Dance Education

What is a quality dance program?

A quality dance education program is a positive component of the school environment that enriches the physical education and arts education programs. Dance education that is developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive empowers students as they acquire diverse skills and an understanding of physical literacy and aesthetic literacy while meeting provincial curriculum standards and outcomes (PHE Canada Dance Program Advisory Committee, February, 2013).

The Value of Dance Education

Movement and rhythm, as expressed through dance, have long been the heart and soul of all cultures.  Because quality educational dance is a forum for collaboration between teachers and students through all learning domains, it is a site for deep learning for everyone.

“Dance education is a crucial component of a comprehensive education for all students. It is a movement art form that promotes learning to communicate and express ideas, feelings, perspectives, and concepts through kinesthetic modes of learning… Dance is for all students of all abilities; everyone can participate, create, learn, and experience the joy of dancing with others.” Cone, S. & Cone, T. (2011). Assessing dance in physical education. Strategies, 29-32.

Dance is a vital part of every student's education and contributes to deep and enduring student engagement that leads to learning success. Dance education develops unique, powerful, and multiple ways of perceiving, interpreting, knowing, representing, and communicating understandings about self and the world. Through dance experiences, students have opportunities to think creatively, explore ideas and feelings, and develop emerging personal, cultural, and social identities.

Dance involves educating learners through the medium of movement, which encompasses performing, creating, and valuing dance experiences. Socialization and interaction are central features of dance as a group experience. As a distinct mode of knowing, dance is a catalyst for wondering, imagining, exploring, and learning that is mediated through socio-emotional and bodily-kinesthetic processes. The fusion of body action and cognition manifested in the dance Framework promotes self-initiated learning, active problem solving, openness, collaboration, innovation, socialization, empathy, flexibility, critical and divergent thinking, and risk taking. Dance has the potential to promote responsibility and leadership and to prepare and inspire future citizens of the world to understand and address the most critical challenges of their times.” (


Note: PHE Canada Archived Dance Education Advisory Committee documents can be found at Library and Archives Canada.