Montclair Public Schools
Montclair High School
Principal: James N. Earle
100 Chestnut Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
8:00 AM - 2:33 PM
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Intermediate Dance

NAME OF COURSE: Intermediate Dance Techniques 540

GRADES: 9-12


CREDITS: 5 Visual/Performing Arts or 3.75 Physical Education


Intermediate Dance Technique is a structured, pol­ished technique class for male/female students with prior training in movement and dance. The class combines the concepts of modern dance with the leg work and lyricism of both modern and ballet tech­niques. Warm-up exercises focus on alignment, placement and balance. Cen­ter floor work includes an adagio, turn sequences and traveling movement combi­nations for power, strength and speed. Dance phrases nor­mally are of a lyrical modern style, composed of big sweeping movements and an organic sense and use of the floor. Students create and critique dances which emphasize both a movement-based and a thematic approach to dance making, and are guided through exercises which develop improvisational skills throughout the year. Students present their work informally in class and at times, as part of a public performance in the spring. Field trips to high-caliber performances of dance are scheduled to enhance the overall learning experience.


None available. Suggest readings: Dance Composition Basics by Pamela Anderson Sofras; Contact Improvisation by Cheryl Palant; Learning About Dance by Nora Ambrosio; The Vision of Modern Dance by Brown, Mindlin and Woodford; Dancers Talking Dance by Larry Lavender; The Intimate Act of Choreography by Blom and Chaplin; Moving From Within by Alma M. Hawkins; Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery by Eric Franklin; Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance by Eric Franklin; Fifty Contemporary Choreographers by Martha Bremser


Supplementary Instructional Material: Classroom instruction is embellished through the use of videotaped showings pertaining to performances of current professional dance companies, the history of dance; also supplemental training in Yoga and Pilates.

FOUR UNITS OF STUDY: For each genre (modern, ballet and jazz)

  • Overview of course; review of proper class etiquette; introduction of movement concepts and principles, choreographic concepts, technical steps and terms on a beginning to advanced level; placement, alignment and physiology involved; development of self-assess skills; execute intermediate-advanced level combinations and transpose to other side
  • Refinement of technical execution of exercises and steps from Unit I; expand knowledge of exercises, terms and concepts; application of breath to phrasing; accept and apply group corrections as well as personal corrections to personal performance; demonstrate, self-monitor and correct personal placement and alignment
  • refine execution of exercises and steps from previous units; execute combinations of increasing complexity and transpose to other side; expand upon knowledge of movement, concepts and terms; research project/contrast and compare two prominent figures in dance and their representational style of work for classroom presentation
  • continued refinement of all learned exercises, steps, phrases and concepts; demonstrate self-reliance and performance attitude/quality in classroom performance; create polished dance in each genre, reflecting personal style and movement vocabulary for public performance and analyze for content


At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Exemplify an appreciation for the discipline and dedication required to be a professional dancer, possess knowledge of currently performing dance companies, and seek out and attend performances unassigned
  • Demonstrate importance of arts in life and learning
  • Demonstrate acceptable social interaction skills and behaviors as they are applied to proper dance class etiquette
  • identify, physically demonstrate and verbally describe approximately 75-100 terms from modern, ballet and jazz dance techniques as well as yoga terms applicable
  • Demonstrate an increasing knowledge and skill in dance technique through daily execution of movement: refine alignment, placement and balance, increase upper and lower body strength, flexibility, agility, balance and clarity
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physiological processes of the human body as they relate to the execution of dance movement, injury prevention and treatment
  • Take artistic risks, improvising and problem solving with personal movement explorations and innovations
  • Solidify a personal movement style, heighten awareness of self, and awareness of the role a dancer plays within groups or companies of dancers
  • Demonstrate an increasingly sophisticated understanding of movement concepts and choreographic principles and practices relative to the study of dance
  • Create, contrast, analyze and critique dances that emphasize both a movement-based, and a thematic approach to dance making
  • Craft a meaningful dance pairing personal insights of human behavior, environment and/or heritage/culture with explored concepts of dance making
  • Embrace a system of positive and productive self-evaluation and the ability to set personal goals and monitor progress


All dance students are required to attend two professional level dance concerts per academic year. Typically three field trips are scheduled per year for the convenience of parents and students although students may choose to attend a variety of other events on their own.


Student learning incorporates a variety of methods, strategies and skills. Therefore, in an attempt to accurately evaluate student achievement, various methods of alternative assessments will be employed in the grading of students, including:

  • Tests/Quizes are an assessment of cumulative knowledge and understanding of a unit of study and may include the following: performance-based assessments of applied learning, group composition, written tests designed to identify knowledge of terminology; physical and written activities demonstrating ability to analyze, compare and contrast differing technical steps and dance concepts. 10% of grade
  • Homework enables students to exercise and reinforce their understanding and knowledge of the content and skills taught in class. Homework is assigned on occasion to stimulate further thought and personal growth typically centering around teaching students to visualize themselves in positive terms as a learner with no limitations. 10% of grade in conjunction with tests/quizzes.
  • Class Preparation and Involvement is an integral aspect of the learning process where students demonstrate their on-going understanding of content and concepts taught. It is both a learning and evaluative tool that is a requirement of the course. Students perform a preparatory set of 6-10 exercises and learn/perform phrases on a daily basis. It is required that students dress appropriately for class,(women in black leotard and tights/jazz pants; men in black sweats and white Ts), arrive on time, participate with full energy and maintain a productive, positive attitude on a daily basis. 80% (40/40) of grade

Level Contracting Requirements: Contracting for honors is permitted as per the Montclair High Program Planning Guide. Students interested in contracting for honors should refer to the guidelines stated in the Program Planning Guide. Students who wish to contract up in dance must meet with the instructor and outline their project for approval no later than October 15th. The following is required for honorscredit:


  • Completion of a research project, internships, and/or independent study project approved by instructor; a book review of a non-fiction book about dance, and two critiques of live dance performances and one critique of a movie which makes heavy use of dance as an integral part of the story line or a medium for theatrically embellishing the film.


Updated: 9/26/2017