Unit Overview



This unit focuses on the genre of dance film. Students will use a literary source as a stimulus and, using their pre-existing knowledge of the elements of dance, they will create a choreography for film.


Beginning with the exploration of dance film and how it differs from dance movies and live performance, students will have the opportunity to create a dance piece inspired by a literary source. In groups, students will create a storyboard, outlining how they would like to film their dance. Groups will then film and edit their dance piece, following the storyboard, to create their own dance film.

Overall Expectations

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.

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

B1. Critical Analysis Process: use the critical analysis process to reflect on and evaluate their own and others' dance works and activities.

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

Unit Guiding Questions

How does dance film differ from live performance?

Lesson Guiding Questions

Lesson 1: What is Dance Film?

What mediums can be used to show dance? 
How does dance film differ from dance movies, recorded performances, and music videos?
What techniques are used in film?
How are these techniques useful for dance film

Lesson 2: Developing a Theme

How are the ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions that are associated with each of the identified themes expressed in movement?

Lesson 3: Creating and Planning

How will your group use the elements of dance and choreographic forms to convey your chosen theme?
What are the techniques used in dance film?  
As choreographer how can you use these techniques to manipulate what the viewer will see?

Lesson 4: Creating the Storyboard

How will your group present your ideas? 
What choices will your group make in regards to film techniques?
What does your group want your audience to see and experience?
How do you plan the choreography and filming before filming takes place?

Lesson 5: Rehearsing and Filming

How does it feel to perform when you are filming?
How is performing for the camera different than performing live?


Assessment and Evaluation: How will students demonstrate their learning?

Assessment of learning

Culminating Performance Task

Students will work in groups to create a dance film inspired by a source. This will be evaluated using a rubric.

Assessment for Learning

Checkpoint #1/Lesson 1

Teacher observation
Side coaching

Checkpoint #2/Lesson 2

Teacher observation
Side coaching
Peer feedback

Checkpoint #3/Lesson 3

Teacher observation
Side coaching
Peer feedback

Checkpoint #4/Lesson 4

Self-assessment (storyboard checklist)
Self-assessment (rubric)

Checkpoint #5/Lesson 5

Peer feedback


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

Approx. Duration 1 class= 80


Lesson 1

What is Dance Film?

Students will view dance films and explore the differences between dance film, dance movies and videos of live dance performances.

2 classes
Lesson 2

Developing a Theme

Students will use a children's storybook as the inspiration to create an individual movement sequence.

2 classes
Lesson 3

Creating and Planning

Students will work in a small group to create a dance piece based on the individual movement pieces they created. Students will have a chance to give and receive peer feedback.

3 classes
Lesson 4

Creating the Storyboard

As a class, students will examine the role storyboards play in filming. Groups will then create a storyboard for their dance piece.

2 classes
Lesson 5

Rehearsing and Filming

Students will rehearse their dance piece and then carry out the filming plan using their storyboards.

3-4 classes