Dance Around the World
Dance Around the World is an innovative multicultural dance curriculum that can be adapted to a variety of grade levels and formats. The curriculum is always expanding and includes dances from 6 continents. When the students land in North America, our unique Hip-Hop Unit teaches them about regional styles of hip-hop within the USA (East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, South).
Download our World Dance Map for an overview of all the dances in our curriculum.
In this format, we work with classrooms to study 1-2 dance styles in depth. Students learn about the cultural significance of the dances and master choreography that is based on authentic movement and steps for each genre. From there, they are guided through a creative process to create the final performance piece. In early grades, movement games and activities reinforce the dance styles learned and inspire creativity. In upper grades, creative writing and story-telling exercises are integrated into the creative process to help produce the final dance.
For schools with multiple classrooms or grade levels participating, each classroom can focus on a different dance/culture, and then join together for a final assembly that takes the audience "around the world."
ATTENTION IB SCHOOLS: Our in-school residencies align well with the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum model. Contact us to request a sample IB Unit plan!
In an after-school format (typically 10-12 weeks), students will learn a dance from each continent. For older students, the class becomes an "Urban Social Dance" experience, fusing several styles of dance in a fun and enlightening way.
Each Fall, we offer a variation on Dance Around the World, which incorporates selections from the second act of "The Nutcracker" that represent the cultures of Spain, Russia, China, Poland, and the Middle East (Arabian Peninsula). This program is perfect to culminate in a pre-holiday assembly!
SLIDESHOW: Dance Around the World in action (photos courtesy of Marcela Rafea and Oak Park Education Foundation)