Course Profile

Potential Appropriation Issues

The use of individual lessons in this resource is not recommended for teachers without the cultural background of and experience with this dance focus. Always invite cultural knowledge keepers to support cultural learning.

CODE recommends that a full dance credit in these forms of dance only be offered by teachers from these cultures with extensive experience and expertise. In order to avoid cultural appropriation, you must have a personal connection to the material.  

This course emphasizes the development of students’ artistry, improvisational and compositional skills, and technical proficiency in global dance genres. Students will apply dance elements, techniques, and tools in a variety of ways, including performance situations; describe and model responsible practices related to the dance environment; and reflect on how the study of dance affects personal and artistic development. This course will focus on the dance practices of the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern region of the world.

Course Overview

This course will focus on the dances from the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern part of the world. The countries of this vast region include but are not entirely limited to: Albania, Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. These countries have been chosen for their geographical locations. The nations of the Mediterranean have a coast on the Mediterranean Sea; however, there are other countries that do not share a coast but are considered culturally Mediterranean or Middle Eastern such as Armenia, Azerbaijian, Georgia, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Portugal.  Geographical and political boundaries differ from cultural ones.  Students will identify and explore the similarities and differences between cultures and countries through their social, political and environmental dance practices. Students will also have the opportunity to create fusion dances, linking and layering the different styles.

Scope & Sequence

Unit Descriptions

UNIT 1: Introduction to Style A  (20 hours)

Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the history, technique, cultural and social significance of the dance form.

UNIT 2: Kinesiology and Body Awareness  (10 hours)

Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of alternative physical practices that enhance and supplement dance training and physical well-being (Yoga and Pilates) with an emphasis on correct terminology and the physiology of movement as they relate to the dance genre.

UNIT 3: Introduction to Style B (20 hours)

Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the history, technique, cultural and social significance of the dance form.

UNIT 4: Introduction to Style C (20 hours)

Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the history, technique, cultural and social significance of the dance form.

UNIT 5: Composition and Choreography (20 hours)

Students will use the creative process to explore the elements of dance and compositional forms to compose individual and ensemble dance creations applying and building on the students' knowledge from Units 1, 3, and 4.

Culminating Activity

Fusion Dance (20 hours)

Students will build a final dance composition by fusing the techniques of styles A, B, and C. They will apply composition and presentation skills; as well as, employing the tools of stagecraft. Through this culminating activity, students will demonstrate an understanding of all of the overall expectations learned throughout the course.


Lausevic, M. Balkan Fascination. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2007.ISBN 978-0-19-517867-8
Satrapi, M. Persepolis. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 2004. (book and film). ISBN 9780375714573
Anthony Shay. Choreographic Politics: State Folk Dance Companies, Representation, and Power. Wesleyan, 2002.ISBN 0819565210
Anthony Shay. Balkan Dance: Essays on Characteristics, Performance and Teaching. McFarland & Company, 2008. ISBN 0786432284
Mark Slobin. Returning Culture: Musical Changes in Central and Eastern Europe.
Jane C. Sugarman. Endangering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Weddings. Chicago, ILL: The University of Chicago Press, 1997. ISBN 0-226-77972

Please search on Youtube for links that are currently active.



Instructional Strategies

KWL charts, Gallery Walk, Venn diagrams, Discussion, Map Reading, Reflection, Summarizing, Composition inspired by a source, Reading Aloud, Silent Reading, Side-Coaching, Direct Instruction, Cooperative Learning 

Glossary of Terms Specific to Course

Agriculture - the science, art, or occupation concerned with cultivating land, raising crops, and feeding, breeding, and raising livestock; farming.

Celebration - A joyful occasion for special festivities to mark some happy event. (Source:  

 Gilani Dance - agricultural dance about harvesting rice and tea from Northern Iran.

Govenda Giran - welcoming dance performed at Kurdish weddings.

Harvest - the season when ripened crops are gathered.

Ritual Dance -A dance that is part of a religious ritual.


Refer to curriculum document glossary for all other terms. 

Examples of Activities

Lesson #1 Agricultural Dance from the Gilan Province in Northern Iran (from Unit #3)
Students will explore the theme of agriculture and harvesting in both Canada and Iran.

Lesson #2 Govenda Giran Folk Dance from Eastern Turkey (Kurdish Wedding Dance from the Bitlis region) (from Unit #4)
Students will explore the ideas of welcoming and wedding celebration.

Overview of BLMs

BLM #1 History of the Gilani Dance
BLM #2 Turkish Wedding Traditions
BLM #3 Kurdish Wedding Traditions
BLM #4 Govenda Giran Dance Steps

Assessment and Evaluation Strategies

Diagnostic assessment, self reflection, discussion, oral presentation, teacher and peer feedback, side coaching