Unit Overview


This unit focuses on dance and the intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences.  The unit uses dance as a tool to guide students through self-discovery (Intrapersonal Intelligence) and also teaches students how to interact and collaborate (Interpersonal Intelligence) when creating and presenting a dance work. 

Students learn about the elements of dance and the elements of composition; and through this they will create a solo and a duet based on their identify and the fusion of two identities.

This unit would be most effective if it was taught at the beginning of the Semester as it provides character building activities, team building experiences, and is a basic introduction to the elements of dance and the choreographic forms and to composition.


In this unit, students and teachers will explore the idea of intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence in relation to dance.  Students will focus on their experience with dance and think about dance and their own identity. Students are asked to create a life-size cut-out of themselves to document their experience with dance, thus far. Students are asked to choose one character trait in which they relate most to, to find a quote that represents it, and finally, to create a solo movement phrase that distills the essence of the quote.

As students take their dance experience from intrapersonal to interpersonal, they learn about dance fusion and through their new knowledge, work with their partner to blend and fuse together the two solos and ultimately, create a character duet.  After composing and collaborating to create a duet, students examine children's storybooks and look for the connections that literary devices and choreographic forms share. Students return to their duet and make explicit findings of choreographic forms.  

Finally, students share their character duets and the individual presentation of their collage which has been an on-going tool for reflection, learning and assessment. Students' overall learning results in greater awareness of themselves, others and how the creation of dance works requires collaboration and teamwork.


A1. The Creative Process:use the creative process the elements of dance (body, space, time, energy, and relationship), and a variety of sources to develop movement vocabulary;

A2. Choreography and Composition: combine the elements of dance in a variety of ways in composing individual and ensemble dance creations;

A3. Dance Techniquesdemonstrate an understanding of the dance techniques and movement vocabularies of a variety of global dance forms;

A4. Performance: apply dance presentation skills in a variety of contexts and performances.

B1. Critical Analysis Processuse the critical analysis process to reflect on and evaluate their own and others’ dance works and activities;

B2. Dance and Society: demonstrate an understanding of how societies present and past use or have used dance, and of how creating and viewing dance can benefit individuals, groups, and communities;

B3. Continuing Engagement: demonstrate an understanding of the purpose and possibilities of continuing engagement in dance arts.

C2. Contexts and Influencesdemonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural, and historical origins and development of dance forms, including their influence on each other and on society;

C3. Responsible Practices: demonstrate an understanding of safe, ethical, and responsible personal and interpersonal practices in dance activities

Unit Guiding Questions

Why is it beneficial for one to understand themselves and others when learning and exploring Dance? 

How can self-awareness and self-regulation help to build positive relationships and foster a sense of community?

Lesson Guiding Questions

Lesson 1 - Dance to Your Own Beat

How do we use dance as a communication tool, as an interpersonal tool, and as a tool for expression?

Lesson 2 - Elements of Dance and Identity- SOLO

Why is it important to understand yourself and how does this affect your self-worth and your interactions with others?

Lesson 3 - Fusion and Collaboration- DUETS

What is dance fusion and how can understanding it assist in the collaboration with another person in the creation of a duet?

Lesson 4 - Literary Devices and Dance Composition

How does understanding literary devices lend itself to the understanding of various choreographic forms and help a choreographer compose a dance work?

Lesson 5 - Thinking Critically and Presenting Dance Works

How can the critical analysis and thought process of viewing and understanding dance facilitate the understanding and growth of a choreographer, dancer and performer? 


Assessment and Evaluation: How will students demonstrate their learning?

Assessment of learning

Culminating Performance Activity

Rubric to assess duets and final product of their individual collage.

Assessment for Learning

Check Point #1/Lesson 1

Collage as journal
Whole class discussion

Check Point #2/Lesson 2

Graffiti Strategy- Elements of Dance
Peer Evaluation

Check Point #3/Lesson 3

Teacher Conferencing
Collage as journal entry
Talk Around

Check Point #4/ Lesson 4

Whole class discussion
Collage as journal entry


Unit Lessons: How will assessment and instruction be organized for learning?

Approx. Duration 1 class= 70 minutes
Lesson 1

Dance to Your Own Beat

Students will participate in a guided improvisation to assess prior knowledge in dance.  This will be followed by a collage created by students which will share and highlight their experiences in dance thus far. The collage will be used an on-going assessment tool used to consolidate understanding and reflect on new information.

2 classes
Lesson 2

Elements of Dance and Identity- SOLO

Students will use the elements of dance to create a solo that is based on a character trait that they feel best represents who they are. Students will present their solo to a peer and use peer feedback to revise and refine their movement phrase. As a consolidation, students will choose one strong movement from their solo that distills the essence of the character trait. The class will complete a character collage that will share everyone's character trait through movement.

4 classes
Lesson 3

Fusion and Collaboration- DUETS

Students will learn about dance fusion and, through watching the dance work Revealed by Fire and analyzing the elements in it, students will learn to fuse their solos together with another partner's solo.  Students will blend the solos and make artistic choices to represent both character traits. Pairs will present their duet to the class and afterwards, the teacher will conference with each pair to give feedback and review goals.

3 classes
Lesson 4

Literary Devices and Dance Composition

An exploration of compositional elements will be dissected through the examination of literary devices.  Students will learn compositional elements through the use of a children's storybook to help them identify and understand some of the similarities shared between literary devices and choreographic forms in dance. Students will then analyze their duet and look for choreographic forms that may be there. Students will continue to revise and refine duets based on their new learning.

3 classes
Lesson 5

Thinking Critically and Presenting Dance Works

The final lesson will look at the dance work Revealed by Fire again and instead of using it as a tool to highlight dance fusion, students will be asked to critically examine the elements of dance and the choreographic forms in the piece. Students will work with another pair and share their duets, giving and receiving feedback on areas of strength and areas for improvement. Partners will revise and refine their work one more time and then present their character duet to the class.

3 classes