Everyone loves to dance. We all enjoy turning on our iPods or other music devices and bouncing to the beat. School dances, weddings, and parties allow for socializing and having fun with dance. This website will help you discover the powers of dance in education and the benefits one can experience. Dance is a way of expressing yourself and keeping physically active. It enhances movement, strength, endurance, cognitive perception, memory, and more. It releases endorphins in the body, which helps one feel relaxed and elevated. There is a curriculum guide for educators with vocabulary to better understand this complex yet intriguing world. Since the beginning of time, people have been dancing. Over time, people have developed words and different meanings to convey dance and make it more accessible to people from different nationalities. It is a bringing together of several cultures in a celebration of the body and movement.

external image dance-01.jpg

Dance is the art form in which human movement becomes the medium for communicating ideas and emotions. The goal of dance education is to engage students in artistic experiences through the processes of creation, performance, and response. The art of dance takes place in and through the body. The body is a mobile figure or shape, felt by the dancer, seen by others. The body is sometimes relatively still and changes as the dancer moves in place or travels through the dance area. Dancers may emphasize specific parts of their body – called contractions, in a dance phrase or their whole body.

Dance has its own vocabulary, content, skills, and techniques. This vocabulary must be understood and applied in order to be proficient in the art. The elements of dance are the foundational concepts and vocabulary for developing movement skills as well as understanding dance as an art form. Muscles, bones, organs, breath, balance, and reflex all incorporate into dance. Dance is made up of streams of movement and pauses, so action refers not only to steps and sequences, but also to pauses and moments of relative stillness. Movement that travels through space is broadly called locomotor movement in contrast to axial movement, which occurs on the spot. Dancers may focus their movement and attention outwardly to the space or inwardly toward themselves. Dance movements may show different timing relationships such as simultaneous or sequential timing; or brief to long duration; fast to slow speed; or accents in predictable or unpredictable intervals.

The acronym BASTE helps students study elements of dance.
B= Body
A= Action
S= Space
T= Time
E= Energy

When students watch a dance, they ask themselves: what is the body doing? What actions is the dancer taking advantage of? Is he or she moving through space or staying still? How long is the dance? Does time effect the dance? Is it quick? Slow? How much energy is the dancer using? What emotions is he or she trying to convey? A student may ask themselves these same questions in their own dancing. The audience, whether it be a group of people or no one at all, must be able to understand what it is you are trying to convey. Dance is not only a form of physical entertainment, it is also an art that tells a story.