Create a list of as many dance forms as students can think of and decide which category—artistic, ceremonial, and recreational—each fits under. (In some cases they may fit under more than one.)
Working alone or in groups, have students choose one dance form and research it, creating a presentation of their findings.
Create a class bibliography of dance. Include a list of books, magazines, videos, films, and local resources.
Ask students to bring in photos of dance. Have them describe what they see in the images using these questions as a guide: what do you know about the dancer(s), the dance style, the costume and setting? Create a class collage of dance images. Save these and after watching other programs in the DanceSense series ask students to describe them again.
Choose a particular form of dance and a particular sport.
Dance is the art of human movement, a way of communicating without words. Its unique nature allows dance to communicate and draw connections between people across cultures and generations. All kinds of dance are a reflection of life, of the individual or community, and of a culture.
Movements in dance have similarities to movements in nature and in sports. Animals often perform what look like “dances” to attract mates and for other purposes. Many of the same movements used in dance are also used in sports, and both athletes and dancers require physical strength, stamina, flexibility, and the ability to control and direct movements of specific body parts.
There are several reasons people dance. In many cultures, dance is a form of ritual, to honor deities or to celebrate specific events in individual lives and the community. Dance has also long been a form of recreation, a way for people to socialize and have fun. Dance is also an artistic expression, as in a performance of ballet or modern dance.
A person who designs the movement sequence in a dance in called the choreographer. Like other artists, choreographers use their art form to express ideas and feelings, and they get their ideas from a wide variety of sources.