The Dancing Numbers Game

The Dancing Numbers Game or Mezzin' Around in the Classroom

This game has been designed by Eva Navarro to boost the morale in the classroom. It has been published as: E.M. Navarro-López, “The Dancing Numbers Game (Mezzin’ Around in the Classroom)”, chapter of the e-book Wellness Activities for your Students, chapter 42, IE Global Counselors Academy, IE University, 2020. 

The “Dancing Numbers Game” affirms the joy of music, dancing, mathematics and computing. This game is dedicated to the mysterious prime numbers. Our game consists of two parts: 1) the “Mezzin' around warming up”, and 2) the “Prime-odd-even number grand finale”. The second part requires a bit more concentration than the first one. Both parts can be done separately.

Dancing numbers are inspired by the song "I'se A-Muggin" from the 1936 LP “Mezzin' Around” by Mezz Mezzrow. The year 1936 is especially important in the history of computer science. In 1936, Alan Turing defined one of the pillars of computing  (do you know what it is?). 

Before starting the game, it would be ideal to play the song “I'se A-Muggin'”. If this song is not available, any groovy music (preferably swing of the 1920s and 1930s) would be a great boost of morale. Indeed, music could be played as background during the duration of the game.

Ready to start?


1) First part: the mezzin' around warming up. We count from 1 up to 70, and say the number. Some numbers will be substituted by the following words:


2) Second part: the prime-odd-even number grand finale. Now, we are ready for a more complicated pattern. We will start counting from 1 up to 50. You will count up to infinity, when you become an expert. You will say the number and make the following movements and sounds:

You can make variations of this game to understand in a fun way the concept of other types of series of numbers (for example, Fibonacci numbers). It is better that you do not read any template while you are performing and having fun, since this game encourages reasoning about numbers, not just repeating patterns with your body. However, below there is a visual description of what you would be doing while counting up to 30 in both parts of this game. You can put it on the wall if you feel unsure at the beginning.

Let's count and have fun!

Would you like to learn in my classes?