TEXTBOOK: Teaching Dance as Art in Education


Author: McCutchen, Brenda Pugh. Publisher: Human Kinetics (2006).

Teaching Dance as Art in Education is the foundation text for teacher preparation and certification in dance education worldwide.  It guides in-service and pre-service teachers to develop a fully comprehensive plan for K-12 dance education centered in creating, performing, responding, and connecting.  A MUST for all levels of dance teacher education: pre-service, in-service, student teaching, professional development, undergraduate and graduate level studies.  TDAE describes the way to dance literacy and educational dance as the holistic models for the 21st century teacher. The text is standards-aligned without being standards-driven.  Literacy in each artistic process is emphasized throughout the text and demonstrated in a lengthy curriculum framework chart that lists the key content required to achieve a high-quality educational dance program and how to sequence it from kindergarten to grade 12.  This holistic text is the “gold standard” for dance education teacher preparation and successful teaching for the 21st century.






The comprehensive textbook Teaching Dance as Art in Education focuses on how to develop dance literacy in all four artistic processes: creating, performing, responding, and connecting.  It empowers teachers to integrate core content, instruction, and assessment to achieve standards while focusing on child-centered instruction.  Its holistic approach supports all aspects of teaching.  For example, Chapter 4 focuses on dance’s role in child development by demonstrating precisely how to advance learners physically, cognitively, artistically, and psychosocially as well as when to do so by looking at different ages and stages of development.  Teaching Dance as Art in Education (TDAE) incorporates all styles and genres of dance into its curriculum. The text also zeroes in on the vital content which must be mastered by graduation.  For example, the comprehensive Curriculum Framework for each artistic process present standards-aligned content and skills to master by outlining in chart form how to sequence skills from kindergarten to graduation.  Curriculum development is included to assist teachers in instructional planning.


Because this text lays out a comprehensive holistic 6DC approach to educational dance, it is known as the book to guide dance educators throughout their careers.  The easy-to-understand-text emphasizes methods to increase dance literacy in each artistic process and to fluently integrate aspects of all four artistic processes.

Teaching Dance as Art in Education emphasizes the big ideas embedded in each artistic process, especially the principles and processes for each artistic process.  TDAEs six defining characteristics of educational dance (known as the “6DC”) shows what is needed for delivery of a viable curriculum.  It must be:
1. Comprehensive (broad in scope, inclusive, holistic, including all artistic processes)
2. Substantive (content-rich for enduring understanding)
3. Sequential (systematically increasing complexity as students grow)
4. Artistically driven (focused on the art of dance and the principles and processes of each artistic process; achieves quality)

5. Contextually coherent (related, connected, experiences placed in an enriched context)
6. Inquiry-based (engaged, inquisitive, creative, personalized learning, student agency)


For the Table of Contents, click the “Add to Cart” button which takes you directly to the Human Kinetics website which posts the TOC.


Teaching Dance as Art in Education addresses a standards-aligned curriculum which utilizes the UBD “backward design” process.  It is acclaimed as the “gold standard” for all dance educators–whether in-service K-12 dance specialists, pre-service teachers, higher education, student teachers, teaching artists, graduate students, or professionals. 


Best Suited for:  Dance education professors, in-service dance specialists K-12, pre-service dance educators and student teachers, teaching artists; higher education, undergraduates and graduate studies.


Useful Resource for: school administrators, fine-arts coordinators, and gifted educators, professionals.

Important to Note:  TDAE’s series of holistic 6DC teacher packets (toolkits) enable teachers to excel in advancing understanding and skills in each artistic process.  There is a toolkit for each artistic process.  Each kit presents the “big ideas” that drive each artistic process with anchor charts and creative catalysts to activate skills around each topic.  The series of kits is sequenced so each kits materials add to the concepts and skills learned in previous kits.: 1.  Viewing Dance (responding), 2. Creating Dance (creating process), 3.  Composing Dance (choreographic structures).  To teach with such cutting-edge tools and textbook get the best results by involving the whole student and the whole art of dance rather than isolated aspects of it.  Kits come in 3 levels: K-5, MS, HS+.   Kits are only available from this website.  




⇒USA English version: hardback, 543 pages, 8.5″x 12″, USD $84.
⇒Canada English version: hardback, 543 pages, 8.5″ x 12″, USD $101.95.                                                                                                                                                                   ⇒Orders for this book link directly to Human Kinetics to fulfill and incur shipping charges from the publisher.
⇒There is a Chinese version in Simplified Chinese Language from Shanghai Music Publishing House: sturdy double-paperback, 533 pages, 8.5″x 12″. $82   
⇒Dance Curriculum Designs is the “Sole Source Vendor in the USA” for the Chinese language version.  Order it from this site.  In China, order from the publishing house listed above.