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Fine Arts - Dance Curriculum
Dance - 4th Grade
Course Preface Course Preface
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Core Standards of the Course


Standard 1
The student will identify and safely demonstrate knowledge of the body and movement skills in performing dance.

Objective 1
Participate safely and regularly in warm-up activities followed by strengthening, endurance, and flexibility exercises.

  1. Recognize and avoid hazards in the environment; e.g., cold or hot rooms, slippery floors, dancing on concrete or tile.
  2. Recognize and implement safe dance practices.
    Strategy Example:
    Drink water, warm up the body before stretching, practice soft landings, never bounce on a stretched muscle or force a stretch.
  3. Discuss and understand personal and group space.
    Strategy Example:
    To warm up the body and to fill the space evenly, walk through the space for 16 counts, then stretch own way for 16, walk for 8 counts, then stretch in a different way for 8, walk for 4 counts, then stretch for 4, walk for 4 again, stretch for 4.
  4. Show an increase in strength, endurance, and flexibility.
    Strategy Example:
    For strength, with feet parallel bend knees over toes, keeping back straight and heels on the floor; straighten legs; rise on toes and then lower heels. For endurance, increase repetitions over time. For flexibility, regularly stretch with legs and feet together while sitting, and rounding the head toward the knees, keeping the knees straight, taking 16 slow counts before releasing.
  5. Show an increase in coordination, agility, alignment, and balance.
    Strategy Example:
    For balance, stand very tall on one leg, hold knee of other leg, then stretch leg forward and slowly lower to floor.
  6. Discuss a variety of possible goals; identify two personal goals to improve oneself as a dancer; e.g., fully extending feet, focus, balance, rhythmic accuracy, concentration.

Objective 2
Identify and execute axial and locomotor steps.

  1. Demonstrate axial movements of bending, twisting, reaching, and turning.
  2. Identify the five simple locomotor steps and the three complex locomotor steps; i.e., walk, run, leap, hop, and jump are simple; skip, slide, and gallop are complex.
  3. Review and execute the locomotor steps of walk, run, leap, hop, and jump, skip, slide, and gallop while moving through space.
  4. Understand and demonstrate teacher-created combinations of the basic locomotor steps of walk, run, leap, hop, jump, skip, gallop, and slide.
    Strategy Example:
    The teacher creates a simple or complex locomotor pattern such as walk, hop, walk, leap, walk, jump, and hop.
  5. Create one's own locomotor pattern that moves across the floor and that can be repeated; utilize no more than four different locomotor steps.


Standard 2
The student will identify and demonstrate movement elements in performing dance.

Objective 1
Expand dance vocabulary with movement experiences in time.

  1. Clap and move the primary and secondary accents of 4/4 and 6/8 measures.
  2. Move the length of a 16-count metric phrase.
    Strategy Example:
    Create a 16-count metric phrase to include whole notes, 2 half notes, 4 quarter notes, 8 eighth notes. Next, create a new rhythm pattern by rearranging the sequence, keeping like note values together; e.g., 2 half notes, 8 eighth notes. Perform the rhythm pattern at slower and faster tempos.
  3. Listen to various forms of music and (1) brainstorm about movement possibilities in relationship to the music, (2) improvise movement possibilities, and (3) discuss new or unusual solutions discovered for making dances. (See Music Core.)
  4. Recognize simple forms; e.g., ABA (chorus, verse, chorus) and simple rounds. Create movement phrases using the above forms. (See Music Core.)
  5. After seeing a dance, identify the musical forms used in the dance; e.g., ABA, round. (See Music Core.)

Objective 2
Expand dance vocabulary with movement experiences in space.

  1. Identify and demonstrate positive and negative space by making shapes individually and with each other.
  2. Create shapes that are off-balance or off-center, shapes that have a narrow base (e.g., balancing on one foot or one knee), and shapes that have a wide base (e.g., supporting the body's weight on two hands and two feet).
  3. Explore shapes with a partner, connecting body parts; e.g., knee, elbow, foot, head, leg, back.
  4. Explore spatial concepts by drawing patterns.
    Strategy Example:
    Create a diagram for movement on the floor using curved, straight, or zigzag paths. Determine where each dancer begins and ends; e.g., on or off stage, groupings, and/or spacial arrangements as dancers move through the diagram. Perform the chosen movement for the class.
  5. After seeing a dance, identify spacial qualities such as use of focus, range of motion, positive and negative space.

Objective 3
Expand dance vocabulary with movement experiences using the basic qualities of energy and motion.

  1. Improvise movement to demonstrate various qualities of motion; e.g., hover, slither, slash, press, and perch.
  2. Create a sequence demonstrating varying qualities of motion; e.g., hover, slither, slash, press, and perch.
  3. After seeing a dance, recall a movement phrase that used a particular kind of energy. Identify the energy quality.


Standard 3
The student will improvise, create, perform, and respond to movement solutions in the art form of dance.

Objective 1
Explore the process of making a dance.

  1. Explore contrasting qualities, such as heavy and light movement, with various body parts and discuss the differences.
  2. Pantomime sports activities, then abstract them into dance.
    Strategy Example:
    Exaggerate or diminish the movement, make part of it faster and part of it slow motion, make part of it harder and softer. Distort, repeat, or perform the action with a different body part or backwards.
  3. Explore with a partner the spatial relationship of meeting, parting, and passing.

Objective 2
Create and perform movement solutions derived from movement explorations.

  1. Create and set sequences of spatial relationships by recalling phrases from the above improvisations.
    Strategy Example:
    With a partner, create a composition of entering, meeting, parting, and passing.
  2. Observe and discuss movement solutions of other classmates/ dancers.
    Strategy Example:
    Evaluate success in using personal space, landing quietly on feet, following directions, remembering sequences, and using unique or creative movements.
  3. Explain how to progress from exploration, to making choices, to creating choreography.
  4. After seeing a dance concert, discuss dance production.
    Strategy Example:
    Talk about how the costumes, lighting, scenery, props, and music can impact the dance.
  5. After seeing a concert, evaluate the performance.
    Strategy Example:
    Describe what the dance might be about; describe unique or creative movements the dancers performed and what the choreographer used to communicate ideas, feelings, or moods; identify the skills a dancer must have such as strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination, agility, balance.
  6. Demonstrate by moving, drawing, or writing an awareness of how dance can communicate an idea, feeling, or purpose.


Standard 4
The student will understand and demonstrate dance in relation to its historical and cultural origins.

Objective 1
Create, perform, and understand dances from different time periods and cultures. (See Social Studies Core.)

  1. Learn and perform folk dances associated with the history of the state.
  2. Create a group folk dance to celebrate a historic event or holiday.
  3. Create an event that explores dance, music, food, and art of chosen cultures.

Objective 2
Recognize and understand the universal language of dance in a world culture(past and present. (See Social Studies Core.)

  1. Gather information and discuss the culture and the contributions made by various ethnic groups who make up the state's diverse community; e.g., Hispanic, Pacific Islanders, Native American, Asian, and African American.
  2. Attend a performance or watch a video of dancers from various ethnic communities and discuss the characteristics of the traditional dances.
  3. Define and discuss classical dance forms; e.g., ballet, modern dance, jazz, or tap dance.

Objective 3
Make connections between dance and other disciplines.

  1. Create a dance project from another art form.
    Strategy Example:
    Observe a sculpture and notice the volume, depth, energy, three dimensionality, texture, etc. After observing, choose two or more qualities listed above and develop a movement composition reflecting those qualities.
  2. Create a dance project from literature or poetry.
    Strategy Example:
    Using cinquain poetry form, assign contrasting movement choices to the nouns, adjectives, and action words. Think of synonyms for these words. Explore. Create own dance movement in cinquain form.
  3. Create a dance project from the sciences.
    Strategy Example:
    Assign a movement and a rhythmic value to a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar. Create a movement phrase that represents this proper change for a particular math problem.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Cathy Jensen and see the Fine Arts - Dance website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - DIANA SUDDRETH .  
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