Let’s dance like a pirate sailing the seas,
Bobbing about like a boat in a breeze.
So hands on your hips, then heel and toe,
Jig across the deck – here we go!
Raise your knees up very high
And slap your hands upon your thighs,
Then fold your arms across your chest.
You are the boldest and the best!
Yo, ho, ho! Let’s Dance!
Dance Like a Pirate offers rhymes which incorporate guidelines for dance moves. As well as the pirate dance of the title there are dances/poses for fairies, dancers, firefighters and superheroes. Each opening offers a rhyme, an illustration of a boy and a girl striking a pose or showing a dance move. A flap on each opening reveals a further dance position/move. The last two openings offer a reprise of the included rhymes and photo references to National Library of Australia photographs of performers dancing and posing as different characters. Colours are full page with most of the text set in white pages on the opening.
Dance Like a Pirate would be a welcome addition to classroom resources and home libraries. Each opening offers costumes and rhymes that can be used in a variety of ways. The dances etc could be used as a basis for movement activities or as a basis for exploration of different groups in history and society. Costumes are shown but for most, it is the body movements that demonstrate most. There is room for interpretation – eg the opening featuring royalty doesn’t specify which culture the royalty are part of, and could form the basis for discussion about leadership in different cultures. At its simplest, this is a book about dancing, but it has the potential to be much more. Recommended for classrooms and home libraries and young singers and dancers who would like some direction in their performance!
Dance Like a Pirate, Stephanie Owen Reader NLA Publishing 2013 ISBN: 9780642277794
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller
Available from good bookstores or online.