Innovation in Action
Dance Class- Jazz Choreography Project
Week One- Learning the Basics
My students spend a week learning about Jazz Dance: Jazz history, Jazz technique, and Jazz terminology. I expose them to multiple styles and performances via video to inspire them for this unit. During this week we practice getting familiar with the movement, the French terminology, proper technique, and listening to the beat of the music. At the end of the week the students receive a written vocabulary test, as well as demonstration acknowledgement test.
Week Two- Learning a Combination
Once we have learned the basics of Jazz dance, I create a combination for them to learn- incorporating all of the technical elements they learned the week prior. This allows the dancer to connect their steps as opposed to doing them one at a time across the floor. At the end of this week, the dancers are tested on their memory, performance, and precision. We video this performance on the student’s iPad, allowing them to do a "Student Evaluation" by going back to watch, critique, and grade themselves.
Week Three- Choreographing a Combination
The students create a Jazz dance of their own. They are put in groups of 3-5 and it is their turn to choreograph a combination. This is done completely on their own. They are asked to use their creativity to pick a song, a costume, and choreography. This not only teaches the dancers to apply what they have learned during this unit, but also how to work with their peers, how to compromise, and how to manage their time wisely.
This rubric guides the students through grading their performance. They are given space to defend their reasoning of points.
Jazz Combination Rubric
This it the rubric that is used when they perform the dance that I teach to them during week two.
This rubric gives the students their grade for the combination they choreograph as a group.