(drum roll, please…)

dance education, dance literacy, dance resources, dance critiqueDance Curriculum Designs (DCD) wishes to thank customers who have made Toolkit One: Viewing Dance—Vocabularies for Critiquing a vital part of your dance literacy program in Grades 2-12.  Not only is this toolkit the first in our growing Dance Literacy Toolkit Series, it has also become our best-selling toolkit ever, because dance educators like you either:


  1. needed tools for analyzing and critiquing dance to meet national standards for responding,
  2. had profound results in raising literacy levels in the dance education classroom with it,
  3. found it user friendly to both dance specialists and students,
  4. know it to be the only integrated teaching method devoted to facilitating dance analysis and critique of major works of dance,
  5. are building a 6DC model of educational dance (introduced in Teaching Dance as Art in Education),
  6. or understand how literacy in dance’s principles of design is necessary to not only responding to dance but also to creating

For whatever reasons you’ve chosen it for your school (or for all schools in your district), we celebrate you for the work you do in dance education and are grateful to be your partner in growing literacy-based dance education programs.

As the author of Toolkit One: Viewing Dance—Vocabularies for Critiquing, I have appreciated your feedback, as well as the praise.











To celebrate, DCD added a PowerPoint on our website to introduce this transformative kit to new owners. The new presentation accompanies the “Tips for Teaching Toolkit One” video also on the website.  Both demonstrate the kit’s contents and offer ways to maximize deployment of its integrated resources, such as “holding back and parceling out” the creative catalysts over several years so as to continually “add new skills to the known” concepts for 3-5 years with the same learners.

The SC Dance Educators Institute Cohort who first met up with Toolkit One:  Viewing Dance—Vocabularies for Critiquing several years back on the first day of their six-day intensive of the Level 1 Institute in 2018, were hooked after a day with it which culminated by their utilizing the three different sets of Decoding Dance Works cards to write 3 amazing critiques of the same masterwork—all totally different and certainly fit for publication.  This year, they returned for the 2022 Level 4 institute as “old-pros” at facilitating dance analysis and critique of masterworks because they’ve been using these materials for several years across the age range of EL, MS, and HS.  They are amazing in their ability to “own” the critiquing process and the language of critique as they deploy the materials with familiarity and a greatly expanded language.  As a group, the entire cohort continues to reflect on the life-changing experience they gained from starting their first day rookie’s immersion in this toolkit’s teaching materials and processes as the groundwork for all that followed.

All confess to having been previously under-educated in dance analysis and critique during their undergraduate certification programs and see that one-day immersion as a defining moment in transforming their understanding and ability to transform their own school-based environment.  To watch dynamic teachers finally understand the content of literacy-based responding and to own the methods that enliven student response bring great joy to Dr. Tina Curran and to me (the institute co-facilitators). Because this cohort, dance literacy is growing in South Carolina schools.

So, here’s to the “green kit” as it’s often called.  May it continue to increase dance literacy and skills in teachers and their students at all ages and stages of development for years to come!! 


Brenda Pugh McCutchen, created Dance Curriculum Designs™ for the 21st century in the year 2000 just as she began writing dance education’s foundation textbook for higher education for undergraduate and graduate studies.  While writing this text, Teaching Dance as Art in Education (2006, Human Kinetics), McCutchen envisioned it as containing the “holistic theory” which also needed to be packaged with four teaching toolkits with creative catalysts—one kit for each artistic process–creating, performing, responding, and relating.  Little did she realize the time it took to create and produce each toolkit is the same as writing an entire textbook because each toolkit is like the design of a textbook, just in separate pieces.  Nonetheless, two kits are in print (one for critiquing and one for creating) and the newest kit (on dance composition) will be finished as soon as the manual is complete, so she looks forward to seeing it out soon.