On yet another sweltering day with occasional thunderstorms, we had some indoor fun by practicing tinikling, the Philippine national folk dance. (Rather, it is widely thought to be, though the national dance is actually the cariñosa.)
In tinikling, dancers imitate the tikling bird’s grace and speed by skillfully stepping in between and over two long bamboo poles that are rhythmically tapped on the ground and against each other. To refresh the kids’ memory, I unearthed a DVD my mom gave us years ago, the Bayanihan Instructional Video Series Vol. 1 (DVD) – Philippine Tagalog DVD.
This nearly backfired as the kids are fascinated by the many folk dances on this DVD, which they would have been perfectly content just watching and not actually performing. And I really can’t blame them, as it truly is fascinating to watch the different dances on this DVD – a mere sampling of the myriad folk dances (over a hundred!) in the Philippines.
But once I brought out the bamboo poles from the dollar store (which recently also came in handy for hoop rolling outside), the kids were sold and promptly hopped off the couch.
We’ve used cardboard “poles” (empty wrapping paper rolls) for dancing tinikling in the past, since they were less likely to result in tears when missteps occurred. But this year, we graduated to actual bamboo poles – albeit skinny mini ones.
The poles were thin, light, and short enough that even one person was able to man them. We placed a couple of poles underneath (flat pieces of wood would have been better since ours kept rolling) to leave room for pole and hand movements, and we were off!
Tap, tap, close.
In, in, out.
On and on it went. Fun and challenging for the older kids, and easy enough for even the littlest one (in brown shorts) to join in.Well, almost. 😉
Once they master the timing, we can work on increasing their speed, adding turns and other fun variations in step, even costumes. I might even join in – great workout and lots of fun for all!