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Dance Maths
April 22, 2012

Dancing and Maths may not seem like an obvious combination, perhaps because dancing is generally considered to be good fun. This idea came about as part of an open evening which was Disco themed but it has now become a regular activity in my lessons.

The idea centres around the fact that lots of maths questions have an answer between 1 and 99. To start you will need a class set of ‘dance mats’, I made mine using some non-slip fabric meant for swimming baths and some spray paint, alternatively you could use sugar paper and sticky-back plastic.

Each student is given a mat, you then flash questions up on the IWB, students left leg represents the tens and their right leg the units. They have to move so that their feet match the answer to the question e.g. if the answer were 52 they would have their left leg on ‘5’ and their right leg on ‘2’. The next question then appears and they jump to the next answer. Along with some music and a bit of momentum you get students dancing along to BIDMAS, volume, solving equations or any topic you can think of! See our bundle of dance mat maths in our tpt shop or tes store for some ready made activities that you can use with your Dance Math Mats.

My students really enjoy this of any ability and it really helps to engage the kinaesthetic learners, you may have a few students who initially don’t want to join in (until they see how much fun it is!) in which case I let them answer on mini-whiteboards instead.

If you try this out we would love to hear from you, tweet us  @numberloving or email at  and check out our free and premium resources in our TES NumberLoving Store.

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Sharon Derbyshire




  1. Rachel Morgan (@RachelMorgan13)

    This looks fantastic! I want to try it out, I’m just thinking of all the effort I have to go to to make the mats!

    • Laura Rees-Hughes

      That’s true, but it’s well worth it once you’ve made them. You could get the whole department involved, we set up a production line one afternoon and then it was done! Some cutting out the numbers, some sticking them down and then someone putting sticky-back plastic over each one.

        • Sharon Derbyshire

          The mats that I’ve made are approximately 60cm by 80cm but you can make them as big or as small as you want!

    • jenny sinclair (@Jennykbs)

      Have you got a ‘tech’ centre at your school? This would be an ideal project for the older children to complete and then donate them to your class. The mats could be sown out of material with the numbers stitched on. I’m thinking of asking our Tech team if that could be a possibility.

      • Sharon Derbyshire

        Hi Rachel
        It works really well with older pupils too, for example what’s the simplified indices! Great idea to get another department involved. I used non-slip material as the first set did move around a lot!!!
        Best wishes

    • Sharon Derbyshire

      Hi Rebecca
      I made my dance mats from some non-slip material from ikea. It is sold in rolls grey or clear and is designed for the bottom of kitchen drawers etc!
      Hope this answers your question?



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