Ask the Experts: Lesson Plan Ideas

Can you suggest a good source for lesson plan ideas?

Like most educators, I spend a fair amount of time and energy creating curriculum and lesson plans. Recently, I was tipped off about ArtsEdge. ArtsEdge ( is the Kennedy Center’s online arts educator resource. It has dance lesson plans ranging from African to hula to ballet. The lessons are a full set of instructions that also include extra materials, like rubrics and related printables, to hand out to your students. There are links to videos you can use, as well as a section on how the lesson connects to arts standards. (At this time, ArtsEdge is still referencing the 1994 voluntary national arts standards. They’re working to include the new National Core Arts Standards.) You can search for lessons by grade, arts subject or a cross-discipline—or any combination of the three.  

Just about any page has a tab bar on the side with links to related resources, like video, audio and other lesson plans. The site also has a section of about 50 short how-to articles on best practices. The topics range from teaching critiques to dealing with sensitive themes onstage. As if this treasure trove of material isn’t enough, there’s even an entire section of online resources just for students.

Be careful—this site is an overwhelming yet fascinating rabbit hole! I started out looking at Martha Graham, and the next thing I knew I was immersed in a break-dance video.

Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty at the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.

Photo courtesy of Barry Blumenfeld

Don’t miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

Teacher Voices

There were plenty of reasons why we were happy to bid 2020 a not-so-fond farewell, but for tap dancers, the end of such a difficult year was the final curtain on a decade in which the art form experienced remarkable growth.

Over the past 10 years, The School at Jacob's Pillow launched its first-ever tap programs; companies such as Dorrance Dance and Caleb Teicher & Company emerged and produced award-winning work; Operation Tap became an important voice in online tap education; the American Tap Dance Foundation established its new home in Greenwich Village; The Kennedy Center presented its first full-length tap concert; and so much more.

As the new year sees tap dance trying to maintain this positive momentum despite the ongoing restrictions of the pandemic, we invited several of the field's living legends to meet on Zoom and discuss how they perceive the current state of tap dance and tap education.

Keep reading... Show less
Teacher Voices
Getty Images

In 2001, young Chanel, a determined, ambitious, fiery, headstrong teenager, was about to begin her sophomore year at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, also known as the highly acclaimed "Fame" school. I was a great student, a promising young dancer and well-liked by my teachers and my peers. On paper, everything seemed in order. In reality, this picture-perfect image was fractured. There was a crack that I've attempted to hide, cover up and bury for nearly 20 years.

Keep reading... Show less
Health & Body
Getty Images

Though the #MeToo movement has spurred many dancers to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, the dance world has yet to have a full reckoning on the subject. Few institutions have made true cultural changes, and many alleged predators continue to work in the industry.

As Chanel DaSilva's story shows, young dancers are particularly vulnerable to abuse because of the power differential between teacher and student. We spoke with eight experts in dance, education and psychology about steps that dance schools could take to protect their students from sexual abuse.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.