The site you are about to enter is a series of dynamic and interactive educational materials aimed at fostering a multidisciplinary understanding of how movement ideas are enacted in various aspects of American culture. We believe that learning to see, think and write about dance brings students face to face (or rather, body to body) with their own cultural assumptions, forging potent intellectual connections between historical contexts, social issues, and the development of a critical point of view. Because of the very palpable presence of active, moving bodies in dance, becoming critically conversant about this form of representation will lead students to become increasingly aware of the implications of their own corporeal experiences. Reading and writing about dancing. What an exciting way to integrate visual perception, intellectual ideas, and physical action, connecting students' minds and their bodies to thinking about their worlds.
Depending on your interests, you may choose to follow either the Body in Society pathway with the module on Bodies and Machines, or the Resources for Teaching Dance History route with the section entitled Creating an American Identity. Both of these pathways provide scholarly combinations of primary texts, historical contexts, as well as illustrations and video excerpts of dances. In addition, we have included sample classroom exercises (in observation, writing, and critical discussion) in order to facilitate active learning and support educators who might not be familiar with dance as a humanistic discipline. Because one of our goals with this site is to encourage an exchange of teaching strategies and resources, we have also included an interactive discussion board (blog) which can be accessed here.