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The Dance Project


  • Project TitleThe Dance Project
  •  /project296_054/the-dance-project.jpg/project296_054/dance-2.jpg
  • ThemeDance
  • Submitted ByStacey Funston
  • OrganizationCHOICES After-School Program at Peck
  • Brief DescriptionStudents will learn dance technique, choreography, and improvisation through a variety of dance styles. Each dance style will be explained with cultural background and history. Over the course of the program the students will help come up with movement for a dance that will be performed in a final showing.
  • Materials / ResourcesWritten information on history of various dance styles, video clips of dance styles, dice, blank world map, notebook for each student.
  • Team membersPrimary dance teacher, guest dance teachers to teach different styles.
  • Pre-requisite knowledgetechniques of various dance styles.
  • Technical support neededDVD player

Key Questions

  • Key QuestionsWhat can we learn about different cultures through dance? How can we express our own culture and identity through dance? What can dance teach us about respect, team work, and dedication? What are the basic principles of choreography?
  • Connections: How or why was this topic identified? Why is it meaningful?While many students in the program enjoy dancing, the Dance Project uses dance to get at deeper concepts of respect and understanding of different cultures and people.
  • Background Research: What resources were used to find background information for this project?The program draws on established standards for arts education from the National Standards for Dance Education and the Blueprint for the Arts. The instructor also drew on materials from an internship with San Francisco Ballet`s Center for Dance Education Dance Camp. Additional readings, see attached.

    View/Download File: /project296_054/Independent Study Bibliography.pdf

  • Outcomes: What was the outcome? How was it shared or applied in the community?Students reflected on the program in personal journals, expressing their enjoyment of the program. One student wrote about the end performance,

Units / Activities

Instructional Techniques

  • Personal JournalsEach class students reflected on what they learned in journals, including responding to 3 to 4 summary questions about topics covered that day.
  • Handouts on dance style of the week.Students read aloud together information sheets about the dance style they were learning that week and answered questions about the reading. These handouts were then added to their personal journals.
  • Group discussions of videos of DanceStudents viewed professional level dancers of the specific style before trying the style themselves, and reflected on the video with group discussion.
  • Peer critiquesStudents would watch others perform and learn to give constructive feedback about their work.

Assessment Techniques

  • Summary questions in personal journalsAt the end of class, students responded to summary questions in their journals about the key topics covered. The instructor would then review these answers after class to assess student understanding.
  • Observation of student participation in activities.The instructor would challenge students to take risks in choreographing, dancing, and speaking aloud during class activities. The instructor took notes on students participation after each class in order to assess student progression in these areas throughout the program.

Frameworks / Skills

  • 21st Century
    Creativity and Innovation Skills
    Demonstrating originality and inventiveness in work. Developing, implementing and communicating new ideas to others. Being open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives Acting on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the domain in which the innovation occurs.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
    Exercising sound reasoning in understanding. Making complex choices and decisions. Understanding the interconnections among systems. Identifying and asking significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions. Framing, analyzing and synthesizing information in order to solve problems and answer questions.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Communication and Collaboration Skills
    Articulating thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively through speaking and writing. Demonstrating ability to work effectively with diverse teams. Exercising flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal. Assuming shared responsibility for collaborative work.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Initiative and Self-Direction
    Manage goals and time; Work independently; Be self-directed learners. Go beyond basic mastery of skills and/or curriculum to explore and expand one’s own learning and opportunities to gain expertise.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Social and Cross-Cultural Skills
    Working appropriately and productively with others. Leveraging the collective intelligence of groups when appropriate. Bridging cultural differences and using differing perspectives to increase innovation and the quality of work.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Productivity and Accountability
    Setting and meeting high standards and goals for delivering quality work on time. Demonstrating diligence and a positive work ethic (e.g., being punctual and reliable).
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Leadership and Responsibility
    Using interpersonal and problem-solving skills to influence and guide others toward a goal. Leveraging strengths of others to accomplish a common goal. Demonstrating integrity and ethical behavior. Acting responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind.
    (21st Century)

Tags = arts | cultural-exchange | dance | culture | Subject = ELA, Mathematics, History, Arts, Physical_Education_and_Health | Grade Level = MS | Time Period = School Year | Program/Funding = | 647 |
Direct website link to this project: