How Should Dance be Taught?

The best place to begin teaching dance is by looking at the dance-related outcomes that your students should be meeting in your curriculum. You may want to print these outcomes so that you can base each lesson on one or two of the suggested outcomes.

When planning dance units and lessons, you can also select objectives from each of the three learning domains; Psychomotor, Cognitive, and Affective Domain. All three domains are very closely integrated and each contributes to the development of the other.

Psychomotor Domain

Physical Skills


  • •Locomotor Actions
  • •Non-Locomotor
  • •Spatial Awareness
  • •Controlled Use of Body Dynamics
  • •Relationships
  • Functional Fitness (health related)
  • Cardio/Respiratory Efficiency
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Weight Control
  • Motor Ability (skill related)



Cognitive Domain

Knowledge and Understandings

Cognitive Abilities

  • Of dance elements
  • Of safe practices
  • Of body alignment
  • Of movement principles
  • Of the capacity of movement as a vehicle for personal expression
  • Of the role of creative dance as an art form
  • Of community recreational and professional opportunities
  • Of the role of dance in society
  • Of interpreting and understanding concepts and ideas
  • Of applying learned concepts
  • Of analyzing movement concepts
  • Of synthesizing learned concepts into movement routines/dances
  • Of evaluating products
  • Of imagination
  • Of memory development
  • Of critical thinking
  • Of inventiveness




Affective Domain

Social Skills

Attitudes and Appreciations

  • Sensitivity to others
  • Cooperation
  • leadership and followers
  • responsibility
  • communication
  • inventiveness
  • self-direction
  • respect for others
  • mental health and wellness
  • self esteem
  • self efficacy
  • emotional awareness, expression and self regulation
  • focus and concentration
  • Desire to dance and attend dance performance
  • Appreciation of the abilities of self and others
  • Appreciation of quality performance
  • Appreciation of relationships between dance, health and exercise
  • Appreciation of the aesthetic aspects of dance and the physical body
  • Feelings of pride in accomplishments of self and others
  • Feelings of competency and self-worth through the attainment of physical skills and expressive capacity.

Adapted from, Creative Dance. Basic Skills Series. CAHPERD