"An excellent compendium of efforts in dance education in the United States and a persuasive brief in favor of the inclusion of dance in the education of every child."

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Can dance education help students develop their minds, emotions, and bodies? What can be learned in, about, and through dance? How can dance education be integrated into reading, math, science, and social studies? Drawing on decades of dancing, researching, writing, and teaching dance--in addition to working in the field of education--author Judith Lynne Hanna addresses these questions in this book.
Hanna explains that verbal language and dance-making call upon the same mental processes and use the same parts of the brain for conceptualization, creativity, and memory. Both have vocabulary, meaning with many symbolic devices and spheres, and grammar. Students further develop critical thinking skills when teachers ask them to discuss or write about why they select specific gestural and locomotion movements in time, space, and effort to convey ideas and feelings through their dances.
Many people have misconceptions about the art of dance, so Part I of Partnering Dance and Education explains key features of the discipline of dance and how it is a performing, liberal, physical, and applied art. Chapters cite the power of dance to benefit students in their personal, academic, and adult lives. Examples of alternative ways of offering dance education suggest its complexity. Part II describes how social, academic, and career skills can be taught through dance, addresses issues of gender and cultural diversity in dance education, and shows how dance can engage youngsters at risk of dropping out of school as well as help all youngsters deal with stress.

"An excellent compendium of efforts in dance education in the United States and a persuasive brief in favor of the inclusion of dance in the education of every child."

Howard Gardner, professor in the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

"Unique and insightful, with an eye toward potential opportunities available in a reform-minded environment, the author directly explores the multidimensional aspects of dance education and the many ways in which it can enhance the educational experiences of youth.” Choice

Judith Lynne Hanna, PhD, Columbia University, has taught various kinds of dance courses, including integrating dance with reading and social studies, and offered workshops for teachers. A State of California certified English and Social Studies high school teacher, she worked for the Los Angeles public schools and the private Gill School. Dr. Hanna is a Senior Research Scholar, Department of Dance, and Affiliate, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author of seven books, including To Dance Is Human: A Theory of Nonverbal Communication, Disruptive School Behavior: Class, Race, and Culture, and Dancing for Health: Conquering and Preventing Stress.

A Coup for Dance Education: Its Entry into Education Research Discourse

Judith Lynne Hanna has written

A Nonverbal Language for Imagining and Learning:

Dance Education in K-12 Curriculum,”
Educational Researcher, 37(8):491-506, 2008.


Curriculum theorists have provided a knowledge base concerning aesthetics, agency, creativity, lived experience, transcendence, learn­ing through the body, and the power of the arts to engender visions of alternative possibilities in culture, politics, and the environment. However, these theoretical threads do not reveal the potential of K–12 dance education. Research on nonverbal communication and cognition, coupled with illustrative dance education programs, provides key insights into dance as a distinct performing art discipline and as a liberal applied art that fosters creative problem solving and the acquisition, reinforcement, and assessment of non-dance knowledge. Synthesizing and interpreting theory and research from different disciplines that is relevant to dance education, this article addresses cognition, emotion, language, learning styles, assessment, and new research directions in the field of education.

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