1. DDC’s Professional Development Workshops are specifically designed for teachers in general, special or gifted programs who have expressed interest in integrating Dance and/or other art forms into their classroom curricula. Workshops deal with specific subject matter and are available to teachers, community leaders and others, regardless of previous dance skills. The workshops have been devised to discover and explore common educational concepts and language in a non-threatening, informative and joyful atmosphere, one that will encourage participants to reach to their strengths and extend their vision. Individuals working in general and special education programs, with at-risk populations, in cross cultural or intergenerational situations are welcome to attend.

  1. The workshops may accommodate 15 to 30 participants from mixed or specific grade levels and subject areas, but more homogeneous groupings are preferable. Sessions are geared to one 2 to 3 hour session or may be extended to two 2-hour sessions (morning–break–afternoon). They should take place in a ventilated room large enough to accommodate the activities and the room should be equipped with a sound system, chairs and worktable.

  1. The workshops may incorporate the use of hands-on props (stretch bags, elastics, fabric, etc) and introduce a wide variety of music genres. DDC also offers dance and technology workshops that include the use of computer generated images. These images are projected creating an extraordinary environment in which to create dances.

  1. A list of resources including reading materials, music and video are available.

  1. Demonstrations with students are also available.


This is a warm-up that is suitable for all sessions, and these elements are applicable to all disciplines, but with the addition of appropriate vocabulary and concepts.

The instructor leads the group introducing non-locomotor or axial movement (stretch, bend, twist, curl) that leads to the creation of shapes incorporating volume, symmetry, asymmetry, linear and curvilinear designs. Participants begin working alone then with partners and larger groups.

The instructor leads the group through locomotor movement (traveling through the space) forward, backward, sideways, high, low, fast, slow, etc. Each participant creates a sequence of movement that has a beginning, middle and end that can be repeated or taught to another. (There are lots of laughs, but lots of learning, too.)

The instructor leads a circle dance of very simple, familiar steps danced to lively folk music. Participants are invited to “add on and teach” their own movements. The emphasis is on setting a relaxed mood while dealing immediately with sequencing, clarity of expression, repetition. Names are learned as each new step takes the “choreographer’s” name. The group divides in two to make new dances to be shared.

All of the sample lessons below use the dance elements

experienced in the “Welcome Warm-up Dance”.

The following are examples that deal with specific subject area, but keep in mind cross-references remain constant. Common vocabulary includes: space, time, and energy emphasizing the use of level, shape, direction, pathway, design, rhythm, tempo, movement qualities as well as sequencing and repeating movement to create longer phrases or dance studies. Other important concepts are cooperation, critical analysis, peer recognition and appreciation. Questions are welcome as we work.


Poetry and literature have always been an inspiration for dance making. Rhythm, form, alliteration, conflict and resolution can all be brought to life through movement. The session could focus on dance/drama concepts of character development, “story without words”, use of voice or music as accompaniment for dramatic ideas, or specific projects may be solicited from participants prior to the workshop. Dance is also an excellent way to introduce new vocabulary and parts of speech. For example, students may create movement phrases using verbs such as jump, spin, reach, and then develop it further using the elements of dance.


Participants may be asked to think of the dance space as a laboratory in which movement experiments are made, refined and presented. Concepts of gravity, metamorphosis, space, ocean life and the animal kingdom are wonderful movement material. Electronic music and images of computer graphics may be projected to create an atmosphere that reflects the influence of science on the arts and establish a “theatrical” experience. Specific subject areas are solicited throughout the workshop.


Social studies is especially aligned to dance in that the variety of music, legends, rituals, folk dances, etc. serve as rich inspiration. Dance is an integral part of many cultures and its practitioners are revered in society. One may focus on the properties of earth, air, fire, and water, their effects on the land and in the lives of the people. Especially important is beginning with the Welcome Warm-up Dance, pointing out that the circle is an ancient form of social structure that afforded equal access to warmth, light and the recognition of friends and strangers. This is an excellent opportunity to design an actual lesson plan together.


Counting, patterns, shape, planes in space, and geometry concepts are all integral in dance and math. Students may make 2 and 3 dimensional shapes with self and others, design line segments and angles with the use of props or their arms and legs.


Line, two and three-dimensional shapes, influence of classic and contemporary artists and similar vocabulary play an important part in this workshop. Using a variety of music, participants are asked to move and draw, noting how dance affects the gesture line. Paper sculpting, clay, movable frames, stretch bags that mold the body can also be used. Connections are also made to social, geographical and scientific influences on the arts and on critical analysis.


This workshop focuses on dance as it relates to musical form, style, rhythm, composition and improvisation. The use of the voice as an instrument, as well as classical, contemporary and traditional music forms is also used. We may also focus upon the creation of a dance score with groups moving to whole notes, half notes, etc. Concepts of percussive and sustained movement (staccato and legato) may be explored as well as moving with and in contrast to music. Specific projects will be solicited from participants.



Barbara Selinger, Artistic Director, 810.444.4553 or

To Fund DDCdances School Residencies

ARTS IN EDUCATION GRANTS are available through the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. Information, applications and guidelines can be found on-line:

Professional Development

Dance Is Education