Disciplinary Literacy in Dance

Welcome to the Disciplinary Literacy in Dance site.  

You will find resources to better engage students in creativity, communication, and critical thinking, while remaining true to the rigors of dance.  Choreography notes and the movement elements of dance offer a unique system of communication.  This system allows people across countries, cultures, and time to engage within the expressive qualities of dance.  Through this system learners can both read, write, listen, speak, think critically, and perform.  The choreography and vocabulary associated with dance offers a unique method of communication and a type of informational text for learners to engage in. 

Disciplinary Literacy Definition                                               
In Wisconsin, "disciplinary literacy is defined as the confluence of content knowledge, experiences, and skills merged with the ability to read, write, listen, speak, think critically and perform in a way that is meaningful within the context of a given field."
For more examples of application in dance education, visit:
  • Videos focused on arts use for each of the disciplinary literacy tools - Click on the box to see each video.
Listening  Performing  Reading 
Speaking  Critical Thinking  Writing
8 Steps to Building Art Knowledge through Literacy (Template)
1. Build prior knowledge. 
2. Build specialized vocabulary.
3. Learn to deconstruct complex visual representation of ideas. 
4. Use knowledge of artistic elements and genres to identify main and subordinate ideas within a piece. 
5. Articulate what the graphic representations mean within a work or ideas to support its main components.
6. Pose discipline relevant questions. 
7. Compare artistic elements of the work to other work. 
8. Use reasoning within the discipline (i.e., what counts as evidence to evaluation claims.)

For questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact Julie Palkowski, Fine Arts and Creativity Education Consultant,Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  

Accessibility and Disclaimer

**Notice:  All links to outside resources are free to public use.  Any links those sites may have to resources for purchase are not reviewed or endorsed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  You should know that information you share here may be considered part of the public record. If you prefer to work with the DPI in a secure and private way, please use our website at http://dpi.wi.gov.

Employees of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) use this site to communicate information to the public. Due to the collaborative nature of this website, postings must fit the following criteria or we will remove them:

  • Suitable for general audiences (including children);
  • Genuine engagements with topics relevant to public education and libraries in Wisconsin - not clearly off-topic, spam, or prank;
  • Not commercial in nature;
  • Free of abusive, profane, vulgar, and sexual content and language;
  • Do not contain unsupported accusations; and
  • Do not contain attacks on individuals or groups.
Subpages (1): [Untitled]