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Dance and Movement

In dance the body is the instrument of expression, the medium. It is completely human to move and respond to our feelings and experiences facilitated by dance’s partner and creative companion, music. We can dance alone, but often we seek partners, and this collaborative spirit is an intrinsic part of dance’s creative process. Even when we are not dancing, articipation in the medium provides self-awareness of how we move through the world and assist us in our efforts to be understood. Cultural joy is expressed and shared through dance in a diverse array of styles and movements. Of all the arts disciplines it is one we stay connected to throughout our lifetimes in celebrations and ceremonies.

Dance Education: What Is It? Why Is It Important?

National Dance Association, 1991

Dance is a way of perceiving, a body of knowledge, and a social and personal experience. Dance is a way of knowing self, others, ad the world around us. Dance education allows individuals to communicate with others in a way that his different from the written or spoken word, or even from other visual or auditory symbols. Knowing and perceiving in dance occurs on both the conscious and subconscious levels.

Forms and styles of dance help define particular societies and periods of history and contribute to the broad body of cultural knowledge. The cumulative knowledge of dance is a history of the world and its peoples. The act of dancing is not mindless doing but involves exploration, sensing, concentration, focus, projection, and commitment. There is an active use of memory, translation, interpretation, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Creating dance involves personal engagement in the creative process, finding new movement and/or organizing movement in new ways through use of individual resources.