DANCING AT HOME DURING THE LOCKDOWN
When schools were closed and activities severely limited during the Covid pandemic, the Israeli Dance Institute was pleased to offer a simple way to raise spirits, enhance wellbeing and keep children, youth and adults active at home. Even although the world has returned to normal, we think that the material we offered is still relevant for people who cannot go to Jewish schools or youth organisations, or adult dance classes, or do not have any Jewish community to welcome them whatever their faith background. So please start Israeli dance through the materials provided below.
Children & Families
The dances that follow are mainly ‘scatter’ dances which require no hand holding. All the dances have simple steps and we have included material for children from Reception. Older children will enjoy all the material. We have indicated the level of challenge as follows:
(1 – easy, 2 - medium challenge, 3 - greater challenge).
The dances are a selection from the 50 available for Jewish Festivals and Shabbat, all of which (video links, music, sheet music, song words and dance notation) can be accessed by educational institutions which register with us through the Resources page on this website.
Most of these dances have been created by Raya Spivak and Ya’el Ya’akobi to whom we extend our thanks.
Rak BeYisrael – Only in Israel (1)
For this dance you don’t even have to use your legs! Practice Hebrew vocabulary by listening out in the song for things that can be found ‘only in Israel’, like kibbutz, moshav and the sweetest oranges.
Bashana Haba’a – Next Year (1)
This dance projects forward to better times in the future. Participants can join in with the refrain: ‘Look how good it will be next year’!
Chai – Alive (1)
This dance is about survival and how good it is to be alive. Children will enjoy singing along to the chorus – ‘this is my grandpa’s song, sung by my dad and today by me.’
Eretz Yisrael Sheli Le’ad (2)
This dance expresses a personal relationship with Israel. Participants can join in with the chorus and will enjoy shouting Heydad! the Hebrew equivalent of Hurray! at the end.
This is a dance in the style of the Chassidim. For the Chassidic community dance is a tool for expressing joy, believed to have a therapeutic effect on the soul, the body and the community.
Hamishpacha Sheli – My Family (1)
This dance is about a birthday party to which the whole family comes. Children learning Hebrew can listen out for and sing along to learn the names of family members.
Hine Ma Tov – How Good (3)
This dance, with more challenging steps is a celebration of community. ‘How good and pleasant it is when people live in harmony.’ The words are easy and fun to sing along to.
Rak Rotsim Lirkod – We Only Want to Dance (3)
This is a more challenging dance for older children expressing the joy of dancing.
Eretz Yisrael Sheli Le’ad – My Land of Israel Forever (1)
Sing along to the chorus. At the end, loudly shout out ‘Heydad’, which is the equivalent of ‘Hurrah’.
Noladetti LaShalom – I was Born for Peace (1)
In this dance participants stretch out a hand for peace. There is an interlude between the verses where participants reach down then up with their hands. As they reach up, they can add to the exhilaration by making a ‘whooping’ noise. Great fun!
Ten Li Et Hayom Hazeh – Give Me This Day (1)
Like Eize Yom Yafe, this dance is about the joy of a beautiful day.
Eize Yom Yaffe – What a Lovely Day! (2)
‘What a lovely day’ speaks for itself. It provides a really good ‘work out’!
and some circle dances which can be adapted if you are home with little space:
Eretz Yisrael Sheli – My Land of Israel (1)
In this dance there are hand movements for house, tree, road, and bridge. Listen out for the Hebrew words for each.
Kachol Velavan – Blue and White (2)
Wave your flags while you do this dance, or if you have blue and white ribbon, or crepe paper you can make streamers to tie on your wrists.
Dances for Shabbat:
Here are a few Shabbat circle dances with simple steps. Your circle can be any size, even just you! They are accessible to all ages from pre-school to pensioners! They are danced to the melodies of prayers and songs sung from Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming Shabbat) through to Havdallah (the conclusion of Shabbat). They reflect the mood of this special day, at once joyful and spiritual:
Shalom Aleichem – Welcome
Sung on Friday night in the synagogue and often at home, this welcome song illustrates the belief that on Shabbat angels accompany us. The verses ask the angels to come, stay, bless us and leave in peace.
Yedid Nefesh – Beloved of the Soul
This is one of many Shabbat hymns. It is sung on Friday night and also traditionally at the Seudah Shlishit – the third Shabbat meal in the afternoon. The dance is in waltz rhythm.
Brachot Lehavdala – blessings for Havdala
At the end of Shabbat, the separation of this special day and the rest of the week is marked with these blessings over wine, light in the form of a twisted candle and spices. There is a much more complex version of this dance, but not one easy to do in the confines of your kitchen!
Dance Level: (1 – easiest, 5 - hardest). Please note that the following links are for just some of the dances available for Youth organisations which register with us through the Youth tab on this website where you can also obtain music, sheet music, song words and dance notation.
Beyachad Nenats'each (L) – level 4
Dio Dio (L) – level 4
Hachi Israeli (L) – level 5
Mi Shema ‘amin (L) - level 5
Ivri Anochi (L) – level3
Bo Nadlik et Ha'esh (L) – level 5
Etsel Hadoda Vehadod (L) – level 3
Hine Ma Tov (L) – level 5
Yihiye Beseder (L) – level 3
Ba Kalil (L) – level 4
Rak Rotsim Lirkod – We Only Want to Dance (3)
Circle Dances for Newcomers and Returnees
Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu
Od Lo Ahavti Dai
Eretz Yisrael Yaffa
Shiri Li Kinneret
Sham Harei Golan