the team from the middle and taps an “assassin” to be IT. (Be sure to make a couple of circles, stop, turn, start again.) After you’ve selected your IT person, eyes open and the team faces into the circle. Teammates are “eliminated” by catching the eye/attention/wink from the IT girl. Being eliminated can be loud and dramatic or not. Dying girls should fall backwards and end up laying down. If someone detects the assassin when she is not the target, she is the winner. If the assassin is able to eliminate everyone without being caught, she is the winner.
Don’t forget the treats… part of the fun of playing is winning. Plan for treats or gifts for your games. It can be simple, like getting to sit out of sit-ups or getting to watch the rest of the team do the dance full out at the end of practice. You can also have a “traveling” trophy—re-use that old invitational trophy by sending it home with your weekly winner OR use that camp Spirit Stick as your traveling trophy. Of course, candy or cookies are delicious, too. Bloggers warn not to use food as incentive, but a small cupcake is always a fun reward. 🙂