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Teacher’s Guide To the Ontario Dance Curriculum

The Ontario Dance Curriculum is an ambitious document that holds a high standard for teaching dance in Ontario. While having high standards for arts curriculum is a good thing, it can often feel out of reach when the vast majority of teachers do not have the training or musical experience to fully understand the concepts they are being asked to teach.

Understanding the different parts of the Ontario Dance Curriculum

The music curriculum is broken down into two sections: Fundamental Concepts & Specific Expectations. For teachers that are new to teaching dance, this can seem confusing. Which expectations should you focus on?

Fundamental Concepts in the Ontario Dance Curriculum

The fundamental concepts in the Ontario Dance Curriculum are based on the 6 elements of dance: Body, Action, Space, Time, Energy, & Relationship.

These fundamental concepts are actually the most important part of the expectations for each grade, as they are the part of the curriculum that is the most grade-specific.

Specific Expectations for Dance

The specific expectations of the curriculum are arranged into three categories: Creating and Presenting, Reflecting, Responding & Analysing; and Exploring Forms & Cultural Contexts.

The specific expectations do not change much from grade to grade. However, they are still very important. Think of the specific expectations as HOW you will teach the elements of dance that are listed in the fundamental concepts.

Hot Tip: If you’ve taught a dance element through all three specific expectation categories, then you’ve covered it very well.

Grade 1

In grade 1, the focus is on the body element. Students should be learning how to use the different parts of their body in different ways.