Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: GOES POP! — 6/30


…what does that mean?

This was a special evening edition of Shake, Shimmy that I did twice during the summer. I used popular, mainstream music instead of children’s music in the hopes of reaching adults and families in a different way.

The Plan

What a Wonderful World illustrated by Tim Hopgood
This book holds a special place in my heart. It was a baby shower gift for my sorority sister a few years back. I just adore Hopgood’s bright illustrations to accompany this beautiful song. Now, this was a departure from the kind of books that I normally promote at the front of this program. I generally try to pick books that warm up the crowd, but this time I wanted to highlight our Picture/Play/Songs area of the collection and to show caregivers that we have a wide variety of titles there, including popular music.

(Please note, this is our smaller 12′ parachute. I did not have a crowd big enough for the 24′ parachute.)

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Happy — Pharrell Williams
Dance, Dance, Dance — The Beach Boys
Riptide — Vance Joy
I Wanna Dance With Somebody — Whitney Houston
I Will Wait — Mumford & Sons
Here Comes the Sun — The Beatles
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Since this was a VERY different kind of Shake, Shimmy program, I started with some announcements. I explained that children’s music songs are typically a lot shorter than regular contemporary songs, so if our group started to lose energy I planned to do a slow fade-out.

Our first song, Happy, was one that most of the participants (kids included) were familiar with. In fact, I planned it that way! I wanted a bridge for both age groups to get on board with the program. We danced our best “happy” dances during this song and it should be no surprise that a lot of clapping took place. Another free dance song was Dance, Dance, Dance immediately after. I purposely followed a newer song with a classic song.

Next up, we “swam” around to Riptide. This song was a surprise hit with caregivers my age (33), but I could tell that I lost some of the older caregivers who might not recognize this more contemporary artist. But they still knew how to swim around! I Wanna Dance With Somebody encouraged caregivers to dance with their kids. I saw some great partner dancing with kiddos spinning in their grown-up’s arms, holding hands, and really having a lovely bonding experience.

Finally, it was time to break out our parachute. I used the smaller version since our crowd was lighter than usual. We practiced moving the parachute slowly during I Will Wait until the chorus kicked in; we had done enough waiting and it was time to shake it as fast as we could. And Here Comes the Sun allowed the parachute to rise and fall like the sun. I also had a great opportunity to go along with the kids’ suggested play when one of them said the sun was hot and playfully yelled “OUCH!” A small chorus of ouches followed.

So…was the different version of this program worth it? I think that it really was. Caregiver engagement was up, and while I had some morning families at the nighttime version, every single one of them brought a family member that I had not met before.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

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