Guest Blog: Making a Plan

The NYU/ABT semester is quickly coming to a close - those of us in the first graduating class will meet for the last time on Dec. 15. In the meantime, our spare time is full of lesson plans, writing curriculum, and presentations. It's rewarding to finally have a chance to take all of the theory we've been learning and put it into writing as we develop lessons that are accessible to a variety of learners. It's especially helpful to me to write these lesson plans after having seen a formal lesson plan put into action when we accompanied American Ballet Theatre teaching artists into public schools. (Read about it here:

Deborah Damast, program coordinator of the Dance Education Program at NYU Steinhardt School of Education, Culture, and Human Development, gave us a template for developing a lesson plan.

The introduction should include:
- the title of the lesson
- instructor name
- lesson duration
- age group
- materials needed
- objectives

Then, a detailed description of lesson activities should follow, including the expected time allowed for each section. The sections you may want to cover include in your lesson:
- warm up
- presentation of the theme
- group activity/dancemaking
- sharing/performance
- group discussion

Next week, I will present two of my lesson plans to my peers. One is co-written with classmate Clarence McDorman for our Creative Movement class, and it has a cross-curricular application for middle school students studying poetry. The other is a group project, and each of us in the group had to write specific lesson plans based upon choreography that we had produced earlier this semester. Since my choreography combined the idea of walking on the beach with flamenco movements, my lesson plan is based upon Spanish culture and introducing basics of flamenco movement and musical rhythms to middle school students.


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.

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