Seems that more and more school systems are incorporating Dance Dance Revolution into their phys ed programs.
What’s amusing about this is that the gym teachers are surprised that kids today don’t enjoy team sports:
Children don’t often yell in excitement when they are let into class, but as the doors opened to the upper level of the gym at South Middle School here one recent Monday, the assembled students let out a chorus of shrieks.
In they rushed, past the Ping-Pong table, past the balance beams and the wrestling mats stacked unused. They sprinted past the ghosts of Gym Class Past toward two TV sets looming over square plastic mats on the floor. In less than a minute a dozen seventh graders were dancing in furiously kinetic union to the thumps of a techno song called “Speed Over Beethoven.”
Bill Hines, a physical education teacher at the school for 27 years, shook his head a little, smiled and said, “I’ll tell you one thing: they don’t run in here like that for basketball.”
I submit that most team sports, particularly as they’re practiced in gym class, enforce a hierarchy and instill bad feelings. I can remember being picked last for every team in junior high except basketball, where I was always team captain simply because of my height. But whether or not I was picked last or did the picking, seems like whoever lost was in a very bad mood.
Not that I’m saying team sports are bad or anything; just that they’re not the best model for gym class all the damn time. And maybe finding a way for kids to move their bodies in a way that’s fun and that they enjoy will help them with lifelong fitness.