The Five Elements of dance with Zahra

The Five Elements of dance with Zahra


  1. Subject(s): 5 elements of dance using African based movements
  2. Grade/Level: Suitable primary, junior, intermediate and senior grades
  3. Objective: Using the 5 elements of dance ( body, action, space, time and energy), the
    class explores foundational African based dance concepts and vocabulary to help the
    students develop movement skills and understand dance as an artistic practice.
  4. Time Allotment: 45 minutes or more class

Implementation & Learning Context
Although different styles of dance call for specialized skills and choices, the underlying elements
of dance are visible in all dance experiences. This lesson plan will focus solely on African based

What are the elements of dance?

  1. BODY: the mobile figure or shape, felt by the dancer, seen by others.
    • Exploration of the dancer’s body awareness.
    • Activity: A combination of movement and reflection exercises
  2. ACTION: The physical movement of dance (locomotor and non-locomotor)
    • Exploration of choreographed or improvisation movements
    • Activity: Student create dance phrases by using action words
  3. SPACE: The relationship between the dancer in their physical space or the space
    between them and others.
    • Exploration of the spatial relationship between dancers or between dancers and
    • Activity: Students learn movements that explore space, size, range, levels,
      elevation, focus, pathways and directions.
  4. TIME: The rhythm and repetition patterns of a dance.
    • Exploration of polyrhythmic beats, speed, tempo and duration
    • Activities: Learning polyrhythmic patterns using the previous ACTION phrases created, students will play tempos and speeds
  5. ENERGY: The degree of tension or fluidity in which the movements are executed.
    • Exploration of how the movement happens.
    • Activity: Learn variations of movement flow and the use of force, tension,
      and weight.

Students are led to a discussion on the lesson and how it can be used in different dance forms.
This lesson plan can be split into a two day course. The first consists of learning about the
elements of dance while the second day gives the opportunity to students to create a routine
using all the elements and movements learned through the workshop.



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