How does the chicken dance go

How to teach the Chicken Dance in PE Class

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What’s Up PE Friends!

Today I want to show you how I teach locomotor and non-locomotor skills through dance. In the video shown below, you can see me teaching Chicken Dance to some of my younger students. We had tons of fun doing this and my kids enjoyed it a lot.  Normally I do this dance with my K-2nd Graders.  (If you’re looking for a dance for your older kids check out The Jump Dance) 

So before we start, you’re going to need the following:

  • Prep the music. You will need speakers and a music player.  I highly recommend connecting your phone via Bluetooth for this so you can move around with the kids and still control the song.  I’ve added some helpful links related to this below: 
    • The Stereo Setup in my gym
    • How to Setup Bluetooth Streaming in your Gym
    • All my Music Playlists I use in PE Class
    • There are also links to all my tech gear (like the wireless mic) on our Amazon Page if your interested
  • Set some boundaries for your students to move around during the dance and find open space

Once all these are set, you are ready to have fun teaching and dancing!

Check out the video below to see an example of how I teach the dance to my kiddos!

*For an overview of the wireless mic you see me using in the video above check out this post on my wireless mic

As you can see this is a good time to also review DIRECTIONS (Forward, Sideways, Backward) 🙂

As you can also see from the video, I start the class by teaching the basic steps first after I let them listen to a sound clip of the chicken dance.  The clip usually helps prep the kids for the dance.  The chicken dance is a 4 count dance, meaning four counts per step and there are guess what… 4 steps and you will do the Chicken Dance 4 times.  

So the magic number here is… wait for it… FOUR!

The Chicken Dance Steps

Non-Locomotor Steps:

  1. Beaks
  2. Wings
  3. Tail Feathers
  4. Claps

Locomotor Steps (Switch these up if you want):

  1. Skip
  2. Slide
  3. Gallop

I start with Non Locomotor steps first making sure that I count to four as I do the steps, then proceed in explaining to kids which locomotor we will practice during what I call “The Movement Break” which is the time between each Chicken Dance.

While we are moving I give the kids a cue to freeze and get ready for the dance by saying “BEAKS UP” and then we start the next round of the dance. 

The Basic Breakdown is Below:

  • 4 rounds of the chicken dance
  • Skip in the open space
  • 4 rounds of the chicken dance
  • Slide in the open space
  • 4 rounds of the chicken dance
  • Gallop in the open space
  • 4 rounds of the chicken dance


  • Use other locomotor steps aside from the ones I used
  • Have students perform square dancing moves with a partner during the movement break
  • Create a routine around another skill like dribbling, ribbons or scarfs 

More Resources for K-2nd

The Call it Macaroni Song

Another great song for teaching locomotor and non-locomotor skills in class is a fun follow the leader called “Call it Macaroni”.  You can check out the video below for an example of this one:

*Digital version of the song or CD available for purchase here

The Hokey Pokey Dance

This is a fun variation of Hokey Pokey that I shared back in 2016 – it’s a great one to throw in when you are working on HULA HOOP TRICKS and already have hula hoops out.  It also works on reviewing Right and Left sides of the body which is good for younger students.

Locomotor License Test

At the end of 1st Grade we assess students on Locomotor Movement Skills.  For this assessment we do something called “The Locomotor License Test”.   It’s a fun way to turn an assessment into a fun challenge that ends in a reward for the students hard work, you can download the free lesson plan and Locomotor License Cards HERE.    Also, I’ve included the video below if you want to check it out: 

That’s it for today Friends – Have a Good One!

*If your a Member, you can download the E-book in the membership forums 🙂

Reader Interactions

History of the Chicken Dance Song- How did Ducks became Chickens?

You are at a party, and you hear those notes… Duhda Duhda Dadah Da…clap clap clap clap… and suddenly the dance floor is flooded with people flapping their arms and shaking their tail feathers… It’s the Chicken Dance Song! (… or is it a Duck?). Where did the Chicken Dance originate? And how is it that a song labeled “the most annoying song of all time”  in 2000 still brings smiles to so many faces? The history of the Chicken Dance dates back to the 1960s… well… actually in the beginning they called it Vogeltanz or Ententanz.   This simple little song that got its start in a Swiss Ski Resort, almost topped the charts in England and the Netherlands, before crossing the Atlantic to become an International sensation.  We can blame the “Chicken Dance” name on Tulsa Oklahoma’s Oktoberfest (but that comes later).

So let’s start at the beginning…

The Origin of the Chicken Dance Song

It all began in 1955 when Werner Thomas a Swiss accordion player who really enjoyed birdwatching, wrote a little tune based on how ducks moved when they swam around the local pond. But Werner didn’t go public with his creation until 1963, when he started playing the tune he called “the Ententanz” (Duck Dance), at a restaurant in the ski resort town of Davos. People loved the tune! And naturally, they got up to dance.

Slowly, the dance started to pick up specific moves… arms, tail… Did Thomas Werner create the moves? Or did the dancers in Davos? It’s unclear (it seems to be a joint effort). Werner says the moves reminded him of skiers at the resort. The way they flapped their arms and waddled their feet in skis.

This dance and tune might have stayed in Davos… but in 1971, Belgian music publisher Louis Julien van Rigmenant happened to go on a ski trip, and discovered gold instead. After acquiring the “Vogeltanz”, published it under the name “Tschip Tschip” with a band called Bobby Setter’s Cash & Carry … and they upgraded from simple accordion to SYNTHESIZER! Because (as you know) EVERYTHING sounds wilder on a Synthesizer…

The tune sold 1 MILLION copies in the first year!!! Tschip Tschip indeed!

A million sales in one year attracted the attention of American music publisher Stanley Mills. He had just founded his company, September Music Corp., and was working on filling the catalog. The crazy bird song appealed to him, so he brought it to  the United States, where he sold it to anyone making a Polka Album. Mills even wrote lyrics for the song!

“Hey you’re in the swing
You’re plucking like a bird
pluck pluck pluck
You’re flapping your wings
Don’t you feel absurd
pluck pluck pluck”

The words didn’t catch on.

Still, by 1980, the song was getting played at Oktoberfests and other German events in the United States. The “Vogel Tanz” or “Enten Tanz” was starting to gain traction, and developed a flock… I mean following… in Milwaukee and Cleveland (I need to check with the Freistadt Alte Kameraden…how long have they been playing this one?).


Meanwhile… back in Europe…. The bird song was about to hit big.

In 1980, a new Dutch group (I swear, it’s always the Dutch) De Electronicas released THEIR version of the song “De Vogeltjesdance” (“Dance Little Bird”) as a “B” side to their single. The “B” side, for those of you born after 1990, is the OTHER side of the single record … usually it’s filler. What was on the “A” side is lost to history… De Vogeltjesdance” shot up to #8! And stayed 29 weeks on the Dutch music charts. And from there… it was the song of summer….

Those Bird Suits…!! (I admit, I do miss variety shows)


The the Belgian group… Brussels Sound Revolution remixed to La Danse Des Canards

(Wondering if they play this at EDM shows…)

Finally 1981 version in England by The Tweets. Their “Birdie Song” hit number 2 on the British charts! (Take that Beatles fans!) The song was everywhere! Everyone was doing the Birdie Dance! (It was, however, voted as the most annoying song of all time in 2000… so clearly the love wore off).

All of Europe seemed to be doing it… so of course, the fun spread across the Atlantic. 

Across the Atlantic, things were popping too!

The Emeralds, a Polka band out of Edmonton Alberta Canada, recorded a Polka Version of the “Bird Dance” on their new K-TEL album in 1982, and it went DOUBLE PLATINUM!! This extraordinarily popular version of the song even showed up in a few movie soundtracks, including “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius“.

Where did the Chicken Dance Originate?

All along, people were calling the tune “Bird Dance”, and in Germany, it was always the “Enten Tanz” (Duck Dance)… which makes perfect sense, since ducks shake their tail feathers, and chickens just don’t. HOW did ducks turn into chickens?

This is where Tulsa, Oklahoma comes in. A German Band was scheduled to play “Dance Little Bird” at the 1981 Tulsa Oktoberfest. Someone came up with the amazing idea of having a person in a Duck Suit show off the dance moves to the crowd. Honestly, a fantastic idea. Only problem… at the time, there wasn’t a duck suit to be found in all of Tulsa. Finally, the guy tasked with the search unearthed a chicken suit at the local news station (WHY a news station had a chicken suit was never clearly explained). And since, I guess, one bird is as good as the other (or maybe everyone was just tired of looking), the chicken did the duck dance…

By 1994, the name (in the US) was officially changed to the Chicken Dance song.

In 2004, when Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe led the world’s largest gathering of chicken dancers at the  Cincinnati Oktoberfest on Vh2 (in an event that’s been called the least Metal thing that ever happened) The Chicken Dance was here to stay.

The Chicken Dance Song is Here to Stay

Love it or hate it, the Chicken Dance isn’t going anywhere. Amazingly, over 140 versions of the song have been recorded worldwide, selling 40 MILLION copies. And then there are all the German Bands who play it at Festivals. It’s played and requested so often, that the New Braunfels Wurstfest has a strict rule that bands may not play the Chicken Dance more than once an hour. (No word on whether they will be limiting “Ein Prosit”)

But why?

People who study these things say that the song hits the “sweet spot” that all music aspires to. Mainly, it’s easy to learn, catchy, and there are no words to memorize. Some of it is the social aspect. People generally love to dance, but fear of not knowing the steps keeps them in their seats. Even a small child can learn this one. Who wants to be the bore sitting in their seat when everyone else is having so much fun?

The Chicken Dance even has its own day… May 14th!

So… just in case you haven’t quite heard enough yet… here’s Bobby and the Kids teaching us the dance that’s sweeping the nation…. The Chicken Dance.

Quack Quack Quack Quack!


tags: chicken Dance Chicken Dance Song history of the Chicken Dance Where did the chicken dance originate

90,000 Israeli "chicken dance" made the world forget about the murdered Palestinians - InoTV writes the Liberation columnist. Even violating the norms of international law, Israel still looks like a real democracy in the eyes of the world community, because it follows fashion trends, the author complains.

“You know you shouldn’t watch this video, you know it will only make you feel worse, but you open it anyway” is how Libération columnist Daniel Schneiderman describes his feelings before watching “chicken dance” performed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai. As the author recalls, this year the representative of Israel won the song contest with a song allegedly inspired by the #Metoo movement (as the author emphasizes, the only phrase in the song that can be understood and considered “political” is I’m not your toy/ You stupid boy* ).

Having received the first prize at Eurovision, Barzilai “rejoiced” for her country, because this victory was supposed to positively affect the image of Israel, make the world see it “as it is” , reminds author. The singer even received a reception from the Israeli Prime Minister on May 17 - three days after the Israeli army shot about 60 Gaza residents and wounded about two thousand more, the observer recalls. A few days earlier, hundreds of Israelis stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, some also dancing " chicken dance .

The song Toy and its performer, according to the author of the article, were called upon to convey to the world the message that Israel is a progressive country where people know about the phenomenon # MeToo , are not afraid of non-standard solutions and combat discrimination against overweight people. “So what if the country refuses to conduct an international investigation into the killings in Gaza, so what if it violates UN Security Council resolutions, it is still a democracy, the most real, with open debate. Proof of? # MeToo . And also Barzilai " ," the journalist ironically says.

“Have you ever seen angry Hamas lunatics do the chicken dance? And what about the people of Gaza, rushing to the border fences: have you seen them dance such a dance? Yes, they are simply behind the times! Ko-ko! - Libération columnist continues to grin caustically.

Netta's victory was able to overshadow even the scene of the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem with Ivanka Trump in a pure white suit, which was originally supposed to be evidence of an Israeli triumph, the author notes. If Ivanka Trump can be made into a "legitimate target" by superimposing her photo on the images of the murdered Palestinians, as the New York Daily News did, then Netta is "invulnerable" , says Schneiderman.

“This is what is called “soft power” ,” the journalist explains. How can the world community consider Israel "inhuman" if its prime minister is dancing "chicken dance" if its country is represented by "anti-top model" if Israel is so "fashionable, festive and even slightly clown" , the author asks a rhetorical question. Even if the Israelis had exemplary media, the average TV viewer would still change the channel covering the events in Gaza in order to see Netta Barzilai returning from Eurovision, the journalist is sure.

As the author notes, some countries use all means to develop soft power tools. The United States has built an entire film industry for this purpose, Russia spends huge amounts of money on creating websites and TV channels, but Israel managed to make it "in one fell swoop" - with the help of a singer and an orchestra, Schneiderman sums up.

* I am not your toy / You are a stupid boy

Dance of chicken feathers, or How real Korean knights take revenge

It is not known for certain who the wandering sword-wielding warrior from the Odaesan Mountains was.
During the reign of the sovereign Yongjo (- ruled 1725 - 1776. - germiones_muzh.) in Seoul lived a man whose name was teacher So, fond of geomancy (- pungsu chiri - the same as Chinese feng shui. - germiones_muzh.). One day, Master So went to the Odaesan Mountains, climbed to the highest peak, and saw in the distance a ridge shaped like a dragon, in which extraordinary energy was concentrated. And he wanted to take a closer look at this amazing place.
He crossed a stream, overcame a pass, passed several Korean versts (- "Korean verst" - li = 392.7 m. - germiones_muzh.) and, as soon as he found himself in the forest, the sun began to set. No matter how he looked around, he could not find a human dwelling. Very worried, he began to make his way through the thorny bushes and, in the end, found his way. However, the sky was darkening, and it was impossible to distinguish at least something around. It became completely frightening, and he did not know what to do, when suddenly a distant light flashed between the leaves of the trees. Master So crouched down and cautiously made his way towards the light.
At the edge of the forest stood a simple village house covered with thatch. Master So knocked on the door, and a young man came out, surprised and asked:
– There are a lot of tigers and leopards here. And how did you get here?
Master So told about how he came here, and the young man said with a joyful expression:
“You are lucky that you were able to reach this place. In the mountains full of predatory animals, the only human dwelling is ours.
The young man immediately led the guest into the main room and said to another person in the house:
- Quickly prepare a table with treats to satisfy the hunger of our guest.
By age, the young man looked about thirty years old. He was graceful in appearance, full of harmonious energy, and there was nothing provincial about him, just like Master Seo's appearance. The bookshelves in the room were filled to the brim with books, and there was not a speck of dust on the walls. Master Seo asked the young man what his last name was, to which he replied:
“Let's talk about everything later without rushing.
Some time after dinner was over, the young man started talking to the guest. He asked him about what he saw in the mountains, and about how the geomancy of mountains and waters is interpreted in Korea. He kept himself at the same time sincerely and good-naturedly.
So it was ten o'clock in the evening.
- You must be tired, and it would be better for you to go to bed early. And I still have things to do, so I'll go to bed later, - said the young man and put the guest into his bed. He himself, turning his back to the guest, hung up an oil lamp and began to read the book aloud in a sonorous, pleasant voice.
Master So fell into a deep sleep, but suddenly yawned and suddenly woke up. Without getting out of bed, he began to glance imperceptibly towards the young man, who continued to sit motionless, maintaining his previous posture. At this time, a sound like the soft rustle of falling leaves came from outside.
The young man who was in the room asked in a low voice:
– Have you come?
A voice from outside answered:
- Came.
The one who was outside opened the door, and was about to enter, when he suddenly stopped and asked, pointing to the guest:
– What kind of person is lying there?
- Just someone who got lost in the mountains.
Having said this, the young man gently shook the guest by the shoulder and asked several times:
– Are you asleep? Sleep?
Doubts crept into Master Seo's head. He deliberately did not answer and, snoring loudly, pretended to be asleep.
- I fell into a deep sleep!
Hearing this, the person standing at the entrance stepped over the threshold of the house. Master So opened his eyes and surreptitiously observed. He saw that a young man of tall stature, a dashing appearance and a strong physique, was located in the shade of the lamp. The new young man said:
- Let's go!
Then the owner of the house got up, went into the inner chambers, took out a box for clothes and opened the lid. Inside were two sharp swords and something wrapped in cloth. The two undressed and put on clothes wrapped in cloth. One suit was blue, the other was yellow. Master Seo was very surprised and frightened, and even more cringed like a dead man. Two, having changed clothes, went outside and went in an unknown direction.
Master Seo quietly stood up and started looking at the books on the shelf. Since there were many books on the art of swordsmanship, it became clear that the young man was a wandering swordsman warrior. Master Seo tried to sleep again, but only tossed and turned from side to side, but sleep did not come.
Dawn was approaching. It seemed that a soft sound came from outside, but it turned out that two young men were already sitting on the floor in the room. Master So began to quietly peep and saw that the two, throwing swords on the floor, changed clothes, and then, smiling, took each other's hands. Joy filled their faces. Then suddenly the expression on their faces became sad, tears rolled down from their eyes, and for some time they sat in silence. Then the second young man said: "Well, that's it, I'm leaving," and, abruptly rising from his seat, left the house.
The young man neatly folded his clothes, put them away, and called out to Master So:
“Get up, get up!” There is nothing strange here and nothing to be afraid of. Why pretend to be asleep?
Master So then carefully got out of bed and sat down on the floor. He said he wanted to know what was going on here, from beginning to end. Then the young man immediately said:
“The one who came here is my friend from Samsu in the Kapsang Mountains in the northern province of Hamgyong. In general, I, my friend and another friend - all of us together comprehended the skill of wielding a sword from one teacher. But it so happened that our third friend was innocently killed. And although the two of us swore to avenge our friend, more than ten years passed and the opportunity never presented itself. Only now we have killed the enemy.
– But with skill like yours, why wait more than ten years?
- It's not that simple. No skill can overcome the will of Heaven. Even the celestial himself can prove himself only by borrowing strength from Heaven. Is there a way to take revenge on the enemy until it is the will of Heaven? Tonight, at the appointed hour, the time of Evil Destiny came for that person. It was excruciatingly difficult to wait until that time came.
- And when you kill, do you break your back or cut your throat?
- We don't do that. Only those who do not master the art of the sword do this. The one who masters the art of the sword, killing, necessarily turns into a whirlwind and penetrates the body of the enemy through nine holes, finely chop every bone inside - from the cervical vertebra to the heels, cuts all the internal organs.
At the same time, the external appearance - neither a piece of skin, nor a hair - is not damaged. Inside, everything is crushed, and only then the deed is considered done.
- Who is your enemy, and where did he live?
- This is such and such a rich man from such and such a place in the southeastern district of Yeongnam.
Master Seo did his best to memorize the person's name and estimated the distance to where the rich man lived. The way there and back was about a thousand Korean miles. Then Master So asked:
“Why did you first laugh and then cry?”
- At first, we could not help but rejoice that we were able to completely get rid of a mortal enemy.
But then we remembered the dead friend, and we could not restrain our sad feelings.
Master Seo then shrunk and asked, overwhelmed with fear:
“I have heard that there is every wonderful art of swordsmanship in the world, but I have never had a chance to see it. Now, fortunately, I met you, and if you could demonstrate it, the most cherished dream of my life would come true.
The young man answered with a laugh:
– Will I be able to please the guest so unexpectedly by showing my very modest skills?
After thinking for a while, the young man got up, went back to the inner chambers, took out a small box and opened the lid. The box was filled to the brim with chicken feathers.
The young man swung his sword, and the feather tufts swirled and scattered around. For a moment, the young man completely disappeared from sight. All that was visible was a white ball of energy, stretching out into a whirlwind and circling around the room. Chicken feathers danced around the room, settling in disorder on the walls. The green light of the oil lamp rose and fell in time with their soaring. Cold light and chilling air seemed to pierce the guest to the roots of his hair. Master Seo was shaking in fear and couldn't sit still. After a while, the sound of a falling sword was heard. The young man threw the sword on the floor and, laughing, said:
- Well, I showed you my awkward skill. Have you seen enough now?
Master So, whose eyes widened like a madman, was unable to utter a word. Only after some time he came to his senses and saw that thousands of chicken feathers lying on the floor had all been cut. Master So hurried over to the young man and hugged him. The young man said:
- I was joking like that.
The young man swept the floor, carefully collecting the feathers, and then sat down next to Master So. As soon as Master So said that he no longer wanted to study geomancy, but wanted to follow the young man to learn the art of swordsmanship, he replied:
- This is not something anyone can learn. Judging by the shape of your face, which reflects the character of a person, you do not have such abilities. Therefore, even if you study, you still cannot succeed.
The next day after the guest and the host had eaten together, the young man told Master So about the way back and said goodbye:
– Never tell anyone about what you saw last night. If you tell me, I will immediately know about it even at a distance of a thousand Korean miles.
Master So promised to keep his word and set off, but he did not go home, but rushed to such and such a village in Yeongnam district, in southeast Korea.
When he got there, he asked if a rich man with such and such a surname lives here.

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