Typhani Harris | July 2015

Top 10 Dance Lessons: Part I

This is the first of a two week installment of my top 10 favorite high school dance lessons.

I have tested each of these lessons with my students, the population being inner city students with no previous dance experience.  As with any lesson, be sure you take the time to modify the plan so that it fits for your students.

This top 10 list will offer a brief synopsis of each lesson and a downloadable printout of the lesson including resources and handouts.

#10
History of Jazz

This lesson offers a brief history of Jazz.  It is a great lesson for any level of dance student and provides some historical insight into the studio.  Download the PDF here: History of Jazz Lesson Plan  Review the following article for resources and handouts: History of Jazz

#9
Compositional Prop Study

This is such an enjoyable lesson with any age group.  It involves the use of various items that are not traditionally used in dance and that is what makes it so much fun.  This lesson can be used to introduce compositional structures, defeat choreographer’s block, and/or explore ways to introduce inanimate objects into movement.  Download the PDF here: Compositional Prop Study Lesson Plan  Review the following article for resources and handouts: Compositional Prop Study

#8
History of Ballet

This lesson offers a brief history of Ballet.  It is a great lesson for any level of dance student and provides some historical insight into the studio.  Download the PDF here: History of Ballet Lesson Plan  Review the following article for resources and handouts: History of Ballet

#7
Dances with Water

This lesson is a great arts integration lesson combining movement with the water cycle.  It can be completed by the dance teacher, by the science teacher, or as a collaboration.  Download the PDF here: Dances with Water Lesson Plan  Review the following article for resources and handouts: Dances With Water

#6
History of Modern

This lesson offers a brief history of Modern.  It is a great lesson for any level of dance student and provides some historical insight into the studio.  Download the PDF here: History of Modern Lesson Plan  Review the following article for resources and handouts: History of Modern

Next Week: Part II of my Top 10 Dance Lessons
Next week we will count down the last 5 of my top 10 dance lessons.

About the Author

Dr. Typhani Harris, author of Putting the Performance in Performance Task and Stop Teaching, brings over 2 decades of educational experience to The Institute. Originally a high school English Language Arts teacher, Dr. Harris transitioned into a dance educator who cultivated an award-winning collegiate style dance education program at a public school in California. Prior to joining the Institute, she was an educational leader and instructional coach specializing in preparing new teachers in secondary urban schools.  As the Executive Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Harris maintains courses, conferences, and the accredited certification program at The Institute.