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Dance is both a physical activity and a mode of artistic expression in which ideas are expressed and shared. It is an art form in which the dancer is the instrument and movement is the medium. As students cultivate and refine dance skills and techniques, they develop both verbal and non-verbal communication through which they can create, present, appreciate, respond, and connect to the world around them. Creative movement and dance is developed through purposeful engagement with the elements of dance, choreographic forms, devices, and principles. Through creative processes, students learn that individual and collaborative dance fosters the expression of ideas, feelings, and experiences. Cultural literacy in dance is gained through the exploration of historical and contemporary dance forms and traditions.
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Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements and Principles: Dance literacy is developed through knowledge and application of foundational elements and principles.
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of the body contribute to dance?
Guiding Question
What is the connection between body and movement?
Guiding Question
How can awareness of body and movement contribute to dance?
Learning Outcome
Children explore how the body relates to movement.
Learning Outcome
Students examine how the body can influence movement in dance.
Learning Outcome
Students examine the capabilities of body and movement through dance.
Knowledge
Body, as an element of dance, includes
  • body parts
  • relationships to space, people, and objects
  • balance
Body parts can move in isolation or as a whole.

Shapes can be created with the body by adjusting
  • levels, including high and low
  • size, including small and big
  • position of body parts
A body can move in personal space (self space) or in shared space (general space).
Understanding
Body is an element of dance.
Skills & Procedures
Use dance vocabulary related to movement of different levels and sizes.

Experiment with different ways to balance the body.

Experiment with how the body can create shapes.

Experiment with moving the body in relation to space, people, and objects.

Experiment with movement in personal and shared spaces.

Demonstrate that body parts can move in isolation or as a whole.
Knowledge
The way the body moves varies among all people.

Body, as an element of dance, includes
  • body parts
  • relationships to space, people, and objects
  • balance
Different body parts can be used to balance the body.

Safe dance practices for the body can include
  • warm-up and cool-down activities
  • moving through general space with an awareness for self and others
Understanding
The body is unique to each individual.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with moving the body in relation to space, people, and objects.

Participate in a variety of dance activities to warm up and cool down the body.

Identify ways to safely use various body parts as a base for balancing.

Use different body parts and body sections when responding through movement.

Reflect on the strengths of one’s own body movements.
Knowledge
Planning movements ahead of time helps the body move intentionally.

A dancer can learn to intentionally start and stop body movements by
  • counting beats aloud or internally
  • following music or other auditory cues
Various stimuli, including images or text, can be used to direct or inspire intentional movement.
Understanding
The body moves intentionally in dance.
Skills & Procedures
Create a movement phrase within a set number of beats.

Demonstrate how to maintain a steady beat through a movement phrase.

Plan and practise a movement phrase before sharing it with an audience.

Respond with movement to various kinds of stimuli.

Use counting as a way to direct when movements should begin and end.
Knowledge
The body can move using various pathways, including
  • zigzag, curved, and straight
  • directions
  • levels
  • speeds
The body can move to a steady beat.

The body can travel from one place to another (locomotor).

The body can move in personal space and not travel (non-locomotor).
Understanding
A body can be moving or still.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with how the body can move with various directions, pathways, levels, and speeds.

Demonstrate locomotor and non-locomotor movements.

Practise moving the body to a steady beat.

Describe movements of self and others.
Knowledge
Balanced movements can be performed individually or with others.

Objects or props can aid balanced movements.

Balancing the body may be required to create a shape in stillness.
Understanding
Balance of the body in dance is important for safety and creative movement.
Skills & Procedures
Explore movements that would require balance.

Use people, props, or objects to support balanced movements.
Knowledge
Strength, flexibility, and safety are promoted through warm-ups, cool-downs, and awareness of the body.
Understanding
Dance requires an awareness of physical safety when moving individually and with others.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in warm-up and cool-down activities for the body.

Discuss how to solve problems or challenges related to moving safely within general space.
Knowledge
Moving safely in dance requires awareness of
  • personal space
  • self in relation to other dancers
Safe practices for the body include warm-ups and cool-downs.
Understanding
Body control is important for safety.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in body warm-ups and cool-downs.

Demonstrate how to move safely within a dance space.
Knowledge
Bodies can create shapes while moving or still.

Formations for a dance can incorporate many bodies to create shapes, including circles and lines.

Shapes can be created with the body by adjusting
  • levels, including high and low
  • size, including small and big
  • position of body parts
Understanding
Shapes can be created with the body, individually or with others.
Skills & Procedures
Observe how the body can form shapes when moving or still.

Create shapes while still or moving.

Create body shapes individually and with others.

Experience how to create and sustain circle and line formations when dancing in a group.

Investigate how changing the size, level, or position of the body can create shapes.
Knowledge
Symmetrical body shapes are created through body positions.

Maintaining symmetrical formations when dancing in circles and lines requires awareness of other dancers.

The body can create shapes individually, with others, or with objects to reflect various positions (prepositions).
Understanding
Movement can be used to create symmetrical body shapes.
Skills & Procedures
Create symmetrical body shapes independently and with others.

Sustain dance formations while moving in groups.
Knowledge
Movement can occur in personal space (self space) or in shared space (general space).

The body can travel from one place to another (locomotor).

The body can move in personal space and not travel (non-locomotor).

Movement can occur to a steady beat.

Counting beats aloud can help direct when a movement should begin and end.

Movement speed can be fast or slow.

The body can move using various pathways, including
  • zigzag, curved, and straight
  • direction
  • levels
  • sizes
Understanding
Movement can be performed individually or in groups.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between self space and general space.

Respond to vocabulary related to movement.

Explore locomotor and non-locomotor movements.

Investigate the various ways in which the body can move.

Recognize and demonstrate how to move to a steady beat.

Reproduce movements of others as a way to develop movement skills in dance.
Knowledge
Intentional movement of the body can communicate ideas.

The meaning of a movement or dance can be enhanced by incorporating
  • props
  • music
  • facial expressions
  • costumes
Locomotor and non-locomotor movements can communicate meaning.

Narrative is a choreographic form that uses story to give meaning to movements.
Understanding
Movement conveys meaning in dance.
Skills & Procedures
Create movement phrases that express feelings or ideas.

Describe how movements can convey meaning.

Reflect on artistic choices in communicating an intended meaning.
Knowledge
Movement can communicate thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

Dancers can choose how to move the body in order to communicate an idea.

Movements can include facial expressions, posture, and gestures.

Music and props can inspire movement.

Movements can convey the actions of animals, people, and the environment.
Understanding
Movement is used to communicate and express oneself through dance.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how certain movements can communicate feelings.

Share thoughts and feelings about the movement ideas of oneself and others.

Identify various ways to represent animals, people, or the environment through movement.

Respond with movement to music and props.
Knowledge
Practise or experience can influence an individual’s capabilities in dance.

Exploring various ways the body can move can reveal new skills and discoveries.

Creative risks can include trying new and unfamiliar movements.
Understanding
Movement in dance can improve through practice, exploration, and experience.
Skills & Procedures
Build movement fluency and skills through exploration and experience.

Take creative risks when exploring movement and dance.

Observe live or recorded dance performances as an inspiration for talking about and experiencing dance.
Knowledge
Movement phrases can be performed within a certain number of beats.

Counting beats aloud or internally can help direct when a movement should begin and end.

Movement phrases can be short or long.
Understanding
Movements can be combined to create phrases in dance.
Skills & Procedures
Combine individual movements into long and short phrases.

Practise counting beats when executing movements.

Recognize how many beats a movement phrase can last.
Organizing Idea
Creating and presenting: Ideas can be represented through movement and dance that draw upon foundational knowledge.
Guiding Question
How is an idea in dance created?
Guiding Question
How can idea be expressed in dance?
Guiding Question
How can a message be represented through movement?
Learning Outcome
Children explore and present ideas through movement.
Learning Outcome
Students construct ideas through the exploration of movement patterns.
Learning Outcome
Students experiment with how message can be expressed in and through dance.
Knowledge
An idea in dance can be created and presented individually or in groups.

An idea in dance is developed through the movement of body through personal space or shared space.

An idea in dance can be created and presented using
  • body shapes of different sizes, levels, and positions
  • locomotor and non-locomotor movements
  • various body parts moving individually or together at the same time
  • pathways, levels, speed, and directions
  • music
  • props
  • costumes
Participating as an audience member or a dancer includes expectations or rules (artistic protocols and etiquette).

An idea in dance can be presented to a small audience or a large audience.

Observing and participating in a variety of dances can help develop movement ideas, including
  • folk dance
  • circle dance
  • line dance
Understanding
Communicating an idea in dance involves creating and presenting.

An idea in dance can communicate feelings and preferences.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with various ways to express ideas through movement.

Create movement individually or in groups.

Share interests, feelings, and preferences related to movement and dance.

Collaborate with others in the creation and presentation of a dance idea.

Participate as a performer and an audience member in a variety of dance experiences.

Recognize how to follow expectations or rules when participating as an audience member and a performer.
Knowledge
Phrases in dance can be created by combining movements.

Dance ideas can be expressed using
  • body shapes of different sizes, levels, and positions
  • locomotor and non-locomotor movements
  • stillness and balance
  • various body parts moving individually or together at the same time
  • pathways, levels, speed, force, and direction
  • music
  • props
  • costumes
Inspiration for a dance idea can come from
  • other dancers and dances
  • stories
  • artworks and images
  • imagination
  • the environment
  • props
  • music or sounds
  • costumes
Artistic choices can help clarify an idea in dance and can be related to how and where the body moves.
Understanding
An idea in dance can be expressed through movement.

A dancer is an individual who can create, appreciate, and perform dance.
Skills & Procedures
Respond to a variety of inspirations when generating an idea for dance.

Demonstrate how an idea can be expressed by creating shapes with the body.

Experiment with the degree of control needed for balanced movements.

Create movement phrases to express an idea.

Experiment with artistic choices when representing ideas through movement.
Knowledge
Verbal communication of a message can be expressed through lyrics or vocal sounds.

Non-verbal communication of a message can be communicated through the body and movement, including
  • body language, gestures, and facial expressions
  • locomotor and non-locomotor movements
  • body shapes, sizes, and levels
  • use of stillness and balance
  • pathways and directions
  • weight and energy
  • body positioning, including proximity
Feelings can be represented through a dancer’s movements.

Non-verbal communication requires an awareness of moving the body safely through personal and shared spaces.
Understanding
A message can be communicated verbally and non-verbally through dance.

A message conveyed through movement and dance can communicate feelings and experiences.
Skills & Procedures
Investigate how a message can be communicated non-verbally through movement.

Create movement phrases to convey a message.

Explore the use of movements in communicating an intended message.

Represent mood or feelings through movement.
Knowledge
Inspiration for a dance idea can come from
  • other dancers
  • stories
  • artworks or images
  • imagination
  • the environment
  • music
Movement ideas can be learned by following and mirroring others.

Shadowing is imitating and following the movements of another dancer from behind.

Mirroring is imitating and following the movements of another dancer by facing each other.

Ideas that are shared within a safe learning environment can foster collaboration and cooperation.
Understanding
An artistic idea in dance can be unique, shared, or borrowed.

Experiences with dance can generate ideas for creating movement.
Skills & Procedures
Practise sharing and accepting ideas in the creation and presentation of movement and dance.

Experiment with movement ideas using techniques, including mirroring and shadowing.

Create movement ideas in response to a variety of inspirations.
Knowledge
Ideas in dance can reflect feelings, interests, and preferences.

Brainstorming is the process of generating ideas.

Collaboration is required to share dance spaces and to perform dances in groups.

Observing and participating in a variety of dances, including folk dance, circle dance, and line dance, can help develop movement ideas.

Movement ideas can be learned by following and mirroring others.

Shadowing is imitating and following the movements of another dancer from behind.

Mirroring is imitating and following the movements of another dancer by facing each other.

Participating as an audience member or a dancer includes expectations or rules (artistic protocols and etiquette).

An idea in dance can be presented to a small or large audience.
Understanding
An idea in dance can come from brainstorming and collaboration.
Skills & Procedures
Collaborate with others when generating and representing movement ideas.

Explore personal space and shared space needed for small- and large-group dance experiences.

Participate as an audience member and a performer in a variety of dance experiences.

Recognize how to follow expectations or rules when participating as an audience member and a performer.
Knowledge
A message in dance can be generated, sent, received, and interpreted.

Performances can be informal events, including dance classes.

Performances can be formal events, including dance concerts or productions.

Structure in a dance can help an audience know when the dance begins and ends.

Choreographic forms, including narrative, can be used to structure communication of a message.

Practising dance movements before performing for an audience can help clarify roles and refine skills and movement.

Expectations for participating in dance, known as artistic protocols and etiquette, can change depending on the context in which the dance is experienced.

Understanding
The sharing of a message involves the dancer and the audience

Audience members can feel differently about a dance presentation.
Skills & Procedures
Create movement that incorporates a clear beginning and end.

Rehearse dances before performing for an audience.

Analyze how movement communicates messages.

Participate as an audience member and a performer in a variety of dance experiences.

Demonstrate an understanding of artistic protocols and etiquette within dance experiences.
Knowledge
Practice can help create a clear beginning and ending to a dance or movement phrase.

Practising dance skills and movements can involve repetition.
Understanding
Developing an idea in dance may take practice.

Problems or challenges related to practising dance can be solved by asking for help.

Skills & Procedures
Extend movement skills to include clear beginnings and endings.

Identify ways to solve movement problems or challenges.

Rehearse dance ideas before performing for an audience.
Knowledge
Creative processes can help develop a message and can include
  • practice
  • generating an idea
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • reflection
Generating an idea may involve creative thinking and problem solving.
Understanding
Development of a message in dance can involve creative processes.

Messages can be clearly communicated when movements are combined with a purpose.
Skills & Procedures
Apply creative processes when creating movement.

Discuss how the purposeful use of movement can strengthen communication of a message.

Reflect on personal strengths and areas for growth as a dancer.
Organizing Idea
Appreciation: Recognizing beauty, goodness, and truth in dance can be developed by understanding the complexity and richness of great works of dance, the artists who create and perform them, and the historical and cultural contexts from which they originate.
Guiding Question
What is the function of dance in local communities?
Guiding Question
What function did dance serve in ancient China, ancient Egypt, and prehistoric times?
Guiding Question
How might cultures from the past and present contribute to an appreciation of dance?
Learning Outcome
Children examine the function of dance in the lives of individuals.
Learning Outcome
Students investigate the function of dance in ancient times and present day.
Learning Outcome
Students investigate culture in relation to dance from ancient Greece and present day.

Students examine culture through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit dance.
Knowledge
People participate in dance for a variety of reasons, including
  • to celebrate life events
  • to be creative
  • to be entertained
  • cultural expression
The function of dance can be to invent new ways of expressing oneself.
Understanding
Dance can have a specific function in the lives of individuals.
Skills & Procedures
Share personal experiences with dance.

Describe where dance can be experienced.
Knowledge
From ancient times to present, dance communicates ways of life, including
  • spiritual and religious beliefs
  • ways of war
  • healing
  • culture
Understanding
Dance can have a specific function in a community.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss where dance can be experienced in a community.

Share a personal experience with dance.
Knowledge
Experiences with dance can include learning about dances from the past and the people who created and performed them.

Ancient Greeks valued dance and believed that it was the most beautiful part of life.

Ancient Greek dance was inspired by gods and goddesses.

The god Dionysus valued fast and lively dance, whereas the god Apollo valued slow and ceremonial dance.

The formations and pathways of dances in ancient Greece included the circle, line, and serpentine.

Circle dances, known as ring dances, were commonly performed in ancient Greece, with dancers holding hands as they danced around a musician.

Singing was an important part of dance in ancient Greece and is still used in dance performances today.
Understanding
Culture is what people do and a way of thinking.

Dances from various times and places can be representative of a culture.
Skills & Procedures
Demonstrate movement that reflects slow and energetic styles as related to ancient Greek gods.

Participate in dances using formations used in ancient Greek dance.

Examine ancient Greek dance as an inspiration for talking about and creating dance.
Knowledge
Dance is depicted in ancient carvings and other records, including
  • India, 9000 years ago
  • Egypt, 6000 years ago
  • China, 3000 years ago
The function of a dance communicates a particular style.

The Chinese Dragon Dance is used during festivals and celebrations as a way to welcome good luck to a community.

The purpose of tumbling and acrobatics in ancient Chinese dance was to reflect military training of warriors.

Ancient Egyptians loved music and dance, and used them for entertainment and celebrations.

Dance formations in prehistoric times and ancient Egypt included
  • circle
  • line
  • procession
  • serpentine
Egyptian dances performed in circles helped dancers move in unison and to the same beat.
Understanding
Ancient societies used dance for a variety of functions.

Knowledge about people who lived a long time ago can be learned through dance.
Skills & Procedures
Explore movement using Egyptian formations.

Observe various styles of dance as an inspiration for talking about and creating dance.
Knowledge
First Nations powwow dances can be performed to honor and demonstrate a connection to land.

Inuit drum dances are cultural practices that are practised for a variety of reasons.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit dance is holistic in nature and can have individual and collective benefits, including
  • social well-being
  • physical health
  • spiritual connection
  • emotional and mental well-being
  • intellectual development
Métis jigging reflects cultural styles related to French-Canadian and Scottish dance.
Understanding
Culture can be revealed through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit dances.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit dances can establish a sense of community and well-being among participants.
Skills & Procedures
Observe a variety of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit dances as an inspiration for talking about dance.

Observe a variety of Métis jigs and compare the movements to French-Canadian and Scottish dances.

Discuss how dance experiences can benefit individuals or communities.