ARTS ALIVE BALLET AND JAZZ DANCE CURRICULUM FOR GRADES K-4

Throughout the course, dance teachers help children develop skills on and off stage such as team building, collaboration, problem solving and leadership. The foundations of dance class begin with ballet and core warm ups connected to the technique or skills to be taught within the class. The students learn to use the whole body with creative and imaginary exercises to expand their knowledge of learning steps and different styles of dance. Once students have acquired basic core skills, Hip-Hop, Jazz or African dance steps will be added. Moves at fast tempos such as quick footwork and intricate arm movements will be implemented as students improve.

Overview:  Over 9 months of dance or one school year, students learn a minimum of 3 choreographed dance routines and perform for their community and festivals. Genres of dance include Jazz, Lyrical Ballet, Musical Theatre Dance, Hip-Hop, African, and Bollywood.

Arts Alive Equipment: Dance Spots, scarves and boom box

Activities Standards
Introduce the 5 basic positions in ballet, have students learn to mirror the movement.  Add the 5 arm positions after they have started accomplishing the foot positions.  Each week focus/emphasize on another ballet element of the warm up to develop fundamental muscles for ballet.  Introduce correct articulation and alignment of feet, ankles, knees and pelvis.  Continuously develop core strength for correct alignment. CA 2.0 Creative Expression

Grade 2 – Development of Motor Skills and Technical Expertise 1.2 Show a variety of combinations of axial movements (e.g., swing and balanced shapes, turn and stretch, bend and twist).

Use imaginative and visual imagery as motivation such as balloons, butterfly or a fairy to help character based movement.  Encourage internal and external movement and focus. CA 2.0 Creative Expression

Grade 1 – Creation/Invention of Dance Movements 2.5 Develop a dance phrase that has a sense of unity.

Introduce the concept of spotting and simple swivel turns.  The spatial movements are broken into smaller sections for students to understand and successfully complete with proper alignment and ease.  Pathways and stage directions should be introduced.  Teach levels for shapes both low and high. CA 1.0 Artistic Perception

Grade 2 – Comprehension and Analysis of Dance Elements 1.4 Expand the ability to incorporate spatial concepts with movement problems.

Using games such as freeze dance to allow students to develop creative self-expression and new ways of moving.  Encourage students to watch other dancer’s shapes and creativity.  Spotlight creative ideas while others watch.  Use props to help emphasize the mood of the music and the movement quality. CA 2.0 Creative Expression

Grade 3 – Creation/Invention of Dance Movements 2.1 Create and improvise movement patterns and sequences.

Add chasses across the floor starting with slower tempo music working to quicker beats. Clapping on beat plus opportunities for dancing different tempos. Time signature using march, waltz time, 4/4 time, and 6/8 time. CA 1.0 Artistic Perception

Grade 2 – Comprehension and Analysis of Dance Elements 1.3 Perform short movement problems, emphasizing the element of time (e.g., varied tempos, rhythmic patterns, counting).

Using the dance spots, students will learn how to stand in concentric circles, lines, arced lines and windows. The teacher then takes the dance spot away and the same spacing is encouraged in order for students to feel the shape created by the group.  Give the students a chance to start or end in different shapes. CA 2.0 Creative Expression

Grade 3 – Application of Choreographic Principles and Processes to Creating Dance
2.4 Create a wide variety of shapes and movements, using different levels in space.

Students should practice being in time with the music.  Have dancers sit in a circle and clap to the beat of different music from different cultures.  Flamenco, African, Salsa allows students to learn strong beats each week to build help their ability to move in time. CA 3.0 Historical and Cultural Content

Grade 2 – Development of Dance
3.3 Name and perform rhythms from different cultures (e.g., through clapping, stomping, and using whole body movement).

Perform dance routine without dance instructor. Have students describe how dance makes them feel.  Students to perform their memorized dance in different directions or to change of tempo and asked to state how they feel. Professional dance films are shared. CA 4.0 Aesthetic Valuing

Grade 1 – Meaning and Impact of Dance

4.1 Use basic dance vocabulary to identify and describe a dance observed or performed
(e.g., shapes, levels, directions, tempo/fast-slow). 

Explanation of “port de bras” both visually and verbal definition within the history of ballet terms. Terms are written as well as spoken by students. Leaps jumps, hops and skips developed with traditional music. CA 3.0 Historical and Cultural Content

Grade 2 – Development of Dance
3.1 Name and perform social and traditional dances from various cultures.

Read short passage from book or a poem that inspires creativity in student’s dancing.  Or play a piece of music and have students try 4 bars each in their own style.  Encourage directional changes, skills from class or concepts of dance – space, time and energy. CA 5.0 Connections, Relationships, Applications

Grade 2- Connections and Applications Across Disciplines

5.1 Use literature to inspire dance ideas
(e.g., poem, cartoon, nursery rhyme).

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