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Applied Methods: Dance in Schools and Communities

Course Code: SPSC 1317
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Sport Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course will provide students with the knowledge and experience necessary to plan and teach lessons in dance in educational and community settings. Students will gain practical experience in planning, leading, and evaluating lessons in dance. Experience in dance is not a pre-requisite for this course. Students will be introduced to a variety of dance styles. This course may be used as elective credit for the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching.

Course Content

Specific content will focus on:

1. Dance education in school and community settings:
     1.1. Scope of practice in dance education
     1.2. Conceptual approaches to dance education based on Laban Movement Principles
     1.3. Developing movement skills and artistry through exploration of expressive movement

2. Movement concepts based on Laban movement principles and further described by Anne Green Gilbert:
     2.1. Space
     2.2. Time
     2.3. Force
     2.4. Body
     2.5. Effort action

3. Developing personal skills through dance education:
     3.1. Physical literacy
     3.2. Creativity
     3.3. Critical thinking
     3.4. Collaboration
     3.5. Managing diversity

4. Technical skills in select dance styles that may include:
     4.1. Modern dance
     4.2. Social dance
     4.3. Folk/cultural dance
     4.4. Jazz dance
     4.5. Hip hop
     4.6. Line/square dance

5. Techniques and movement patterns:
     5.1. Locomotor and non-locomotor movements
     5.2. Fundamental motor skills
     5.3. Fundamental movement vocabulary, progressions, and variations
     5.4. Sequencing and transitions
     5.5. Music structure and basic rhythms
     5.6. Posture, centering, and frame alignment
     5.7. Partner dynamics and etiquette

6. Unit/Session planning:
     6.1. Individual lesson planning
     6.2. Unit development
     6.3. Skill progression
     6.4. Guiding others through the creative process

7. Arts integration in schools:
     7.1. Interdisciplinary approach to dance education 
     7.2. Dance activities for a classroom environment

8. Teaching methods and instructional strategies:
     8.1. Planning dance activities to promote creativity and self-expression through planned movement or structured improvisation
     8.2. Planning lessons to increase skill development using popular and historical forms of dance
     8.3. Planning diverse approaches for all stages of learning and development
     8.4. Music selection
     8.5. Counting and cuing techniques
     8.6. Environmental concerns
     8.7. Use of props
     8.8. Imagery as a teaching tool
     8.9. Strategies for inclusive dance practice

9. Assessment techniques:
     9.1. Analysis and assessment of technical skills
     9.2. Error detection and correction in peers and other subjects
     9.3. Self-analysis of skills and creative process through reflection and observation
     9.4. Creating an evaluation tool based on lesson/unit plans content

Methods of Instruction

  • Lectures
  • Discussion groups / Group work
  • Practical applications
  • Seminar
  • Peer-led / Peer teaching
  • Problem-based learning
  • Experiential learning

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:

Professionalism and Attendance 10-15%

Personal Movement Competence 5-25%

Instructional Knowledge and Planning 25-30%

Peer and Self Movement Assessment 10-20%

Lesson and Performance Presentations 25-30%

Total  100% 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

1. Recognize, demonstrate and describe movement vocabulary used in dance.
2. Demonstrate proficiency in selected performance elements of popular and historical dance forms.
3. Apply appropriate pedagogical principles for effective instruction based on a conceptual approach to dance education.
4. Describe and demonstrate instructional strategies for leading safe, effective, and inclusive lessons in dance.
5. Create lesson plans and unit plans based on a conceptual approach to dance education including movement exploration, skill development, and choreography.
6. Create movement experiences using dance that can be applied to a variety of educational and community-based settings.
7. Apply systematic observation and analysis in order to accurately recognize effective and ineffective performance in select dance forms.
8. Demonstrate and explain the developmental factors and learner attributes that leaders need to understand when working with a variety of ages and skill levels.

course prerequisites

Courses listed here must be completed prior to this course:

  • No prerequisite courses


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.