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Dance; Grade 9, Open (ATC10)

This course emphasizes the basic movements of two or more ASL dance forms (swing, contemporary and hip-hop), and the scientific aspects including values of ASL and Deaf culture incorporated into dance movements. Students will create ASL vocabulary for dance movements, dance compositions, express themselves through movement, and investigate the historical and cultural development of dance. They will also learn about creative influences (swing, contemporary and hip-hop) on dancers and choreographers, and the role of criticism in the art of dance.

Note: In dance, the medium of expression is movement, the instrument is the human body and the guide is the musical and visual rhythms. A large percent of Deaf individuals rely on visual cues & contact with other performers, counting to the beats and vibrations created by the music as their guide to dancing. This presents an opportunity for students to connect the bass and the beats of music to various ASL dance forms and express their understanding and appreciation of rhythm and the three essential dance forms through creative and expressive dancing.

Reference: For a list of links, please click on “Dance Resources”.

Overall Expectations

By the end of this course, students will:

  • explain the historical and cultural significance of two or more ASL dance forms (swing, contemporary and hip-hop);
  • demonstrate basic amalgamation, absolute pattern and adjusted pattern movement skills in two or more ASL dance forms using basic swing, contemporary dance and basic hip-hop and identify the terminology associated with each;
  • observe and identify a broad spectrum of basic swing dance (six count, eight count rhythms, triple swing, body lead, dips, underarm turn, the cuddle, the tuck and turn, common jitter-bug steps – “Summer’s Night”), improvise contemporary (movement memory, coordination, strength, flexibility, alignment, articulation of the body) and basic hip-hop (slip-slide move, foot drive move, Cincinnati step, heel toe move, wu tang move, one-two step and move – “Wild Zappers” and “Rathskeller”) dances that incorporate amalgamation, absolute pattern/adjusted pattern movement skills;
  • describe ASL dance works, using the language of dance criticism;
  • identify and explore in basic ways the elements of ASL and body movement (e.g., flow, space, time), and combine them into sequences;
  • improvise to vary established patterns and develop an idea or theme;
  • demonstrate an understanding of fundamental ASL and body movement coordination, presentation and performance skills;
  • perform in appropriate settings.

Specific Expectations

By the end of this course, students will:

  • describe, using their own observations, a broad spectrum of basic swing, contemporary and hip-hop dance forms in popular sign language dances (e.g., “O’Canada” by ASL Waves, “Summer Nights” by Dancing Hands, “Wild Zappers” by Wild Zappers);
  • demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of two or more ASL dance forms;
  • outline the cultural significance of two or more ASL dance forms (e.g., from “Summer Nights”);
  • identify commonalities among basic swing, contemporary and hip-hop ASL dance forms (e.g., steps, patterns, choreography);
  • identify basic movement terminology pertaining to the ASL dance form(s) studied (e.g., six count, eight count rhythms, step, brush, rock, slide, hip bumps, left ½ pivot);
  • demonstrate basic body positions, movement skills, simple movement patterns, and combinations in at least two ASL dance forms studied (eg. basic swing dance [six count, eight count rhythms, triple swing, body lead, dips, underarm turn, the cuddle, the tuck and turn, common jitter-bug steps] – in “Summer’s Night”), improvise contemporary (movement memory, coordination, strength, flexibility, alignment, articulation of the body) and basic hip-hop (slip-slide move, foot drive move, Cincinnati step, heel toe move, wu tang move, one-two step and move – “Wild Zappers” and “Rathskeller”)
  • demonstrate elements of basic swing, contemporary and hip-hop dance (e.g., shape, time, energy, space) alone and in combination;
  • explore both ASL and body movement through structured improvisation (e.g., lead and follow, mirroring);
  • create dance sequences using explored elements;
  • create dance compositions using various forms and structures (e.g., as in O’Canada, Summer’s Night, using basic swing, contemporary and basic hip-hop themed dances);
  • develop criteria for discussing a broad spectrum of observed dance (e.g., basic hip-hop, contemporary, basic swing);
  • identify five or more different ASL dance performances that incorporate basic swing, contemporary and hip-hop dance, describing them in ASL and in written form (e.g., O’Canada, Summer’s Night etc);
  • access resources from the Deaf Culture Centre, and other sources, to collect and review information on various ASL dance performances (e.g., Dancing Hands, Wild Zappers, Rathskeller, and Dangerous Sign);
  • identify ways dance is used in the Deaf community (e.g., ASL used with specific movements, lighting, seating, performance settings, and recreational contexts);
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