BUNDLE: “The Dance Appreciation” Bundle


For Professors of “Dance Appreciation” and “Intro to Dance” and high school AP courses: transform dance appreciation by teaching the process of dance inquiry. Implant the love of dance instead of memorized facts. Make articulate observers of any dance style. Increase intelligent response about each dance’s construction and meaning. Decode dances into the elements of body, time, space, dynamics, and relationship and understand choreographic design principles. Make life-long dance-lovers who insightfully interpret and critique dance works to enrich their lives. Use with any dance appreciation textbook…or without one.


  1. Toolkit One: Viewing Dance—Vocabularies for Critiquing (ISBN-13: 978-0-9799419-0-0) (Ultimate level with 260 individual pieces)
  2. Dance Elements Wall Charts, Set 1 (5 reference posters, color, large 24”x36”)
  3. “The Essential Questions Super-Bundle:”
  • Essential Questions Set 1 (6 discussion posters, color, 13”x19”)
  • Essential Questions Set 2 (6 more discussion posters, color, 13”x19”)
  • Essential Questions Set 3 (6 more discussion posters, color, 13”x19”)
  • Essential Questions Set 4 (6 more discussion posters, color, 13”x19”)

Dance Elements provide the movement language to describe and analyze dance.

The EQ series teaches how to look at dance and builds confident viewers.

Toolkit 1’s well-formed context for viewing and responding to dance includes.

  • Anchor contents are: Four-Step Critique; the Principles of Design.
  • Creative catalysts: Decoding Dance Works cards (three sets); Critiquing Cards.

All instill the four-step critiquing process–the avenue by which to systematically decode dances of all styles. To add several “Essential Questions” posters further enhances discussion.

Practical Aspects:

Turn Dance 101 into a learning lab. Use Toolkit 1: Viewing Dance resources to facilitate in-class viewing and to build lifelong viewing skills. Teach students to decoding dance works with the creative catalysts in hand during the Four-Step Critique (facilitated on charts as a guide). Then look closer at how the work is constructed to analyze its choreographic design. Use dance elements to describe and analyze works. Look closely enough to describe a work’s details (Dance Elements charts). From this detailed vantage point, interpret and critique with guidance from catalysts such as “Decoding Dance Works” cards (90 different comments per set), and “Critiquing Cards” (90 critiquing questions). To enrich learning gradually add the Essential Questions posters. (Set 1 contains level 1 inquiry that all ages should ask about dance. Each set advances in level. Add one poster question at a time to steadily increase perception and to enrich discussion in so that by mid-semester students easily mix and match them all. Thus both novice and expert have the means to interact with dance in a way that unlocks its mysteries forever.


This process revolutionizes “Dance 101” by engaging students in meaningful work. With dance’s “essential questions,” dance elements, design principles, a systematic critiquing process, and card catalysts to prompt lively discussion, viewers become confident dance connoisseurs. By semester’s end test their ability to use the resources to facilitate four-step critique. Have them create their own essential questions, facilitate small group discussion, and write analytical critiques using the dance elements and design principles. That’s transformational teaching and learning in dance.