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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Dance Video Clips

Dancing Stories



Dr. Marianne McAdam, director of the Dance Minor Program at Eastern Kentucky University, demonstrates how to use literature as an inspiration for creative dance activities. In the lesson, groups of 4th-grade students from Eastern Kentucky University’s Model Lab School create dances based on the book The Loon Spirit. Because the story includes varied animal characters, instructor McAdam saw it as an excellent opportunity for exploring the dance element of force. Students begin by discussing the story and identifying energy qualities associated with the animal characters. Then they explore these movements spatially and work in groups to create dances and perform, with peer discussion afterward. In the video, McAdam also offers ideas on how to select stories suitable for movement activities, offers guidance on the teacher’s role in the creative dance classroom, and suggests additional creative dance resources.

Suggested Uses:

  • Designed for viewing by teachers as a preview for teaching this or similar lessons.
  • Shown with 4th graders, but can be adapted for other grade levels.

For more information:

(These links may leave the Arts Toolkit.)

See the Creative Dance section of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.


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