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Andrea Burghart. Dance & Literacy. Moving Forward…. What is Dance Literacy?.

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Dance literacy

Andrea Burghart

Dance & Literacy

Moving Forward…

What is dance literacy
What is Dance Literacy?

“Dance, drama, musical and the visual arts as different and distinct forms of representation or sign and symbols systems are vital to the development of the whole person because they are each particular forms of experience and of understanding.”

- Tina Hong, Developing Dance Literacy in the Postmodern: An Approach to Curriculum

  • What is dance?

  • How can we develop our literacy in dance?


  • Ballet

  • Modern

  • Tap

  • Jazz

  • Pointe

  • Lyrical

  • Social

  • Cultural

  • Ballroom

  • Swing

  • Tango

  • Folk Dance


Male dancers:

Where are the men in dance?

Why don’t we see more of them?

What encourages and discourages men from studying dance?


At what age can you dance? Even our ideas of the “right” age for dancing need to expand. The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange is a performing dance company with members of all ages.

Educational centers
Educational Centers

  • Home / Family

  • Community

  • Public School

  • Private Studio

  • Social Events

Where do we dance?

Where do we learn to dance?

Where do we perform dances?

****Does education only happen within a “learning center” or can it occur during performance experiences and outside of a classroom?****

Connections dance reading
Connections: Dance & Reading

  • Kinesthetic Reading

  • Visual Reading

Dance education includes reading with our bodies to understand information on a different level from cognitive reasoning. Dancers must read information kinetically and keep it in their muscle memory.

In dance, we read other bodies visually as well as reading words, symbols and texts visually to inform our movement and our ideas. Word walls can help students integrate their visual understanding with the kinetic understanding they are developing.

Going forward
Going Forward

  • Where can dance literacy go?

  • What can we do to contribute?

How can technology help us develop our dance literacy?

  • Videos

  • Websites

  • Blogs

  • Sharing our knowledge online