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The strands in dance

Understanding dance in context

Dance students celebrate diversity and reinforce the multicultural heritage of dance in Aotearoa.

Through dance, they make connections between their own life experiences and the local and global community.

Students discover:

  • how the continuum of change in dance has spiralled from very traditional beginnings to boundless futures
  • how dance is expressed in a variety of styles and settings.

They use performance, choreography, and points of view to investigate the features, histories, issues, cultures, characters, and personalities of dance.

They explore, experience, evaluate, and question the many purposes of dance.

Developing practical knowledge in dance

Teachers engage students with the “tools of their trade”.

Students develop a practical understanding of the “building blocks” (elements) of dance – body awareness, space, time, energy, and relationships.

Students explore interactions between their body and other bodies, objects, and environments.

Students are free to find their own preferred ways of moving. They collaborate with others to share knowledge and apply this in dance creation and performance.

Students learn the vocabularies, practices, and technologies of dance in ways that are immediately useful.

Teachers actively challenge students to apply dance vocabulary to a variety of movement tasks.

In dance, all knowledge is transferable into action. Everything that students learn can be used in dance.

Developing ideas in dance

Teachers open the door for students to learn through invention.

They guide students through the creative process of choreography.

They encourage and support students to be inventive, make mistakes, and bring all that they are becoming into their work.

Teachers may suggest ideas or stimuli for creating dance, or students may discover these themselves.

Students embody ako (reciprocal learning) as they working individually, in pairs, or in groups to develop ideas and bring dance to life. Each student’s ideas and experiences are valid and useful in the making of dance works.

Students use the elements of dance, choreographic devices, structures and processes, and technologies to express their thoughts and feelings through dance.

Communicating and interpreting dance

Teachers refine students’ awareness of how dance is performed and viewed. They can encompass their diverse cultures and experience these by performing dance or by watching a performance.

Teachers develop the students’ key function of being a dance performer and a dance audience. Students, as dancers, prepare and rehearse dance sequences. Students expand and build their confidence through involvement in performance and with each other. They can reflect on and evaluate their own and others’ ongoing development in dance.

Students (as audience) respond to, describe, and explain the dances they experience. They make informed judgments about dance and the intended ideas and human qualities behind and within dance performed by others.

Students bring together the combination of dance skills they have learned. This occurs in a variety of performance settings, both formal and informal.

Last updated June 8, 2012