Eat well, Move more, Live longer

Dance steps and games for families

The brilliant thing about dancing is that it's free, you don't need any special stuff, and you don't even need to leave the house. So it's perfect for rainy days or if you're just looking for something fun to do.

So go on, put on some music and try out:

Dance steps

The box step

The box step makes the shape of a box on the floor and is a good one to start off with.

First half-box:

  1. Step forward with your left foot
  2. Step forward and across to the right with your right foot
  3. Move your left foot across to your right foot, so your feet are together

Second half-box:

  1. Step backwards with your right foot
  2. Move your left foot back to your original start position
  3. Move your right foot next across to your left, so your feet are together (you should be back where you started!)

Try making different shapes on the floor with your feet or even add in a few star jumps and leaps!

When you've got a very simple routine, try slowing it down, or going faster and faster.


Dust off a Village People record and do the YMCA!

Sing the letters really loud as your body makes each of the shapes:

  • Y: stretch your arms out to the sides and above your heads
  • M: bend your elbows from the 'Y' pose so your fingertips meet over your chest
  • C: stretch your arms out to the left in a half-circle
  • A: hold your hands together above your head

Now for the rest of the alphabet! Go through the alphabet and make the shape of each letter with your body. Capital letters are easier than small letters.

Dance games

Once you start moving, you'll want to keep on dancing. We've put together some of our favourite dance games and routines to try. Give them a go with some friends for extra fun.

The washing game

For 2 people or more

One of you can be the caller first and then you can swap over. The caller calls out the following laundry items and you do the following moves:

  • Skirt: sit on the floor with legs stretched out wide
  • Trousers: sit on the floor with legs outstretched together
  • Shorts: sit on the floor hugging your legs into your tummy
  • Dress: stand up with legs outstretched
  • Washing machine: jump up and down on the spot
  • Spin dryer: spin around on the spot

The DVD game

For 2 people or more

One of you can be the caller first and then you can swap over. The caller calls out the following DVD controls and you do the following actions:

  • Rewind: run/walk backwards
  • Fast forward: run forwards
  • Pause: jump on the spot
  • Stop: stop
  • Eject: jump up
  • Record: pull a funny face
  • Slow motion: walk in a slow, exaggerated way


For 2 people or more

Pretend to be your favourite zoo animal. Here are a few ideas:

  • Snake: slither on the floor
  • Rabbit: do some quick, small jumps with your hands on the floor
  • Kangaroo: do some big bounces where you try to hit your bottom with your feet
  • Lion: prowl with the largest steps you can take
  • Cheetah: run on the spot as fast as you can
  • Tiger: stretch and arch your back

Put all the moves together to make a great animal dance or get your friends together for a carnival of animals.

Heartbeat hop

For 2 people

One of you can be the caller first and then you can swap over. Put on some fast music. The caller calls out the number 1 or 2 in time to the music:

  1. Dancer has to dance to the music on two feet, making patterns and so on
  2. Dancer has to hop in patterns

The caller can change between 1 and 2 as often as they like. If the caller shouts 3 it's the end of the game and the dancer has to make a pose with three parts of their body on the floor. The caller has to copy the pose, and the dancer gets to call the numbers.

Funky leader

For 2 people

Put on some music with a good beat.

  1. Clap your hands, then high-5 each other in time to the music
  2. The 'funky leader' has to try and trick their partner by doing high-5s up, to the side, down low
  3. When the partner has reached 3 high-5s successfully it's time to swap roles

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