228A-FA Section 3

Rich Atencio

Grade Level: 4th grade

Approximate Time: 20 Minutes



La Marcha is a dance for demonstrating beat. The dance sequence has the characteristics of a follow the leader game.


Students are presented with a wedding song and dance of another culture. Doing a dance from another culture helps students compare and contrast variations in dance. Students will also make connections between the beat of a song with various dance movements. Students also have a chance to be a "leader" of the dance while others follow by imitating the movements.


Artistic Perception: Students will demonstrate the ability to use smooth transitions when the leader performs each new movement. (D -Gr. 4-1.2)

Creative Expression: Students will demonstrate additional partner and group skills such as imitating and leading/following. (D -Gr. 4-2.7)

Historical and Cultural Context: Students will perform and identify La Marcha using couples, lines and circles. (D-Gr. 4-3.1)

Connections, Relationships and Applications: Students will relate marching and dancing to express the beat of La Marcha. (M-Gr. 4-5.3)



A combination of guided discovery and direct instruction are used. Visual, written cues are posted.


Beat: The steady pulse of music

Bridge: Couples face each other, holding hands above head while others travel under the arms (bridge)

Marcha: Spanish for march




Teacher plays a few meters from "La Marcha" and begins to march to the beat. The students should join by marching with the beat. Teacher prompts, "We are marching to the "what"? We are marching to the beat of the song! The title of this song is "La Marcha" which is Spanish for "The March." There is also a dance for this song." Stop the music and rewind it. "It is the traditional Mexican wedding song and dance, and we will learn it today! There are seven sections to the dance." Show them the following list prewritten on poster board:

    1. CIRCLE
    4. BRIDGE
    6. SPIRAL
    7. ALL DANCE

"They are also posted around the room to use as visual prompts. It is basically a "follow the leader" dance, and I (the teacher) am the leader. You must march AND clap to the beat. Look for patterns as we dance."

Activity Sequence:

  1. Find a partner (should be of opposite sex).
  2. Couples make a line. (Ideally, males on left side, females on right side.)
  3. The teacher and partner are the Leaders.
  4. When music begins, clap hands and march in place with beat.
  5. Begin to march around to complete one full circle around dance area. "CIRCLE"
  6. Leading couple turns toward center and walks straight across (the diameter of the circle). "WALKING DOWN THE AISLE"
  7. When they make it all the way across, partners separate. Men go left while women go right. "SEPARATE"
  8. Each side will walk around back to where they cut across before and meet.
  9. Leading couple begins a bridge for the bride and groom to go under, followed by the rest of the dancers. "BRIDGE"
  10. Once everyone has passed under the bridge, lead couple follows last couple under.
  11. Bride and groom move up to where lead couple were, and reenter the bridge. Everyone follows.
  12. As each person exits the bridge, they hold the hand of the person behind them. "ALL HOLD HANDS"
  13. The leader walks around the dance area, making a circle, waiting for everyone to exit the bridge.
  14. Leader SPIRALS into the center of the circle, and spirals out.
  15. Bride and groom dance in center of circle as group claps to


Divide the class into small groups and allow them to choose a leader.

They will demonstrate the dance with the music.

CLOSURE: Is "La Marcha" an appropriate title for this song? Why or why not? What were some patterns you saw? Next we will look at meter of the song.

CLEAN UP: Students help remove visual cues from walls. The teacher returns the stereo from where it was borrowed.

ASSESSMENT: Informal assessment will occur during whole group dance, small group reenactment and during the closure discussion. Are students able to use smooth transitions between changes in movement? Are students able to lead the dance in small groups using the seven cue signs? Are the students demonstrating use of couples, lines, and circles? Are students able to march to the beat of La Marcha?


La Marcha (or Spanish music)

7 large pieces of paper for signs

Markers to write on signs ("CIRCLE", "SEPARATE" etc.)



Los Cordovas. Estas Rosas. La Marcha. John Wagner Recording Studios. 1991. (cassette)