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Dare to Dance

Explore Dare to Dance to find out about the haka, sāsā, and the benefits of dance on your health.

Different dances

What kind of dancing do you like? Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet...

Street dance

When musicians like Scribe put out a new music video people copy them and new dance and fashion styles are invented. In the 70s, Michael Jackson's robot dance helped to start street dances such as break dancing and hip-hop.


Haka means dance in Māori. Most people think of the All Blacks doing the haka 'ka mate', but it can be performed for many other reasons.

  • Listen to this class in clip 1 (the first on the list) talk about what haka means and where you might see and hear a haka.
  • Use the information from this first clip to answer these questions:
    • What can a haka mean?
    • When would a haka be used?

World of dance in NZ

When people move to a new country they often keep their culture alive by dancing at special occasions.


Dancing with masks

A lot of African dances copy the way animals move. To help the dancers look more animal-like they wear a mask and move their feet and head in ways an animal would.


The Polyfest started in the 1970s with 4 schools. It is now the largest Polynesian and Māori dance competition in the world with over 50 schools competing.

Counting the beat

When you dance it is important to stay in time with the music, to do this you count the beats per minute (BPM). Ed wants to know if people dance faster if there are more beats per minute.

  • Read this interesting science experiment about beats per minute.
  • Make up your own dance experiment by following the same headings from the experiment.
    You could test things like:
    • What helps people to balance?
    • How does speed affect co-ordination?
    • Does spinning always make you dizzy?

Haka and sport

Wiki's favourite part of a rugby game is watching the All Blacks do the haka.

  • Look at this haka website that Wiki found:
    • Click on the heading 'Launch the Haka Feature'
    • Click on the picture of the All Black
    • Use the small arrow to scroll to the next page
    • Listen to Jonah Lomu talking about the haka.
  • Read about haka as an artform:
    • Scroll back to the homepage and click on the link 'Artform'
    • Scroll to the page called 'Facial Expression'
    • Read the information about facial expression and watch the face change.
  • Practise these expressions in front of a mirror.
  • Make a powerpoint about the importance of haka and include digital photos of your different facial expressions.

Making some moves

The music and the clothes (or costume) a dancer wears will help you tell what style of dancing you are watching. When you are learning a new dance you can dress in special clothes and copy another person's dance moves.

Why dance?

Wiki, Tipani, and Ed dance to keep fit and to have fun. Can you think of any other reasons why they should dance?

  • Brainstorm 5 good reasons to dance. Check out these websites to get some ideas:
  • Open either a Word, Front Page,or Publisher document to make a poster.
  • Using the 'draw tools' on your computer make a poster to advertise one of your reasons to dance.


Ko te Haka ki te Māori, he momo kanikani. Ko te whakaaro o te nuinga o ngā tāngata mō tēnei mea te haka, ko te Kapa Pango Katoa e mahi ana i te haka 'Ka mate', engari, arā noa atu ōna tū āhuatanga.

  • Whakarongo ki tēnei akomanga i te Putanga 1 e kōrero ana mō te haka, me ōna āhuatanga, ā, kite ai koe i tēnei tū āhua i hea.
  • Whakamahia ngā pārongo mai i te putanga 1 hei whakautu i ngā pātai nei:
    • He aha te tikanga o te haka?
    • Āhea te haka ka whakamahia?

Pick a dance

Test yourself with these dance detectives quizzes to see how many dance styles you can name.


The Sāsā is an exciting dance from the Pacific.

  • Watch these clips about a school group performing Sāsā.
  • The first 4 stages of the dance were:
    • Clip 1: pick a leader and jobs for everyone
    • Clip 2: learn the moves
    • Clip 3: rehearse
    • Clip 4: perform.
  • Use these stages to create your own sitting down Sāsā dance.

Dancing myths

Many dances from around the world tell stories. Kapa haka can tell stories like an iwi making a journey, myths, and even day-to-day life.

  • Read some of these Māori myths
  • Choose a myth you would like to tell through dance and create your own dance to tell the story.
    • For help with the different stages of dance see the Sāsā Maxi activity.
  • Video your performance of your myth.

Twinkle Toes

Ballet is over 300 years old; it started in Italy and then moved on to Russia and France. Ballet uses a lot of special things like costumes, music, and language that make it unique.

  • Most ballet words are French. Use this glossary to learn some ballet words.
  • Ballet is performed on a stage. Click on the numbers to find out the parts of a stage.
  • Read these stories about ballet classes, examinations, and shows.
  • Write a story about your own dance experiences.


Bollywood rhymes with Hollywood and is the nickname for India's movie industry. A Bollywood movie is a dance musical, where there are big groups of people dancing in time around the main actors. Bollywood uses traditional Indian dance moves and changes them to go with modern Indian music.

  • Read about:
  • Look at how Indian dancers have an upright body and bent knees, their head and eyes often move sideways, and there are many different hand movements.
  • Use your hands to made different shapes such as a flower blooming, a bird flying, rain falling, or ocean waves.
  • Put together a series of hand movements and arm gestures to make your own Bollywood dance.

Haka me te hākinakina

Ko te mahi rawe katoa ki a Wiki ko te mātakitaki i Te Kapa Pango Katoa e mahi ana i te haka.

  • Tirohia tēnei paetukutuku e pā ana ki te Haka i kitea e Wiki:
    • Pāwhiria te upoko 'Launch the Haka Feature'
    • Pāwhiri i te pikitia o tētahi Pango Katoa
    • Whakamahia te tao pakupaku ki te heke atu ki te whārangi o raro
    • Ka whakarongo ki a Jonah Lomu e kōrero ana mō te haka.
  • Pānuihia ngā kōrero mō te mahinga toi nei arā, te haka:
    • Ka hoki atu anō ki te whārangi papakāinga, ka pāwhiri i te hononga 'Artform'
    • Ka haere ki te whārangi e kīia nei ko te 'Facial Expression'
    • Pānuihia ngā pārongo e pā ana ki ngā mahi ā-kanohi, ka tiro i ngā momo rerekētanga o te kanohi haka.
  • Whakamātautauhia ēnei mahi i roto i tētahi whakaata.
  • Hangaia he whakaaturanga Powerpoint mō te hiranga o te haka, ka rau i ētahi whakaahua mamati o ngā rerekētanga ā-kanohi i whakaahuangia e koe.