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What you'll need...

  • A space in your home, garden or outside on a walk

Suitable for ages 5–11 Time guideline: 30 minutes

Take a look at this film where Karim Zeroual, star of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, takes part in the Mad Hatter’s tea party. You will see that the Mad Hatter creates different rhythms by tapping his feet on the floor. He has tap shoes on to help him make tapping sounds, but we don’t have to be tap dancers to make movements and sounds just like the Mad Hatter. In this activity, we’re going to have a go at learning the ‘body percussion’ motif in this film. Or you could try to make your own one up. Body percussion involves using parts of your body to make a noise, so try to experiment with claps, stamps and tapping body parts. Remember, a motif is a series of movements that link to the theme of your dance. This time, the theme is about the Mad Hatter and making sound with our bodies. Try to include a movement to reflect the whacky character of the Mad Hatter.


If you have someone in your house to dance with, you could both create your own ‘body percussion’ motifs and teach each other your movement. You could do this as a call and response – one person does their motif and the other person then copies it.

You could also try to sing a line from your favourite song and make up a ‘body percussion’ motif for that rhythm. You might need to slow down the song first.

Once you are confident with your ‘body percussion’ dance, add in some turns and jumps, performing it with the same whacky energy as the Mad Hatter!


Think about what kind of music you would like your ‘body percussion’ dance to be performed to. Would it be slow and soft, or fast and noisy? Try using different excerpts from the ballet – you’ll find some examples below.

Once you’ve chosen your piece of music, find a grown up, sibling or friend in your house and get them to stop what they're doing – they're going to be your audience! It's time to perform your unique 'body percussion' dance.

What I have learned...

  • How to listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory MUSIC

  • How to explore rhythm and body percussion MUSIC/DANCE

When you’re happy with your crazy ‘body percussion’ dances, why don’t you ask a parent or guardian to film them on a phone or tablet and share them with us on social media? #kuuoliving

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