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 Pacific Rim/Asia.  

Course Overview

Asia consists of approximately fifty countries and each has its unique cultural and historical background. In terms of traditional dance forms, each country encompasses a variety of styles and heritages, often significantly different from each other. Some distinctive forms of dance include the Khmer from Cambodia, the Joget  from Malaysia, and the Bonglaeui/phoenix dance from Korea. The Japanese dances—Kabuki, Bon Odori, and Sparrow also have unique forms. Other Asian countries share close ties and similarities; China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam share art forms such as Yangge, Wushu, Dragon, folklore, and the Lion Dance. Like folk dances from other parts of the world, almost all the traditional dances are related to the celebration of birth, marriage, death, ritual, harvest, and other important events in daily life. The purpose of this course is for students to gain an understanding of the historical, geographical, social, religious, and cultural aspects of these traditional dance styles, to critically analyze the differences and similarities between them, and to interpret the meaning, purpose, themes, movements, and music to create a collaborative dance piece fusing together 2 or more dance styles of the Pacific Rim/Asia.

Scope & Sequence

Unit Descriptions

UNIT 1: Introduction to Style A  (20 hours)

Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the history, technique, and 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, and 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, and 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.



Song, x. Yangge and health. Shandong, China: Shandong University press, 2005.

Suen, H. Graphs and ethnic dance. Jilin, China: Jilin people's press, 2009.

Xing, L., & Bi, W. Looking at yangge through cultural perspective. Professional Journal of China, 6(3), 77-100, 2008.

Xue, M. Yangge. Beijing, China: Chinese social scholar press, 2006.

Zhou, P. Chinese ethnic dance choreography. Beijing, China: Higher education press, 2004.

NOTE: This resource is up for revision. The following links may no longer exist.

Chi Ping Chinese Dance, Website:
121 L'Amoreaux Drive, Unit #67, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M1W 2J9, TEL: (905) 475-2023 , Fax: (416) 756-7780

Orient Dance Company, Website:
Katy Liu-General / Artistic Director
160 East Beaver Creek, Unit 1, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, L4B 3L4

Sun Ling School Of Dance, Website:
155 East Beaver Creek Rd, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, TEL: (905) 787-8783

Toronto Chinese Dance Academy (TCDA)
Location A: 461 Alden Road, Unit 22, Markham, Ontario, Canada (Warden/14th Ave)
Location B: 80 Esna Park Drive, Unit 18, Markham, Ontario, Canada (Warden/14th Ave)  
Location C: 3255 Highway 7 East, Markham, Ontario, Canada (Woodbine/Highway 7), TEL: (905) 470-9914

Xing Dance Theatre
452 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, TEL: (416) 413-0957

Instructional Strategies

Four Corners
Group reporting
PowerPoint presentations
Non-Linguistic representations (pictures, graphic organizers, mental images, etc)
Collective story building
Video viewing 
Musical visualization 
Guided improvisation 
Chance compositional structure 
Peer & teacher feedback

Glossary of Terms Specific to Course

Flocking- one student is the leader and improvises movement while the other students follow. The transition from one movement to the next is smooth, however; tempo and quality of movement may vary. Students may be appointed as leaders in each corner of the room. When the leader turns to face the next corner, all students follow and now face another leader who then takes over. This is carried out with smooth transition and non-verbally.

Yangge Dance- originated in central and northern China, which includes Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Hebei provinces. Geographically, Yangge is widely spread out from Beijing (central China) all the way to Songhua River in northeast China (refer to map in resource list).  It is a popular ethnic dance style and it is recognized both formally and informally.

Refer to curriculum document glossary.

Examples of Activities

Exploring Chinese Culture and Yangge Dance (from Unit #3 or 4)

Students will learn about Chinese Culture and the Chinese dance form of Yangge. Students will create a storyline/framework/vision of their own Yangge dance.

Overview of BLMs

BLM #1 Teacher-guided reflection sheet
BLM #2 Background information on China and
Yangge dance
BLM #3 Yangge Movement and Terminology
BLM #4 Glossary of Compositional Forms
BLM #5 Composition Activities for Creative Yangge Dance
BLM #6 Rubric for Chinese Dance-Yangge

Assessment and Evaluation Strategies

Diagnostic assessment, rubric evaluation, checklist, self evaluation, self reflection, observation, peer and teacher feedback