Teaching Children Dance, Third Edition

Teaching Children Dance, Third Edition

By Theresa Purcell Cone, PhD, and Stephen L. Cone, PhD

Human Kinetics, 2012

206 pages, includes CD


Whether you’re revamping your creative dance program or designing a new elementary dance curriculum, the third edition of Teaching Children Dance will serve as a comprehensive, easy-to-follow resource that contains the theories behind creative dance education and concrete methods to put into practice. It’s co-authored by Theresa Purcell Cone, a past National Dance Association president with extensive experience teaching dance in New Jersey elementary schools. Though it’s geared toward K–5 teachers, it’s a great resource for teachers in studios. Many elements can be applied to creative dance classes in any setting.


Part I describes the benefits of creative dance and how the elements of dance fit into a children’s curriculum. New to the third edition are chapters on assessment, teacher evaluations and ways to include students with disabilities, as well as how dance addresses the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines and new 21st-century skills and whole-child education initiatives that have been formulated since the second edition.


Part II is an idea bank, presenting 23 movement activities. Each activity, like “Ocean Waves and Swimmers” and “Spaghetti Dance,” is explained so thoroughly that you can insert them directly into lesson plans. The Cones list the outcomes (what your students will learn in each activity), how to organize the dancers (whether they dance individually or in small groups) and the equipment necessary. Step-by-step instructions are written in a voice you’d use in class. Reflection topics, assessment suggestions and a few ways to alter the assignments are included, along with a CD-ROM of all worksheets, rubrics and activities.

Teachers Trending
Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo courtesy Dance With Me

Listening to Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy riff together makes it crystal-clear why each has mastered the art of partnering in the ballroom—they've long been doing this dance in real life as brothers and business partners.

Along with their "Dancing with the Stars" pedigree (and a combined three mirror-ball trophies between them), Maks and Val (and their father, Sasha) also run Dance With Me, a dance company hosting six ProAm Dancesport competitions annually and running 14 brick-and-mortar studio locations across the U.S.

Last year, the pair launched an online component, Dance & Co. The online video platform offers beginner through advanced instruction in not only ballroom but an array of other styles, as well as dance fitness classes from HIIT to yoga to strength training. "DWTS" fans will recognize such familiar faces as Peta Murgatroyd, Jenna Johnson, Sharna Burgess and Emma Slater, along with Maks and Val themselves.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
@jayplayimagery, courtesy Kerollis

In the spring of 2012, Barry Kerollis was abruptly forced into treating his career as a small business. Having just moved cross-country to join BalletX, he got injured and was soon let go.

"I'd only ever danced with big companies before," the now-freelance dance-teacher-choreographer-podcaster recalls. "That desperation factor drove me to approach freelancing with a business model and a business plan."

As Kerollis acknowledges, getting the business of you off the ground ("you" as a freelance dance educator, that is) can be filled with unexpected challenges—even for the most seasoned of gigging dancers. But becoming your own CEO can make your work–life balance more sustainable, help you make more money, keep you organized, and get potential employers to offer you more respect and improved working conditions. Here's how to get smart now about branding, finances and other crucial ways to tell the dance world that you mean business.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Courtesy Oleson

American dance educator Shannon Oleson was teaching recreational ballet and street-dance classes in London when the pandemic hit. As she watched many of her fellow U.S. friends pack up and return home from their international adventures, she made the difficult choice to stick with her students (as well as her own training—she was midway through her MFA at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance).

Despite shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders, she was able to maintain a teaching schedule that kept her working with her dancers through Zoom, as well as lead some private, in-home acro classes following government guidelines. But keeping rec students interested in the face of pandemic fatigue hasn't been easy.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.