Guest Blog: Guidelines for A Final Project

This semester in our Seminar in Dance Education course, we’ve been working toward our final culminating project for the NYU/ABT program. We’ve all chosen topics related to dance education and have written literature reviews. (My research has focused on a holistic approach to classical ballet instruction.) Now, some of us may choose to turn our projects into a curriculum proposal.

Dr. Susan Koff, our instructor and the director of the dance education department at NYU Steinhardt, gave us some direction on curriculum design: She suggests first focusing on what you hope your students will accomplish by the time they have completed the curriculum. Then you work backward to develop specific objectives, learning experiences, and ways of assessment to help students achieve the overall goal.

Sections and content of the proposal should include:

1. Introduction: Cover why you have written the curriculum, who the population is, and where the curriculum would take place.
2. Philosophy: State the educational belief system the curriculum is based upon. (For example, John Dewey, Margaret D’Houbler, Lev Vygotsky, etc.)
3. Rationale: Explain why the curriculum is needed, and what prior knowledge supports it.

4. Objectives: Outline your aims, goals, and objectives along with a sample lesson plan to illustrate proposed learning experiences.
5. Assessment: Describe the type and frequency of assessment and insert at least one rubric (a tool that describes what the instructor expects of her students, usually with ratings--Excellent, Very Good, Good, Satisfactory, Needs Work, etc.).
6. Materials required: List all the materials (for example, Marley floors, piano, stereo system, wall-mounted barres) you need to make the curriculum successful.
7. References: Provide a list of your sources, preferably in APA (American Psychological Association) style.

Hannah Guruianu is a master's degree candidate in dance education at New York University. She is a freelance writer and editor, flamenco student, and someday hopes to own her own studio. Before returning to school, she was the features editor at the newspaper in Binghamton, New York, and taught ballet classes at a local studio and community college.
Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

Keep reading... Show less
Music
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.