The Metamorphosis of a Butterfly is a fun concept to learn without the added benefit of movement! In the Dance to Learn® Preschool Program, our goal is to have children retaining processes and sequences with the assistance of dance. One way do this is with our conceptual and story based obstacle courses which we call Story Dance Pathways™. Story Dance Pathways™ are designed to have different movements throughout the sequence which helps tell the story of the course. By acting and dancing out the processes, our students can better retain the information learned. During the month of May, we focus on the theme “May I Dance through the Garden.”
The process of the Caterpillar turning into a butterfly begins when the butterfly is a tiny organism known as a larvae. The larvae is basically the wingless, worm-like creature that focuses primarily on eating so it can grow into a caterpillar. In our Story Dance Pathway™, dancers begin as larvae by starting on a mat which we pretended was our leaf and performing a frog jump from one leaf to the next.
The next stage in the butterfly life cycle is when the larvae grows into a much larger organism called the caterpillar. By this stage the caterpillar is much larger than its predecessor and can eat much more and a lot more quickly. In the next stage of our Story Dance Pathway™, dancers perform a crab walk through two parallel jump ropes which we pretended was a leaf. We prefer crab walks to a regular crawl at this age as it challenges the dancers’ balance, coordination and directional development.
After practicing their hungry caterpillar crab walks, the dancers are ready for the chrysalis where they are wrapped in their cocoon. This was the dancer’s favorite part as they got to be wrapped up in some streamers and then wiggle and twirl to break free of the binding. We had to remind the dancers that when caterpillars are in the cocoons, even their arms are wrapped up because they will soon become their butterfly wings!
The final stage of the metamorphosis is testing out their new butterfly wings. They put on their wings and fly (chassé) through another tunnel. Towards a flower which we indicate using a hula hoop. Once the dancer lands on the flower, they sip nectar by performing a lovely arabesque.
Dancing the Butterfly Life Cycle and the Story Dance Pathway™ are the copyright and trademark of Dance to Learn. ©2018 all Rights Reserved
Like this activity? Watch our FREE Sample Video of the Butterfly Life Cycle Warm Ups for Preschoolers.
You can also download the full activity for $1.50 here to be used for a PreBallet class ages 4-6