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Fine Arts - Dance Curriculum
Dance - 6th Grade
Course Preface Course Preface
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Core Standards of the Course


Standard 1
The student will identify and 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 possible room or outdoor hazards; e.g., cement or tile floor, fixed obstacles, temperature extremes. Practice taking safety measures to prevent injuries such as wear tennis shoes, drink water, stay away from obstacles.
  2. Recognize and implement safe dance practices; e.g., warm up the body before stretching, land toe-ball-heel, never bounce on a stretched muscle or force a stretch, always stretch after strengthening a muscle group to keep it healthy and in balance, knees over toes.
  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. Warm up the body properly for activity.
    Strategy Example:
    While lying on the back, feet in the air, flex and point the feet and roll the ankles to warm them. Legs are straight or knees slightly bent.
  5. Increase balance, strength, and flexibility; e.g., stand on one leg and stretch the body with the other leg parallel to the floor.
  6. Create own warm-up and discuss how that warm-up prepares the body and mind for expressive purposes.
    Strategy Example:
    Discuss the need to alternate activities from day to day so that some muscle groups can recuperate while others are working.
  7. Identify three personal goals that challenge the mind and the body and list specific steps to achieve those goals; e.g., focus the mind and body toward specific dance tasks, allow the movement to reflect inner feelings, explore activities that require immediate response to commands.

Objective 2
Identify and execute axial and locomotor steps.

  1. Demonstrate axial movements of stretching, bending, twisting, reaching, turning, and balancing.
  2. Review and demonstrate simple locomotor steps (walk, run, leap, hop, and jump) and the complex locomotor steps (skip, slide, and gallop).
  3. Execute teacher directed combinations of locomotor steps; e.g., slide, slide, slide, straight-legged skip to the back, repeat across floor. Repeat other side.
  4. Design and execute student-created complex locomotor patterns. Variation: Create unusual combinations and variations; e.g., skipping with arms circling to the sides, galloping with legs extended to the side, sliding backward.


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 then move to the beats of slow, medium, and fast tempi.
  2. Review how to accent the first beat of 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, and 6/8 meters with body parts or by changing the shape of the whole body.
  3. Clap and then move in syncopation (accenting in an unexpected place).
    Strategy Example:
    Accent the second beat of a 4/4 meter instead of the first or third beat, or accent the "and" beat of 2 eighth notes
  4. Create, notate, and perform an 8-count rhythm pattern; e.g., 1-2-3-4 stretch, 5-6 turn, 7 jump, 8 run, run.
  5. After seeing a dance, discuss time elements; e.g., identify a place where the dancers moved in syncopation.

Objective 2
Expand dance vocabulary with movement experiences in space.

  1. Draw and create a diagram for movement on the floor.
    Strategy Example:
    Assign a different type of movement for each type of line; e.g., straight, curved, circular, wavy, zigzag, diagonal. Do this in small groups, show the pattern to the class, and perform the composition.
  2. Explore using isolated body parts as a focal point.
    Strategy Example:
    Explore, using the elbow as a focal point, and move through the space, changing directions and levels. Change body parts frequently. Explain focus as a way to direct one's energy through the whole body or a single part; e.g., the elbow directing the pathway or the eyes directing the focus to a point in space.
  3. Create a sequence using three different body parts as focal points while changing levels, directions, and timing. Perform for the class.

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

  1. Improvise moving to a variety of accompaniments using different kinds of energy; e.g., sustained, percussive, swing, collapse, vibratory, suspend, and explode.
  2. Create a dance phrase in small groups that uses at least three contrasting kinds of energy. Create a beginning and an end. Show the class.
  3. After seeing a dance, discuss energy; e.g., recall a movement phrase that used three or more kinds of energy qualities.


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 with the class abstracting a visual or verbal image to movement; e.g., sculpture, painting, poem, feeling, texture, etc.
    Strategy Example:
    Abstract by exaggerating, diminishing, changing the time, space, and energy qualities; e.g., kick in slow motion; do vibratory movement on a low level; distort, repeat, travel.
  2. Explore abstractions of shared feelings between people; e.g., using time, space, and energy, abstract feelings such as greetings and partings.
  3. Explore in small groups choosing a theme and developing it, using the formative parts of choreography; e.g., repetition, transition, unity, variety, contrast, and climax.

Objective 2
Create and perform movement solutions.

  1. Create and set sequences by recalling phrases from the above improvisations.
    Strategy Example:
    Compose the sequences. Add music. If desired, perform in small groups for the class.
  2. Create movement phrases demonstrating individual, partner, and group capabilities.
    Strategy Example:
    Develop phrases focusing on resistance, agility, balance/counterbalance, or strength. Perform for the class. Discuss individual needs and preferences.
  3. Observe and discuss movement solutions of other classmates/ dancers; e.g., describe the unique or creative movement in the dance.
  4. Explain how to progress from improvisation to making choices to the composition to choreographed dances to responding.
  5. After observing a concert, discuss production aspects; e.g., lighting, music, costumes, scenery, props.
  6. Identify the skills a dancer must have.
    Strategy Example:
    Include strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination, agility, sensitivity, control, concentration, and the ability to stay in character and perform to the audience.
  7. After seeing a dance, discuss the elements of form.
    Strategy Example:
    Include variety, climax, transition, balance, sequence, repetition, harmony, unity, and contrast, and discuss how these are combined. Discuss the choreographer's possible intent and the elements used to express the idea of the dance. (See Art, Music, Theatre, Language Arts Cores.)
  8. After observing a dance, create a story, poem, prose, sculpture, painting, picture, one-act play, or music.
    Strategy Example:
    How did the dance inspire? Does the artistic response reflect what was seen in the dance? Discuss choice. (See Art, Music, Theatre, Language Arts Cores.)


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

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

  1. Learn and perform folk dances from around the world; e.g., D'Hammerschmidt Geseln from Germany, Mayim, Mayim from Israel, and Tiniklink from the Philippines.
  2. Learn and perform social dances; e.g., waltz, fox-trot, cha-cha, triple swing, or a current popular dance. Discuss proper social dance etiquette.
  3. Create and perform an original dance which reflects a particular historical period, nation, region, or culture.

Objective 2
Recognize and understand the universal language of dance in world culture(past and present.

  1. Identify the unique role which theatrical dance has played in world history; e.g., the royal courts such as Japanese Bugaku, Indonesian Bedoyo, and stately ceremonies of African Kings.
  2. Identify the unique role of classical dances in world history; e.g., ballet, kabuki, and modern dance.
  3. Compare traditional folk or ethnic dances around the world. Classify the form and compare the style and role various dances play in each culture.

Objective 3
Make connections between dance and other disciplines.

  1. Create a dance project that reveals similarities and differences between the arts.
    Strategy Example:
    Choose a favorite artistic piece from music, drama, sculpture, paintings, etc., and abstract into movement. Discuss the similarities and differences; e.g., Van Gogh's "Starry Night" has contrasts in lines and color, brush strokes and texture.
  2. Explore moving using these contrasts and mood of the painting. Set phrases, create dance. After showing, discuss choices.
  3. Create a dance project that reveals understanding of a concept or idea from literature or poetry.
    Strategy Example:
    Find poetry with several action verbs and after exploration, abstract into movement phrases without using pantomime. Set the movement and perform for the class.
  4. Create a dance project from the sciences.
    Strategy Example:
    Notice the balance, shape, pattern, and line of rocks. In nature, rocks appear to be balancing precariously, yet they do not waver. Discuss shapes and balance; explore and develop movement phrases and show the class. Discuss movement phrases.

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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