Dance is Diversity, Dance is Expression, Dance is Inspiration
Welcome to Dance! Dance at I.S. 528 focuses a lot on using your creativity as well as learning about different dance techniques, culture/history of dance, and what it means to be a performer. As a dance student, you will be introduced to dance technique and vocabulary from multiple dance genres/styles as well as investigate the diversity and creativity of one another through improvisation and choreography. Dance is not just about learning sequences of steps and movements. It is also about learning to push forward to reach your daily fitness goals, working creatively with others, and learning to control and use your emotions in a positive and “artful” way.

The I.S. 528 dance student is recognized as a dance artist, one who engages in the art form of dance through multiple perspectives (seeing, rehearsing, creating, performing, discussing, critiquing, reading, writing, researching, etc.). Our goal by the end of each year is for you to become a stronger, more mature, creative dancer and choreographer and to make connections between dance, your self, the community, and the rest of the world.

Curriculum Goal:
Upon the culmination of a 3 year study in the Dance Program at I.S. 528, dance students will be able to successfully apply the process of inquiry and investigation toward themselves, the community, and the world while also developing their dance literacy and appreciation for the art form across a broad spectrum (techniques, styles, genres, cultures, etc.).

Laban Movement Analysis is also used as a key part of the curriculum framework, woven into lessons as a way to investigate and explore movement individually and within groups, primarily in regards to the creation and analysis of choreography.
For more information, click on these links:
http://www.laban.org/php/news.php?id=20
http://www.limsonline.org/what-laban-movement-analysis-lma-0

Please Note: This dance curriculum is developing, which means changes and adjustments may be made from year to year and/or throughout the school year.

Dance Studio Goals: As a student studying dance at I.S. 528, we have community dance goals we work toward achieving daily.

  • 100% of students are engaged in Dance and actively listening to instruction and one another.

  • 90% of students will increase knowledge of dance vocabulary (verbal, written, and kinesthetic/physical).

  • 90% of students will achieve more confidence in self-expression through the art form.

In-Class Work: September/October/November
6th Grade: You will begin the year learning the class procedures and expectations. You will identify the importance of a warm-up and the role of the body and alignment in the warm-up. You will explore the Dance Element of Space and identify the importance of Body Levels, Direction Facings, Stage Formations, Floor Pathways, and Traveling (Locomotor) Movements, within choreography. You will work toward your first Choreography Project, "Space Remix", sharing Rough Drafts of your work, critiquing each other's work in Choreography Conference, and working on cleaning and revising your work to perform for a Final Performance in class.


7th Grade:
You will begin the year reviewing class procedures and expectations. You will review the warm-up and begin exploring new skills/concepts included in the warm-up/across the floor. Emphasis will be placed on your attention to alignment details, strength, coordination, and overall energetic commitment to the warm-up. You will be introduced to the history of Doris Humphrey and Jose LImon, and explore and identify the core principles of the Limon Technique (The use of the Breath, the body's response to Gravity-Fall & Recovery, Swing/Rebound, Suspension, Opposition, and Succession.) Students will learn phrases with Ms. Brown (Xfloor/Center) and work toward developing a short piece of choreography, which highlights characteristics/principles of Limon technique, in particular how the body responds to Gravity through Fall/Recovery/Rebound. You will present your work in the form of a Rough Draft (time allowed) and a Final Performance in class. Feedback will be given throughout the process as well as during Final Performances (Peer) and there will be a Final Reflection and Video Viewing/Grading after the in class performances.


8th grade: You will begin your year reviewing class procedures and expectations. You will review the warm-up and begin exploring new skills/concepts included in the warm-up/across the floor. Emphasis will be placed on your attention to alignment details, strength, coordination, and overall energetic commitment to the warm-up. You will be introduced to the history of Merce Cunningham, characteristics of the Cunningham technique (use of the Torso), his use of Support, and Chance Procedures (also known as Chance Operations) to structure his dance phrases into a larger piece of choreography. As a class, we will discuss Chance and apply Chance to original choreography. You will present your work in the form of a Rough Draft (time allowed) and a Final Performance in class.
Feedback will be given throughout the process as well as during Final Performances (Peer) and there will be a Final Reflection and Video Viewing/Grading after the in class performances.


In-Class Work: December/January/February
6th Grade:
You will continue to advance your movement vocabulary throughout warm-up/across the floor. You will be introduced to the history of Dance Notation (documenting or writing down dance using symbols) which includes Labanotation created by Rudolf Laban and Motif Notation, a simplified version of Labanotation, created by Ann Hutchinson Guest. Together, we will explore these Motif ideas and the symbols that represent each motif, for example Rotation. You will be learning choreography that Ms. Brown created which focuses on the Motif Symbol ideas. You will be also be introduced to the Canon choreographic device and begin work in groups to add a Canon into Ms. Brown's Motif Score Choreography. After you have accomplished this, you will continue your group work to add on your own movements using the the Motif Symbols and making sure to document (write down) your section of the dance using the Motif Symbols and the Motif Score paper. In addition, advanced students will have the option of creating a 3rd and final section to the choreography, recreating their own version of Ms. Brown's Motif Score. You will present your work in the form of a Rough Draft (time allowed) and a Final Performance in class. Feedback will be given throughout the process as well as during Final Performances (Peer) and there will be a Final Reflection and Video Viewing/Grading after the in class performances.

7th Grade:
You will learn elements of the Horton Modern Dance technique in your warm-up/across the floor. You will also be introduced to the difference between Literal and Non-Literal (Abstract) movement choices and explore abstracting a gesture/emotion. You will then examine the choreography of Alvin Ailey (who used Blood Memories as inspiration to create choreography) and identify how movements were abstracted to convey emotion. As a class, we will view and investigate part of "Revelations" (a signature work of Ailey) and you will create your own individual Blood Memory Brainstorm (worksheet required for your choreography project). Using your Blood Memory brainstorm, you will individually create 2-4 counts of 8 with your group which represents your Blood Memory. You will then plan with your group how you will develop all of your Blood Memory phrases into an ABA, ABA' (variation), or Rondo structure. You will present your work in the form of a Rough Draft (time allowed) and a Final Performance in class. See the Choreography Project Page for more details!
Feedback will be given throughout the process as well as during Final Performances (Peer) and there will be a Final Reflection and Video Viewing/Grading after the in class performances.

8th Grade:You will be examining additional jazz dance vocabulary as well as the history of Jerome Robbins and West Side Story's cultural and social connections through use of various media and analysis. As a class, we will then investigate the musical theatre/narrative choreography of Jerome Robbins from West Side Story, and discuss how a fusion of dance genres (jazz, ballet), social dances and music were incorporated into Mr. Robbin's choreography to connect to the storyline and culture of characters present in WSS. After these observations, we will examine the repertoire of Robbins, learning movement from "Cool" and identify how it is important to use Dynamics to help portray a character and explore how Call and Response can be incorporated into choreography. In addition to these experiences, we again review as a class the Social Issue of Gang Violence that was prevalent within the musical as well as during the time period. Students will begin their group work process by working with this social issue (or possibly another) to use as a narrative for their our own "Musical Theatre"/"Social Issue" Choreography (articles and visuals will be provided). This project will also incorporate Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance techniques, movement ideas from the "Cool" repertoire, and additional connections to themes present in West Side Story. You will present your work in the form of a Rough Draft (time allowed) and a Final Performance in class. See the Choreography Project Page for more details!
Feedback will be given throughout the process as well as during Final Performances (Peer) and there will be a Final Reflection and Video Viewing/Grading after the in class performances.

In-Class Work: March/April/May until June Production
Dance Mid Year Exams:6th, 7th, and 8th Grade classes may be given Mid Year Exams, testing dancers on material they were taught throughout their trimesters. Students would be notified before hand and given study guides.June Production Unit:Each dance class will be assigned a general theme relating to our bigger performance theme. Song selection(s) will correspond to each of the class themes. As a class, we will investigate the meaning behind our theme and begin the process of creating a piece of choreography together. Classes may be asked to choreograph sections of the class choreography. See June Concert and End of Year Information page!