Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Faithful Journeys: A Program about Pilgrimages of Faith in Action for Grades 2-3

Activity 5: Alunelul, a Romanian Dance

Activity time: 11 minutes

Preparation for Activity

  • Identify an open area large enough for the group to stand and move together in a circle.
  • Listen to the tune "Alunelul." Hear it online with lyrics or without.
  • Prepare a CD, tape, or MP3 file with the music. You can get "Alunelul" as a download from iTunes as recorded by Bobby Morganstein or by Patxi eta Batbiru. Or, if you prefer, learn the tune so you can teach it to the children. The tune is fairly straightforward and can be sung on "da da da," "bum bum bum," or a similar nonsense syllable. If the group sings the tune rather than using recorded music, you have the opportunity to gradually increase the speed of the dance, which is a traditional and fun way to do it. Another option is to invite a member of your congregation who plays fiddle, flute, piano or accordion to learn the tune and play for you.
  • Watch a video of the dance being done. Practice the dance with the music, to understand how the movement and the music pair up.

  • Print out and review Leader Resource 1, Alunelul Dance. Familiarize yourself with the dance steps so you are able to teach it without referring to the paper.

Description of Activity

Explain to the group that we are going to celebrate world community today by enjoying some activities that children do in different places in the world that have partner churches connected to our Unitarian Universalist congregations in the U.S. Say:

The song "Alunelul" has a traditional dance from Romania. Transylvania is now a region in modern Romania. It is a region where Unitarian Universalism has a long history and a connection with churches there today.

If you will teach the children to sing the tune, play or sing it first and then teach them to sing it.

Then, teach the dance steps. The dance is traditionally done several times over, increasing in speed each time.

Lead the group to dance for the time remaining.

Including All Participants

Invite children with limited mobility to control the music or to dance on the inside of the circle so they will be safe.