Kids Make Hip Hop, and other Kids Make Dance projects, uses the New York City Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance K-12 (PDF file).

For the Kids Make Hip Hop pilot project the emphasis was on the Grade 5 blueprint indicators for both dance and technology.

Grade 5 Blueprint Indicators Addressed:


Develop Skills and Techniques

Through participation in dance classes, students achieve the ability to:

  • Demonstrate a variety of extensions and flexions, limb rotations, stretches, swings, bends and twists.
  • Exhibit control in balance (two feet, one foot, other body points).
  • Execute a variety of locomotor movements with changing shapes, dynamics and pathways.
  • Demonstrate movement combinations in duple and triple meters, even and uneven rhythms.
  • Dance with weight shift, transition and flow.
  • Apply basic partnering skills.
  • Build techniques and execute combinations of elements in various dance forms.


Students explore dance movement and group dynamics, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Collaborate in improvisations.
  • Invent solutions to movement problems.
  • Employ a variety of traveling actions.
  • Dance with contrasting dynamics.
  • Combine and layer movement elements.
  • Use focus as a dance element.
  • Work alone, or cooperatively with a partner or small group, with awareness of the self in relation to others.
  • Respond to musical accents and rhythms.


Students collaborate on choreography, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Select themes, discuss and plan, and develop movement in collaboration with peers, in partners and small groups.
  • Create a short dance with peers, incorporating several movement phrases with a beginning, middle and end.
  • Use unison movement in different directions and spatial paths.
  • Make choices based on simple choreographic structures such as AB, ABA, canon, theme and variation.
  • Rehearse, evaluate, revise and edit a dance in collaboration with peers.


Students perform, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Reproduce complex sequences accurately.
  • Remember a dance with multiple parts and internal entrances and exits.
  • Dance with focus and intent.
  • Dance with a range of expressive qualities.
  • Dance with responsiveness to rhythm, tempo and mood of music.
  • Work in silence or in relation to text.
  • Exhibit self-awareness of cultural tradition and style or genre.
  • Dance with sensitivity to an ensemble.
  • Demonstrate awareness of cultural tradition and style or genre.
  • Improve performance through repetition and correction.
  • Understand stage directions.
  • Consistently exhibit appropriate behavior in rehearsal and performance.


Understand Dance As a Means of Expression and Communication

Students understand the concepts “narrative,” “themed” and “abstract” as they apply to dance, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Recognize the difference between a story and a theme in dance.
  • Describe the movement components of a dance and their effect.
  • Understand and demonstrate how combining dance elements (e.g., head or torso toward or away from an arm gesture) communicates images and feelings.
  • Analyze the effect of areas of the stage and facings of performers.
  • Describe music and rhythms in dance.

Apply Dance Vocabulary, Terminology and Symbols

Students understand, speak and read an expanding dance vocabulary; apply it to their writing; and use it to enrich their dancing, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Understand general dance concepts (e.g., parallel, turned out, positions of the feet).
  • Name styles, genres, artists, companies, dance professions.
  • Use vocabulary specific to a dance style (e.g., Ballet: plie, releve, port de bras; Flamenco: glope, zapateado, braceo, compass, palmas).
  • Understand choreographic devices (e.g., repetition) and structures (e.g., ABA, theme and variation).
  • Combine motif symbols or invented notation to represent simultaneous movement concepts.
  • Follow basic stage directions (upstage, downstage, stage right and left, wings) and stage maps.
  • Understand basic information about muscles and bones.

Analyze, Critique and Communicate About Dance

  • use dance vocabulary
  • recognize the genre or style of a performance
  • interpret a dance in terms of content (narrative, themed or abstract) and context (theatrical, ritual or social).
  • express personal reactions based on specific preferences
  • recognize and articulate personal aesthetic preferences

Identify and Compare Dance Styles, Genres, Major Works and Artists

Students identify and distinguish several different forms of dance, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Recognize aesthetic elements of different dance styles.
  • Identify elements that are related to students’ own dance practice.


Understand Dance History and the Social and Cultural Significance of Dance (Theatrical, Ritual & Social Dance)

Through discussion and examination of both choreographed and traditional cultural dances, students understand that all dances reflect a time and place, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Identify clues about history and culture in dance movements, costuming and musical accompaniment.
  • Describe who dances a dance, and where, when and why it is danced.
  • Discuss how values and beliefs are reflected in a dance.
  • Examine the cultural origins of a variety of dance forms from around the world.

Connect Dance to Other Arts and Disciplines

By seeking themes and inspiration for dance making in other disciplines, students make original insights and connections in dance, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Develop dance expressions of ideas and images from other disciplines
  • Respond to dance using other art media or other disciplines
  • Combine dance with other arts and disciplines

Utilize Technology in Connection With Dance

Students view videotape of classes and both professional and student performances, and use computer programs designed for elementary school dance students, demonstrating the ability to:

  • Explain the difference between video dance documentation and dance video as an art form.
  • Describe the audience perspectives provided by video zoom, pan, and cut as compared with live viewing from a single vantage point.
  • Use a dance teaching program with guidance.


Engage with Community and Cultural Institutions, Colleges and Universitities

  • Identify the different places dance learning and performing happen: schools, colleges and universities, community centers, studios, theaters

Use Dance Research Resources

  • Use published material such as magazines and videos as a source of dance information
  • Use dance websites and Internet teaching programs in guided sessions

Share Dance Experiences in and Between Schools

  • Value dance as an integral part of learning
  • Describe particular benefits of dance learning to other students and teachers
  • work with peers to share or rehearse dances
  • share dance experiences with a younger student


By exploring the functions of various careers in and related to dance, students will:

Learn about Careers in and Related to Dance

  • Understand and describe what people do in various dance and dance-related professions

Set and Work Towards Goals

  • Identify a personal relationship to dance

Value Dance as a Source of Enjoyment and Lifelong Learning

  • Learn new dances from friends and family
  • Initiate dance as a social activity
  • Seek opportunities to dance in school and outside school
  • Promote dance in and outside of school
  • Share/Bookmark