Dance - 5th Grade
Last updated: 1997
Utah State Office of Education
The Core Curriculum for Elementary Fine Arts is written to communicate what students are expected to know and be able to do in dance, music, theater, and visual arts. The intended result is to effect in students: (a) the development of affective, cognitive, and psychomotor skills in the arts, (b) the joy of self-expression and aesthetic awareness, (c) a personal connection with community heritage and varied cultures, and (d) the achievement of Life Skills. The Core espouses no specific methodologies but supports the experiential development of primary arts skills as the natural vehicle for discovering the attendant history, culture, aesthetics, critiquing, and other relevant connections to the student's world in and out of school.
The Core centers on discovering the joy, richness, and depth of the arts through active involvement with the art form. It is designed to strengthen and advance the kinetic, pragmatic, playful, curious, creative, sensitive, and imaginative nature of elementary students through self-expression, heightened perception, and development of skills indigenous to dance, music, theater, and visual arts. To deepen understanding of the traditions and cultures of various peoples and communities, recommended music, art, literature, and folk arts are coordinated with the topics in the Social Studies Elementary Core Curriculum.
Implications for Implementation
The Core Curriculum for dance, music, theater, and visual arts provides the basis of professionalism and accountability for teachers, and defines the expectations and achievement standards for students. Curriculum standards create strength, unity, and heightened concern for the achievement of essential learning objectives. Each student and teacher must view these standards as both essential and desirable. Students have the prime responsibility for their own artistic achievement. The success of these curriculum standards will only be accomplished by the broad-based acceptance of classroom teachers, students, administrators, parents, artists, and dance, drama, music, and visual arts specialists from kindergarten through college throughout the state of Utah.
Teachers are the guides who provide direction for learning by continuing their personal professional development and collegial collaborations and by offering students engaging and positive opportunities for skill development, high caliber models of artwork, authentic and accurate sources of information, relevant connections to the student's world, and guidance in formative self-assessment. The role of administrators is to provide the necessary leadership, instructional time, qualified personnel, facilities, professional development, technological support, materials, and administrative support for achieving the Fine Arts Core Curriculum.
Parents are encouraged to supplement classroom learning through encouraging the study and appreciation of art, music, dance, and theater as a family, listening and being informed of school activities and requirements, and personal involvement in school and community activities as appropriate. Professional artists can provide models of career opportunities, expertise, local relevancy, and opportunities for teachers and students to collaborate in the professional setting.
Organization, Sequence, Format
The Elementary Fine Arts Core Curriculum appears in alphabetical order: Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts. The curriculum for each is organized into four standards, with accompanying objectives and assessment indicators. A statement of student work clarifies the parameters of each standard. The objectives articulate specific goals to be accomplished by the student. The assessment indicators are tools designed to measure achievement of the objective through relevant performance tasks. Examples of instructional strategies and literature have been thoughtfully included in many instances.
All standards are printed in boldface type. Boldface type words found elsewhere in the document signal the reader that a definition may be found in the glossary. All assessment indicators are set apart with a bullet, and all strategy examples are underlined. Correlations to other elementary core documents have been footnoted to identify possibilities for integrated instruction.
The numbering system works as follows: The kindergarten numbers for dance begin with 1400, music with 1500, theater with 1300, and visual arts with 1000. The last two numbers of the four digits change according to grade level; e.g., first grade dance being 1410, second grade music being 1520.
The number of the standard is the underlined figure appearing after the hyphen. The specific number of each objective appears as the last two underlined digits in the series of four numbers which indicate the standard and the objective; e.g., 0102 means the second objective of the first standard, 0401 means the first objective of the fourth standard.
Elementary Dance Core Curriculum
Children love to move. Children need to move. They learn through engagement of the whole self. They take in information through multi-sensory processes that are directly addressed and fostered through dance. The power of dance education inherently promotes within students lifelong learning, complex learning, effective communicating, compassion, aesthetic awareness, collaboration skills, responsible citizenship, and career readiness. The purpose of the Utah Dance Core Curriculum is to describe dance standards, objectives, and assessment indicators for students K-12 through creative movement. This curriculum first focuses on student learning through movement that develops bodily skill and kinesthetic awareness. Second, it outlines movement activities that develop understanding of the dance elements of time, space, and energy. Third, activities which emphasize the creative process and development of artistic insight and expressive skill are set forth. Fourth, it describes strategies to help the learner discover how dance fits into one's own life, the lives of others, and reveals the historical and cultural perspectives that connect humanity.
Dance is a universal language, an expressive and vibrant art with the capacity to unify the physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the human being. Dance is one of the most direct means to understand and value the world in which we live. It is a record of human expression and has been a part of the life of every culture throughout the span of human existence. Dance has the power to both conserve and expand culture. It preserves tradition and encourages exploration and invention. Dance enhances the quality of life for performer, creator, and audience member alike. Every human being has the right to move in ways that are individual, expressive, and enlightening.
This curriculum is written to aid the teacher and student to facilitate the learning of dance as an art form. Four standards are included: moving, investigating, creating, and contextualizing. Three or possibly all four standards may be addressed in every movement lesson. In dance, the emphasis must always be on actively engaging the child through participation. A 30-minute class might be as follows: a five-minute warm-up, five minutes for locomotor movements, 15 minutes for problem solving through exploring and creating, and five minutes for showing solutions and discussion. In a 30- minute lesson such as this, please note that over 25 minutes is spent moving, while less than five minutes is in discussion. Critiquing, discussing, and evaluating is important for processing; however, at the elementary level, two to three minutes is ample.
Elementary Dance Standards
Standard 1: Moving
Standard 2: Investigating
Standard 3: Creating
Standard 4: Contextualizing
Alignment: The concept of skeletal relationships; i.e., posture. Refers to the relationship of the skeleton to the line of gravity.
Asymmetrical: A design, space, time, or energy that is not the same on both sides.
Axial Movement: Any movement that is anchored to one spot by a body part using only the available space in any direction without losing the initial body contact. Movement is organized around the axis of the body rather than designed for travel from one location to another.
Choreography: The art of making a dance, or the design of a dance.
Composition: The art and craft that organizes all the elements and factors of dance into a visual product to be perceived by an audience.
Contrast: A diversity of adjacent parts in color, emotion, tone, and style.
Dynamics: Degrees of loudness and softness which give variety and meaning to music and dance. Forte (f) indicates loud; piano (p) indicates soft. Also used as the flow of energy applied to a single movement, a series, or a total dance piece. Considered shadings in the amount or intensity of energy in movement, giving movement its expression. Also referred to as the interaction of forces of movement and motion that produce contrast.
Energy: The amount of force with which a movement is performed or the qualities of movement.
Focus: The intensity and direction of movement as it is projected spatially; also, the use of the eyes and body to direct the focus in space.
Form: A component of all the arts. Form is the structure or plan on which a piece of art is based, giving it both design and unity rather than chaos.
Freeze: A command to cease all movement at once and to remain immobile in the shape the body presented when the signal word was given.
Improvisation: Movement which is created spontaneously, ranging from free form to highly structured environments but always with an element of chance. Provides the dancer the opportunity to bring together elements quickly and requires focus and concentration. Improvisation is instant and simultaneous choreography and performance.
Level: The space where movement occurs in relation to elevation; this may vary from low to high within the possible range of human elevation.
Locomotor Movements: Steps to get from one place to another.
Mirroring: Imitation of a leader with hands, arms, or other body parts in a slow sustained manner with very little locomotor action to reflect the movement of the leader as a "mirror" does. Usually done in partners.
Modern Dance: An artistic expression which revolutionized concert dance. It began around the beginning of the 20th century with Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, Ruth St. Denis, and other daring performers who rejected ballet. It was based on self-expression and a return to movement which was natural to the body. Modern dance choreographers are free to develop an individual movement vocabulary that suits their needs.
Personal/Group Space: Group space is the ability of the individuals to fill the space evenly while maintaining own personal space when moving. Personal space refers to the space which immediately surrounds the body in stillness and motion.
Phrase: A natural grouping of movements which give a temporary feeling of completion.
Positive/Negative Space: The positive areas in a composition are definite forms and shapes; negative areas are the unoccupied or empty spaces.
Space: An element of dance, relating to the area through which one moves. Space is a dancer's canvas.
Theme: A clear movement sequence that can be used as a basic structure for different variations.
Time: An element of dance, relating to the rhythmic aspects of dance as well as the duration and tempo of a movement.
Variety: The quality or state of having different forms or types, something differing from others of the same general kind.
These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Office of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Office of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.
For more information about this core curriculum, contact the USOE Specialist, Cathy Jensen or visit the Fine Arts - Dance Home Page. For general questions about Utah's Core Curriculum, contact the USOE Curriculum Director, Sydnee Dickson . UEN Contact Info: 801-581-2999 | 800-866-5852 | Contact Us