Dance Lesson Plan for Physical Education

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

In this lesson plan, students will explore the different genres of dance. Students will brainstorm ideas about the rules of dance, view examples within the different genres and choreograph an original performance piece.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe different genres of dance
  • Choreograph a simple routine in a specific genre


45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.6

Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).


  • Ballet
  • Jazz
  • Contemporary
  • Swing dance
  • Hip-hop
  • Salsa
  • Latin dance
  • Country line dance
  • Tap dance


  • Video clips of different genres of dance
  • Music for the different genres of dance
  • Chart paper
  • Markers


Talking about Dancing

  • Begin the lesson by asking the students to talk about what makes a good dancer. Record student responses on chart paper.
  • Ask the students to turn and talk with a neighbor about the rules of dancing (i.e. have fun, move to the beat of the music, etc.). Record student responses on chart paper.

Watching Dancing

  • Show students a series of video clips of the different genres of dance (see vocabulary words). You can find these online with a simple search.
  • In the middle of the clip, pause and discuss different characteristics of the dance with students. For example, if the students are watching a ballet, they might point out pointed toes, slow and flowy movements, etc. Record student responses on chart paper. Generate a list for each genre.
  • Let students try to mimic the dance moves for the second half of the clips.

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