African Gumboot Dancing

As part of their Creative Curriculum topic about Africa, this afternoon the children had a go at ‘Gumboot Dancing.’

Gumboot dancing originates from South Africa. The word ‘gumboot’ is another name for Wellington Boots. These ‘gumboots’ were worn by workers who worked in the gold mines in South Africa. The workers’ uniform consisted of hardhats, bandannas, jeans and gumboots. With this uniform, the workers were not able to show their ethnic identity or carry on their traditions with their clothing, so they turned to another form of expression; Gumboot dancing.

The workers began to express themselves by making rhythms and beats with their bodies and gumboots. They made the noises by slapping their boots and stomping their feet. Not only did this express their ethnic identity by using their traditional songs and rhythms, but it helped them communicate in the workplace.

The pupils watched an example of a gumboot dance on you tube. This afternoon was perfect as there had been plenty of rain, making the slapping noises on the ground even more prominent, and the children were also wearing wellies.

Once outside, the children organised themselves into groups and began to put together a sequence of dance moves in the style of gumboot dancing.

With amazing team work and now with a good understanding of gumboot dancing, I have to say the results were pretty impressive…

Afterwards, the children went on a minibeast hunt. Rainy weather brings out plenty of worms, snails and slugs…

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The children learnt that long, wet grass is perfect for cleaning their wellies…

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Followed by plenty of splashing in puddles!…

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