There is no question students like to dance. Just look at the growing popularity of all the social media dance challenges. So how can we use that energy and excitement for good?
There are many great ways to add dance to the curriculum and still have the same fun and excitement with dance lesson plans for high school students. It starts in physical education!
When did high school dance class get added to Physical Education?
While dance education is sometimes part of the arts department, most public schools look to physical education to incorporate dance education into their curriculum.
Dance is an excellent form of physical activity and is part of physical education state and national standards. Therefore we look to our PE teachers to also wear the hat of a dance teacher.
And because teaching dance can be intimidating, most teachers avoid it because they don’t know where to start!
When teaching high school dance which types of dance should you choose?
When thinking about teaching dance in high school, teachers often start by thinking about what type of dance units are available.
And it can be daunting when you look at the list of types of dance in physical education to choose from:
- Hip Hop Dance
- Folk Dance
- Jazz Dance
- Modern Dance
- Square Dance
- Line Dance
And many of these dance styles can be challenging and frustrating for a first-time dancer! Therefore, a large group of high school students should start with a simple dance technique and dance movement that is fun and engaging—introducing dance fitness!
What are the best dance activities for high school students?
The best dance activities for high school students are a workout-style dance class. Dance fitness provides simple choreography and repetitive dance moves that any student can quickly learn. This style will help students understand the basic elements of dance while also getting in a good workout.
And on top of the execution, this type of dance also has common moves found in a social dance setting. PE provides one of the best opportunities to help every student try out dancing for the first time in a safe space!
Three fun dance lesson plans for high school students
The lesson format for each of these workouts is simple! Each lesson begins with a guided warm-up to prepare students for an entire dance fitness routine. The main focus of each lesson is the choreography and cardio effort, where students learn the moves for the day and then string them all together through a full routine. Finally, students will wrap up with a cool-down stretch that allows them to target the muscles they just worked on and bring their heart rates down. The entire 30 minutes includes music and follow-along instruction.
While there is some solid structure here, it should be noted that between the choreography and cardio effort is a built in break where the PLT4M Robot comes on screen and students can add in there own creative dance moves!
If you are not a full-time dance teacher, putting together choreography for a full-class workout might be pretty challenging. Try out these three interactive dance lesson plans that students can do independently, in a small group, or with the entire class! Press play and get moving!
Lesson 1: Dance With Alexa & Hunter
Welcome to PLT4M Dance Fitness! We are so excited to kick off awesome, high-energy workouts that are sure to leave you feeling good!
Dance Fitness is for everyone! Dance is an excellent type of exercise for any student, regardless of dance experience or fitness level. Whether you feel like you have two left feet or want to take your talents to Broadway, you will enjoy these upbeat training sessions. If you feel a little silly dancing, no worries, just move and groove!
In each lesson, you can expect some of the same consistent things. In each workout, we will warm up for roughly 5 minutes of dynamic movements! After that, we will learn our moves in sequential order, building one new move on top of the other until we have learned all eight moves. Following a short break, we will dive into the total cardio effort to groove through all eight moves in order. Lastly, we will cool down through more static stretching that will allow us to bring our heart rate down and get ready to move on with our day.
We do not expect anyone to be perfect, that is for sure. If you fall behind, lose your place, or need a quick break, have no fear! Our main goal is to have a great workout to music. Smile and have fun! Let’s go!
Lesson 2: Building Confidence In Dance
Welcome back to PLT4M dance fitness. We said it in our first lesson, but we are going to say it again: Dance Fitness is for everyone!
As you start to give Dance Fitness a try, play around with how big or small you are moving. At first, you might keep it simple and straightforward, but feel free to add in your extra flare as you get more comfortable!
Smile! For the next 30 minutes, you get to bounce around with Coach Alexa and Hunter. Whether you are dancing on your own or in class, let the music and moves make you smile! Part of the joys of dance is the rush you get as the music builds and you start to put the pieces of your dance together.
We have an excellent workout for you today and are excited to get started! Let’s do it!
Today’s lesson we will warmup, learn our 8 new moves, hit a full cardio effort, and then cool down. We have built in some breaks for you to grab water and bring your heart rate back down! Take the breaks!
Lesson 3: Feel The Beat
Another lesson of dance fitness is about to kick-off! For the first few lessons, we have just been focusing on having fun and following along.
Today, we thought we would briefly describe how these dance moves fit into the more extensive dance and music world. You might have noticed that Coach Alexa counts from time to time to let us know where we are in our dance. Often this count is either to 4 or 8. A lot of popular music, including the music we choose, has 4 beats per measure. In a lot dance, we take two measures (or 8 total beats) and form a ‘dance sentence.’
Today, give it a try with our dance lesson or try it with one of your favorite songs. See if you can find how they break the song up into ‘sentences’ of either 4 or 8 beats. Once you can start to hear that and connect it to the songs we dance to, it becomes a lot easier to move and groove.
For any of our music lovers out there, you know that 4 or 8 beats are just a start. There are all sorts of ‘music sentences’ that can make the dances or songs sound different. We will stick to the 4 and 8 beat counts that come up in most popular music for now.
Let’s go ahead and get started with another lesson!
Key Takeaways To Dance Lesson Plans For High School
Finding the right dance lesson plan for high school is a great start! But, having a group of high school students actively participate is the real challenge!
One of the best ways to see students and learners participate is by joining in with them! Many people feel like they have ‘two left feet,’ but dance fitness is an excellent opportunity for everyone to give dance a try. Help students see that dance is for them by giving a class or two a go with them!
What about dance lesson plans for middle school?
All of the dance fitness lessons outlined above could be used at the middle school level! These could even be used as elementary dance lesson plans if you wanted!
Remember that these dance fitness style workouts require a basic understanding of foundational fitness, so make sure that it is appropriate for your group!
Do you have lesson plans other than dance?
Yes, PLT4M has a wide variety of high school PE units for you to choose from. Besides dance, you can access fitness, mindfulness, nutrition, yoga, weightlifting, and more!