Rhythmic activities reinforce and help improve basic skills of the students to ensure quality learning outcomes in movement education.  As such, these activities are designed to promote the development of skill and health-related components of fitness.  This program also provides  a venue for students to integrate creativity to their performances, develop wholesome relationship with others and cultivate positive traits and values such as confidence, respect, discipline and collaboration.




Dance – inner impulse of man to rhythm or music expressing his feelings of joy, moods, sentiments or any human experience.


Rhythm – regular pattern of sound and or movement


Rhythms – movement activities with musical accompaniment.


Rhythmic Activities – rhythmic movements using the body as a means of expressing a communication. Can be either being through fundamental rhythms using locomotor or axial movements or in higher form of dance.





1. Dancing is a key to good health 


2. Dancing is a fun social activity


3. Dancing is a skill that can be always used

4. Dancing is a natural stress reliever

5. Dancing is a great confidence booster

We humans are natural dancers. Dances can be performed during celebrations, or for praise, or for an audience – or just a simple act of letting the rhythm move your body. Dancers can communicate ideas, preserve cultural identities, strengthen social bonds, or just have a lot of fun.





The fundamental rhythm program sets the basis for the rhythmic movements in all forms of dance activities through its stress on fundamental skills done in rhythm.


A. Locomotor Movements – are movements through space that bring the body from one place to another


1. Walk    – a series of steps where on foot is always in contact with the floor and the feet move alternately.


2. Run     – is a fast walk. To move more rapidly in such a manner that for a brief moment both feet are off the ground


3. Hop     – is a spring from one foot landing on the same foot.


4. Jump   – a spring from one or both feet, landing on both.


5. Skip     – is a series of fast step-hops done with alternate feet.


6. Slide    -  a glide followed by a close.


7. Leap   – a spring on one foot landing on the other foot.


8. Gallop – a series of stepping and cutting movements done either sideward or forward with one foot always leading


The locomotor movements are classified into:


1. Even     – walking, running, jumping, hopping, and leaping


2. Uneven – skipping, galloping, and sliding


B. Non-locomotor or Axial Movements – are movements done in place, with one part of the body serving as an axis or base around which

     other parts move.


1. Bending or Flexing – a movement around a joint, either forward, backward or sideward


2. Stretching  – a full extension of the arms, legs, or trunk in any direction


3. Swinging –  the arms, legs, head, trunk are moved in an arc alternating the directions, or in a full circle around a stationary center.


4. Twisting  – the rotation of one part of the body around the base of support.


5. Turning – the rotation of the body around the base of support in a continuous line of direction


6. Swaying  – the weight is transferred from one base of support to another with a rocking motion.


Resistive actions


1. Pushing – an effort to move an object, real or imaginary, in space away from the body against resistance


2. Pulling  – an effort to bring an object, real or imaginary, in space toward the body against resistance.


3. Lifting – change of body level or any part of the body or an object, real or imaginary, from a lower to a higher level.





1. ENERGY As applied to dance, energy describes an exertion which initiates, controls, and stops movement. The quality of a dance

     movement is determined by the way energy was used.


    1.1. Intensity – when a dancer moves, he can exert effort more or less intensity, ranging from almost imperceptible tension to a violent

               burst of energy.

      1.2. Accent – occurs when some stress of either greater or lesser force is displayed.


    1.3. Quality – Dance movement quality is determined by the way energy is used.


           1.3.1. Swinging Movement – the force of energy is applied at the beginning of the movement as a small impetus to an uncontrolled

                       follow-through which results in a relaxed movement. 


           1.3.2. Percussive Movement – it has obvious start and stop pattern, with no continuity. It repeats jabs of energy with marked



           1.3.3.Sustained movement – it appears to flow, with no obvious beginning or ending.


           1.3.4. Vibratory Movement – it consists of a continuum of percussive movements, a repetition of individual start-and-stop patterns

                       with little space and time between repetitions.


           1.3.5. Collapsing Movement – this occurs when there is a release of tension of the muscles and gravity takes over.


           1.3.6. Suspension – this occurs at that point of resistance to gravity where, for an instant-at the height of a leap or just before a

                       fall- the dancer seems to be suspended in space.


           1.3.7.Dynamics, or variations in the force and intensity of movement, plays a great role in accenting movements to be clearly viewed

                     by beginners in dance movements



2. SPACE - Movements exist in space; which to a dancer means a potential of position and dimension.


    2.1. Position – includes a dancer’s level in regard to the floor surface and the direction in which he is moving.


    2.2. Dimension – refers to the size of the dancer’s movement. Size is related to the dancer’s range of  movement both in space and on the

            floor surface.


    2.3. Design – refers to the arrangement of the movements according to a pattern.



3. TIME -Dance movement uses energy to fill space, but it must do so within time.


   3.1. Tempo, or speed of dance movement, is determined by the time span in which a given series of movement is completed, the period in

            which the dancer’s body must accomplish a sequence of actions.


   3.2. Rhythm, requires a structuring of movement patterns.


   3.3. Focus of the eyes is important in dance movements. Balance is enhanced when the eyes are focused on a stationary point and the

           communicative aspect of dance is  given emphasis when punctuated by focus.


   3.4.Technique, or the degree of body control and mastery of basic steps and positions, is very much necessary for dance movements to

           clearly show the dancers purpose in moving along with gestures, especially hand movements.





1.  Creative Rhythms – provide a special area in the rhythmic program where creativity is the goal and functional movement is secondary.


     1.1. Fundamental Motor Rhythms – creativity can be developed through problem-solving activities involving the incorporation of various

            locomotor movements into varied patterns, changes in direction, changes to other kinds of activities and the like.


     1.2.Expressive Moments – Children can express moods and feelings and show their reaction to colors and sounds by improvising dances,

           movements which demonstrate different aspects of force, and gestures which depict different feelings.


    1.3. Identification – there are endless sources of subjects for identification and interpretations with the child in his own mind taking on

           the identity of a familiar character, creature, or object.


    1.4. Dramatization


           Some ideas useful for dramatic rhythms are:


           Celebrating holidays  - like Christmas, Flores de Mayo, Dinagyang, etc


           Acting out stories  - which include fairies, firemen, teachers, acrobats, etc


           Interpreting familiar stories - like Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, The Three Little Pigs, etc                                                                                                                                                          

      1.5. Singing movement songs include action songs and singing games.


2. Folkdance is a cultural art form handed down from generation to generation.  It communicates the customs, beliefs, rituals, and

     occupations of the people of a region or country. It is as well as the traditional flavour and characteristics of the people their feelings

     and sentiments.


3. Creative dance- is the highest form of dance for the purpose of entertainment.  It is the end product of exploration and improvisation        of movements as the dancer or choreographer expresses his feelings or emotions, ideas, and interpretations.  This is a dance with                  definite form, beginning and end.  The principles of art are all observed in the  composition of the dance.


4. Classical Ballet- dance of supreme standards learned from academe.  Originated from Italy from the word “BAL-LO” meaning to dance         and flourished in the royal court of France.

      4.1.  Modern Dance – deviation from the principles of classical ballet.  It is developed by Isadora Duncan.  She believed in the principle                of naturalness and true expression of the human body and soul.


     4.2. Contemporary dance- combination of ballet and modern dance forms like folk, ethnic or tribal dance.


     4.3. Theatrical Dance – refers to dance perform in theatres or on stage to entertain spectators.


             4.3.1. Ethnologic Dance – is a dance resulting from centuries of development within the traditions of a particular ethnic group.


             4.3.2. Ballet – used to be a court dance that developed into a highly stylized theatre art that is today.


             4.3.3. Modern Dance – is often concerned with the communication of emotions or ideas through the medium of movement.


5. Popular Dance - highly recognized as a dance from in television and other dance centres’ like discotech houses and social gatherings.


6. Social Ballroom dance- the setting of this dance is more for formal atmosphere re than the simple and informal parties in which the             recreational dances are the usual form.


7. Classical Dance – is characterized by grace and precision of movement and by elaborate formal gestures, steps, and poses.





Primitive Dance -Social Dances on occasions that celebrated birth, commemorated deaths, and marked special events in between. Magical dances to ask gods to end famine; to provide rain, or to cure sick.  Primitive dancers also shared certain gestures and movements, which were drawn from their everyday lives. Primitive dancers used all of these movements in both their social and religious or magical dances. These were not created for entertainment as many dances today.


Ancient Egypt- Far more than mere pastime, dancing became an integral part of Egyptian life. It evolved from the simplest rituals used by the hunters to find their prey. A leader was called a priest dancer and was responsible for seeing that the dances were performed correctly so that the hunt would be successful.


Ancient Greece - Participation in dance and drama festivals was a religious exercise, not merely an amusement. Greek dance can be divided into large and small motions, movements and gestures. Movements were closely related to gymnastic exercises that resembled dance.


Roman Empire - Under the reign of Caesar Augustus in about 22 BC, the Pantomime dance-drama became an independent form of artistic expression. The Roman Pantomime a highly developed art form that made lavish and creative use of dance.


Christian Era - Dance was performed on cathedral porches, church squares and market places, miracle plays, mystery plays and morality plays that taught the church’s lessons were enacted in a theatrical way. In dramatic ritual games with dance movement, the passing of the seasons was celebrated as it had been by primitive tribes.





Primitive Era


To early Filipinos, dance was an expression of community life that animates the various rituals and ceremonies. Ethnic dances were found among the ethno-linguistic groups scattered all over the Philippine Islands, who have not been substantially westernized, either by Spain or the United States.


Examples of these ethnic tribes are the Ibaloy, Kankanai, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao, and Bontocs. These tribes share common religious beliefs, generally animistic, and make offerings to household gods called “anitos”, in the course of which dancing occurs. They usually dance around a sacred idol or fire depending upon the purpose of dancing. They dance to appease ancestors and gods, to cure ailments, to insure success in war-making activities or to ward off ill-luck and natural calamities, and to congregate and socialize for general welfare and recreation and as an outlet for represses feelings, to insure bountiful harvests and favourable weather, and to mark milestone in the life cycles of birth, wedding, and death.


1. Ritual Dances - are dances which connect the material world to the spiritual. Rituals sustain the spiritual and social life of the indigenous       Filipinos. The Babaylan or medicine men of primitive cultures whose powers to invoke the assistance of a god were feared and respected,       were considered by many to be the first choreographers or composers of formal dances.


2. Life-cycle Dances - are dances which celebrate an individual’s birth, baptism, courtship, wedding, and demise. 


3. Occupational Dances - are dances which transform defense and livelihood activities to celebratory performances. 


4. Mimetic Dances - are special dances which are mimetic in nature. The surrounding animal life also easily lends itself to imitate dances             that are both graphic and symbolic.


The Primitive dances of the Filipino people draw their inspiration from the different images around them and religious and social activities of the tribe which are of communal purpose. They may also have learned many of their dance movements and patterns from the birds and animals around them.


The Spanish Colonial Period


The Spaniards came to the Philippines on March 16,1521 and colonized the island for 333 years.  To make Catholicism appealing, native dances were modified and used in the rites celebrating Christian Holy days and religious fiestas turned native to a certain extent and became a vehicle, for the Filipino way of spiritual and communal expression.


Dances like Fandango, Habanera, Rigodon, Mazurka, Paseo, Paso Doble were adapted to the tastes and needs of the society and conditions of climate and seasons in a tropical archipelago. However, the Spaniards did not teach the native their dances. The wealthy Indios Filipinos, who on state occasions, socialized with the colonial masters, merely copied and disseminated these dances among themselves.


The American Colonial Period


On December 10, 1898, in the Treaty of Paris, Spain sold Philippines to the United States for 20 million dollars. The Americans established schools all over the islands where physical education was given a prominent place in the program.


The American teachers also introduced dances like ballet and modern dance through physical education programs. These dances threatened to completely destroy the well-cherished Philippine tradition and culture.


Today, Philippine dances are no longer communal in purpose but are highly theatricalized. There are even choreographed dances based on folk elements. As Filipinos, we have the responsibility to propagate and preserve Philippine folk dances for posterity.




1. Classification

     1.1. National - traditional dances of the country with a common basic movement or pattern with slight variations

     1.2. Regional - local dances of a region


2.  Nature

     2.1. Occupational dances - these depict notions, characterizing certain occupation, industries and phases of human labor

    2.2. Religious or ceremonial dances - these are performed in connection with religious vows, practices and ceremonies. A religious                         dances maybe performed to: (a) drive away evil spirits (b) ask for a favor to have a child, husband or wife or (c) give thanks for                       having recovered from sickness for favors granted and vows fulfilled.

     2.3. Wedding dances - performed by newlyweds, by friends and relatives of the bride and groom or by the father of the bride and                       mother of the groom.

    2.4  Courtship dance - depict love making or are dances with love themes

    2.5. Festival dances - are performed in connection with a celebration, a feast, a barrio fiesta, good harvest and good fortune.

    2.6. War dancesare intended to show imagery combat or duel with the use of fighting implements like bolo, spear etc.; are found                      among non-Christian tribes.

    2.7. Comic dances – are funny and humorous movements intended mainly for entertainment.

    2.8.  Game dancesare dances that have some play elements and are for recreational purposes.


3. Characteristics

     3.1. In general, dancers stand apart

    3.2. There is little, if any bodily contact

    3.3. Most of the dancers are done by pairs or couples

    3.4. Most dances are in long formation

    3.5. Hand movements play an important role

    3.6. Most dances begin with a saludo

    3.7. Dances from the lowlands have more foreign elements than those found in the uplands.



There are five fundamental or basic positions in dance that are commonly termed as 1st position, 2nd position, 3rd position, 4th position, and 5th position of the feet and arms.

1st position

Feet: Heels close together, toes apart with an angle of about 45 degrees.

Arms: Both arms raised in a circle in front of chest with the finger tips about an inch apart.

2nd position

Feet: Feet apart sideward of about a pace distance.

Arms: Both raised sideward with a graceful curve at shoulder level.

3rd position

Feet: Heel of one foot close to in-step of other foot.

Arms: One arm raised in front as in 2nd position; other arm raised upward.

4th position

Feet: One foot in front of other foot of a pace distance.

Arms: One arm raised in front as in 1st position; other arm raised overhead.

5th position

Feet: Heel of front foot close to big toe of rear foot.

Arms: Both arms raised overhead



1.    Single circle, facing clockwise

2.    Single circle partners facing

3.    Single circle, facing counter clockwise

4.    Single circle, facing center

5.    Double circle, partners facing

6.    Double circle, facing clockwise

7.    Double circle, facing counter clockwise

8.    Square or quadrille formation

9.    Semi-circle or half moon

10.  Double lines, facing front

11.  Double lines, partners facing              

12.  Long open formation

13.  File or Column or Rank

14.  Set of two, partners facing

15.  Set of three, facing another set of three



1. Abrasete - Girl stands at the right side of the Boy,  holds R arm of partner with her L hand, free hands down at sides. This term is                Spanish in origin and is used in Rigodon and in other dances.

2. Arms in lateral position both arms are at one side, either sideward right or left.

3. Arms in Reverse “T” – arms are side horizontal, elbows bent at right angles, forearms parallel to head, palms forward or facing inward,         fists loosely closed

4. Bilao - To turn hands up and down alternately, hands at waist level in front, elbows close to waist.

5. Brush - with weight on one foot, hit the floor with the ball or heel of the other foot, and lift that foot from the floor to any direction.

6. Cabeceras - the couples occupying the width of the hall when dancers are in square formation (head couple).

7. Clockwise – like the motion of the hands of the clock. When facing center, the movement is toward left

8. Counter clockwise – the reverse direction of clockwise. When facing the center, the movement is toward the right.

9. Costados - the couple occupying the length of the hall when dancers are in square formation (side pair).

10. Crossed Arms - partners facing each other or standing side by side join their L hands together and the R hands together; either R               over L or L over R.

11. Do-si-do (dos-a-dos) the vis-à-vis (opposites) both advance forward, pass each other’s right (or left) side, step across to the right (or         left), move backward without turning around pass each other’s left (or right) side to proper places. This is of foreign origin and is used           in many Philippine dances.

12. Draw – to pull one foot along the floor close to the other which has the weight of the body. The weight may or may not be transferred.

13. Free foot  the foot not bearing weight of the body.

14. Free hand  the hand not placed anywhere or not doing anything.

15. Hands on waist  place hands at waist line (at the smallest part of the trunk) knuckles in, fingers pointing rear.

16. Hayon - Hayon - to place one forearm in front and the other at the back of the waist.

17. Inside foot – the foot nearest one’s partner, when partners stand side by side.

18. Inside hand  the hand nearest one’s partner, when partners stand side by side.

19. Jaleo - Partners turn around clockwise (with R L elbows almost touching) or counter clockwise (with L elbows touching) using walking or           any kind of dances.

20. Kumintang – moving the hand from the wrist either in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction.

21. Masiwak - to turn the hand from the wrist halfway clockwise, then raise and lower wrist once or twice.

22. Opposite - the people standing across the set.

23. Outside foot – the foot away one’s partner, when partners stand side by side.

24. Outside hand – the hand away from one’s partner, when partners stand side by side.

25. Panadyak - to stamp in front or at the side with R (L) foot and top with same foot close to the L (R) foot. Weight of the body on L (R)           foot.

26. Partner - Girl to right of boy and boy to left of girl.

27. Place – to put the foot in a certain desired position without putting weight on it.

28. Pivot - to turn the with the ball, heel, or whole foot, on a fixed place or point.

29. Point  to touch lightly with the toes of one foot, weight of the body on the other.

30. Salok - the swinging of the arm downward-upward passing in front of the body as if scooping; the trunk is bent forward following the             movement of the arm doing the salok.

31. Saludo – partner bow to each other, to the audience, opposite dancers, or to the neighbour.

32. Sarok - to cross the R(or L) foot infront of the L (or R) bent the body slightly forward and cross hands down in front with the R (or L)           hand over the L (or R)

33. Set - a dance formation like a square or a unit formation composed of two or more pair.

34. Stamp  to bring down the foot forcibly and noisily on the floor.

35. Star with the right hand - four or more people advance to the center and join Right hands and circle around clockwise using walking or         change or any other step.

36. Star with the left hand - same as “Star with the Right hand” only join Left hands and counterclockwise.

37. Step – to advance or recede by raising and moving one foot to another resting place. There is a complete transfer of weight from one             foot to the other.

38. Supporting foot - the foot that bears the weight of the body.

39. Tap – to rap lightly with the ball or tip the toe, placing weight of the body on the foot. There is no change or transfer of weight here.

40. Whirl - to make fast turns by executing small steps in place, right, or to left.



The Philippine folk dances of the various regions showcase the culture and traditions, as well as the meaningful and treasured memories from the Primitive time up to now.  Thus, it is important for each student to know some of these dances to show our love for our mother land.

1. Cordillera Suite

    Cordillera was the name given by the Spanish Conqistadors when they first saw the mountain ranges in Northern Luzon.  The ethno-linguistic people live on the rice terraces and whose way of life existed long before any Spaniard or other foreigners stepped foot on the mountain terrain reigned over by the Bontocs, Ifugaos, Apayaos, Kalingas, Ibalois and Kankanaeys. To date, if one anyone calls any ethno-linguistic tribes men/woman as Igorot, it is considered degrading.

Most of the Cordillera people are pagans.  They live simple to appease their gods.  Their rituals  and traditions have survived the changing times in the Philippines including those depicting a good harvest, health, peace, war and the like such as:

1.1. Banga

1.2. Bendean

1.3. Idaw

1.4. Manmanok

1.5. Lumagen/Tachok

1.6. Ragragsakan

1.7. Salidsid

1.8. Salip

1.9. Turayan



2. Maria Clara Suite

It was during the Spanish period when the Western European ways of life spread throughout the Philipppine Islands. Along with their existence in our archipelago, were the European dances such as the waltz, fandango, mazurka, polka, and the jota. The Filipinos welcomed those dances with some kind of flare and style.  Maria Clara was named in the honor of the heroine in Dr. Jose Rizal's novel, Noli me Tangere. 

The Maria Clara Suite captures the elegance and charm of the mestiza Filipina as well as the gallantry and boldness of the mestizo Filipino. Courtship, love, and flirtation are all evident in this suite of romantic dances such as:

2.1. Aray

2.2. Carinosa

2.3. Chotis

2.4. Imunan

2.5. La Estudiantina

2.6. La Jota Manilena

2.7. Pampilpelalecan 

2.8. Sinakiki

2.9. Havanera Jovencita

2.10.Paseo de Iloilo


3. Muslim Suite

 Apart from the colorful contributions of its regional tribes, Mindanao is home to the largest cultural minority in the Philippines known as the Muslims.  Brought by Javanese and Middle Eastern traders, Islam is the religion of about 20 percent of the Philippine population.
Although largely Christianized like the rest of the country, the sprawling island of Mindanao to the south still possesses various ethnic groups professing different faiths, among which the Muslim culture dominates.
This suite shows exotic dances performed as homage to the sultan with very strong Indo-Malayan and Arabic influences. They are known for their mysticism, royalty and beauty which are evident in their music and dances. Accompanied by the agong and kulintang, Filipino Muslim dance is marked by intricate hand and arm movement along with shimmering costumes. The Muslim Suite may be as follows:

 3.1. Asik

3.2. Burong Talo

3.3. Tahing Baila

3.4. Kapa Malong Malong

3.5. Kinakulangan

3.6. Pangalay

3.7. Pangalay sa Pattong

3.8. Pangalay sa Agong

3.9. Singkil

3.10. Sagayan


4. Rural Suite

Folk dances are developed from one specific region. They stem from the creativity of the individuals that aim to reflect their way of life in a recreational manner. Usually, these dances are held in social gatherings or events. They are performed for the sake of entertainment and to emphasize the essence of one's own nationality. By embodying a region's culture and tradition, folk dances can hold a significance in history.
The rural suite is known to depict dances that exhibit the way of life throughout our country. They embody the minds and hearts of every Filipino by portraying their manner of living. By holding strong symbolisms, they represent notable routines, habits and culture through the art of dancing.  These are often performed on streets having town fiestas or to give gratitude after a good harvest. Through utilizing bright and colorful costumes, they emphasize the love of life and work in various aspects.  The typcal Rural Dances include:
4.1. Bakya
4.2. Salakot
4.3. Labahan at Palo-palo
4.4. Sayaw sa Bangko
4.5. Kalapati
4.6. Bulaklakan
4.7. Pandango sa Ilaw
4.8. Binatbatan
4.9. Kalatong
4.10. Maglalatik




Ballroom dancing was derived from the word “ball”, which originates from the Latin word, “ballare” which means “to dance”. This was originally applied to dances commonly done in a ballroom. A ball-room is a large room, especially designed for dancing.  In the past, ballroom dancing was a social dancing for the privileged, leaving folk dancing for the lower classes.

There is a great history behind ballroom dancing, both socially and competitively around the world. Ballroom dancing is a partnership dance where couples, use step-patterns, move rhythmically, express the characteristics of music.  Every ballroom dance style has its own particular aesthetics and rhythms, they still have a commonality that makes them somewhat similar.  Ballroom dancing consists of two styles: 


1. the Smooth or Standard and


2. the Rhythm, or Latin.



The Smooth or  Standard Style


1. This style focuses on the elegance, grace and fluidity of movement.


2. Dancers rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, moving around the entire floor.


3. The couple is constantly moving on the dance floor, transitioning from one place to the next in a fixed pattern.


4. The Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Quickstep are danced in this manner.



The Rhythm or Latin Style


1.  “Latin” dances are more rhythmical.


2.  They commonly danced to contemporary Latin American music.


3. The Rumba, Swing/Jive, Samba, Cha Cha, Mambo, Merengue, Bolero, Salsa are danced in this manner.


4. With the exception of a few traveling dances (e.g. Samba and Paso Doble) couples do not follow the line of dance and perform their routines more or less in one place.




Social Dance is a major category or classification of dance forms or dance styles, where sociability and socializing are the primary focuses of the dancing. Many social dances are partner dances. In fact, quite often when speaking about social dances, ballroom or other partner  dances are kept in mind.

1. Country Line Dancing  - A line dance is choreographed routine done with a group of people that has a repeated sequence of steps.  L Line dancing is great fun because it can be danced with or without a partner! Country Line Dancing is popular throughout the United States and is a favorite in country nightclubs, weddings and fitness centers.

2.Swing - It is sometimes called "Jitterbug" and  is a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1940s, with the origins of each dance predating the popular "Swing Era".