"No one if perfectly healthy, Imagination frees us, Creation renews us, Creativity Heals Us." - Author Unknown

Course Notice: This course meets the requirements of a Tier II Course in the Artistic Expression and Critical Appreciation Context. This course has been enhanced to include a service learning component. WC students will gain a greater understanding of the elements of creative movement by serving as movement teachers and facilitators for residents and program participants at various community sites.

Course Description: An introduction to the elements of creative movement through lecture, reading, activity experiences, experimentation, observation, and discussion. Students will explore movement forms as more than just physical activity; they will appreciate movement as an art form, means of self expression, a vital aspect of culture, and an opportunity to explore new perspectives and understandings of oneself and world. This course will give students practice in designing movement learning experiences for persons of all ages.  


  • Schrader, C.A. (2005) A Sense of Dance: Exploring Your Movement Potential, 2’ edition,
  • ANGEL Readings on Reserve (in Library):
  • Jonas, G. (1998) Dancing: The Pleasure, Power, and Art of Movement
  • Harris, J. A. et al (2000) Dance A While
  • Gilbert, A. G. (1992) Creative Dance for All Ages
  • Mertz, A. (2002) The Body Can Speak  

Prerequisites: None  

Learning Objectives: When students complete the course they will be able to:

  1. Identify and experience the cognitive, affective, physical, and social outcomes of creative movement experiences.
  2. Identify and analyze movement elements, structure, and dance forms such as classical, theatrical, ethnic, folk, and jazz dance.
  3. Identify various movements and notation systems, specifically working with the Laban Movement Analysis System.
  4. Explore the ways that dance serves as reflection of cultural attitudes and bridge to understanding people.
  5. Create dances that serve as an art form and means of expressions.
  6. Demonstrate a variety of creative movement activities for various age groups.
  7. Create age appropriate creative movement experiences for various age groups and reflect on these teaching experiences.

  Each student is expected to:

  1. Be There -Attendance: Be at class on time & participate in all class activities — Class participation is an important part of your learning in this class. Also many activities are linked to written assignments. Missing a class is very problematic because of the extensive setup for classes and the interactive nature of the class activities. If you must miss class, it is your responsibility to contact Dr. Miller PRIOR to the class by email. Athletic or other Westminster College duty — sponsored trips are excused absences. However, I must be notified of travel dates and times prior to travel. 10 pts deducted for each class absence. Exception: College Duty, sickness WITH Doctor’s note. Missing class more than two classes a semester is excessive AND will result in a grade reduction.
  2. Be Prepared: Complete assigned reading prior to each class (See attached schedule)
  3. Do Your Work: Complete and submit presentations, exams and assignments on time. Submit all work in typewritten text, unless otherwise specified. All handwritten work must be legible. Work that is one day late (one calendar day – email submission is an option) will be deducted by 10% or one letter grade. After one day, work will not be accepted and will be assigned a zero (0) score. Make up for quizzes or exams will be given only under one of the following conditions:
    1. Illness. A medical excuse signed by one’s physician must be presented to the instructor. The instructor will verify all excuses.
    2. Athletic or other Westminster College sponsored trips. Instructor must be notified of travel dates and times prior to travel dates.
    3. Extenuating circumstances. It will be the prerogative of the instructor whether or not the student will be allowed to makeup the assignment, quiz, etc.

 Important Dates

  • Drop Deadlines: Wednesday, September 15(without any grade), Thursday, Nov.9 (with grade listed as WP/WF)
  • Final: Thursday, December 16 @ 8:30  
Academic Honesty

‘The students of Westminster College believe that a major purpose of higher education is to develop habits of honesty and independence of thought." Please refer to p. 27 in the WC Student Handbook HONOR CODE - All Students are required to live up to the Westminster Honor Code — "No Westminster student shall commit any act of academic dishonesty in order to advance her or his own academic performance, or to impede or advance the academic progress of others ". Academic dishonesty is an extremely serious offence. Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. If academic dishonesty is proven, the student will receive a 0.0 on the assignment and possibly fail this course.

Student Accommodations

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me to arrange an appointment as soon as possible. At that time, we can discuss the course format, anticipate your needs, and explore possible accommodations.


Westminster College expects all members of its community to treat each other with respect and dignity. The College seeks to create and maintain an academic, social & work environment in which all members of the community — students, staff, administrators, and faculty — are free from harassment. Prevention is the first and best tool to eliminate harassment. However, any person who is the recipient or a witness of harassment should make a report to Director of Human Resources. Dean of Faculty, Dean of Student Life, or other trained college personnel.

Reminders of Common Courtesy: Please be certain to turn off all cell phones, pagers, music devices, while in class. Everyone has the right to learn in an environment free of predictable distractions.

2010 Class Assessment Activities

  • In class lesson - Concept Lesson & Reflection (25 pts) 10 pts group written lesson, 5 pts preparation/presentation, group coordination 5 pts, reflection 5pts (Warm up Activity & introduction, Explore, Create, Cool down Activity & Assessment)
  • Dance of Symposium & Picture Dance Symposium (30 pts): Symposium presentation writeup (5) Describe energy, space and rhythm characteristics of the concept (5), describe choreographic elements of the dance as well as music and props (5), dance performance (10), reflection (5) The Picture Dance —(50 pts) Title of Piece from William Woods Art Museum or Westminster Memorial Exhibit. Describe the picture in detail. ie. shapes, lines, textures, colors, patterns. (5) Explain your reaction to the piece. Discuss what you think the piece is about and or relate it to personal experience. (5) Describe energy phrases, movement forms, rhythms, and floor patterns (shape, time, and space), props and music, and choreographic elements. that you may use to create a dance from this art piece. Explain why. (20) Transpose reactions & connections into a dance with music, Include and identify composition ideas presented in Ch. 12& 13, Schrader text. ie. contrast repetition, variation, transition, canon, ABA, Rondo, story line. (15), Reflection (5)
  • Participation – up to 50 pts.
  • Service Service Learning — (135 pts) 4 site visits (pre-teaching visit, three teaching visits) (15 x 4= 60),One written lesson from each member of the group submitted to Dr. Miller at conference prior to teaching (15), journal entries for each visit (10 x 4) (For first visit, include preservice expectations) & individual reflection with thoughtful reflection referencing at least two class readings (other articles encouraged) pertaining to the experience. (20 pts.)Describe physical, emotional, cognitive, social, spiritual impact of the experience.
    • Dates of service teaching are @ October 10— November 14. ​​​​​​
    • Report on Service due November 24. Service Sites: Presbyterian Manor, BACPAC, Fulton Treatment Center, Rosa Parks, Head Start [contact information deleted].
  • Midterm Test 100 - Paper (50)Dance and the Individual: Themes of paper relate to dance and dimensions of person. At least 3 pages typed, 3 references (ie. ANGEL readings, text, movies, discussion) Cohesive construction of evidence built on thesis.
  • Final Test (50) & Presentation (50) on Dance and Culture. Test questions are from video series. Presentations build off of video series topics of dance and sexuality, religion, power, theater, etc. Projects will answer a compelling Question, present an original idea, or pose an interesting perspective: ie. Is Michael Jackson the Best Dancer of the Decade?, Example topic areas: Dance for Social Change (ie. Urban Bush Women), Social Dance in 21st century, Dance Icons of the 21st Century (ie. Merce Cunningham), dance linked to social reform, link to cultural context. Examples of evidence include but are not limited to research journal articles, essays, detailed video analysis, dance presentation/ technique demonstration. Each person’s presentation is 10 minutes. Students Presentation will be graded on presentation style, organization, and preparation (25), should as a compelling question, an original idea, or pose an interesting perspective (5), provide evidence of serious examination – excellent presentation of resources (at least two specific, reputable, and impressive (10).  
  • Grading Scale:
    • 93-100%-A
    • 83-92%-B
    • 70-82%-C
    • 60 - 69% - D
    • less than 60 - F

PED 208: Creative Movement and Rhythms Class Schedule

* Asterick indicates assignment is due.  

Dance & Person  

8-26 - Introduction. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

  1. How is dance a part of my life? Why is dance important to me?
  2. What do I expect from this course?

Assign: Ch.I, Schrader, Moodle readings as Assigned & All read Dance for All Ages and Health.

8 -31 Discussion of Readings :

  • What is Dance? Why Dance? Who is a dancer?,
  • The Power of Dance Movie & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R76oQQLY3Ho  Activity:
  • Sport Dance (Dive In Approach)
  • Assign: Ch.3 & Ch. 4 Schrader, Moodle Readings as Assigned  

9-2- Discussion of Readings, "How do you Learn to Dance?", The Moving Body (Anatomy), Activity: Spaghetti Dance (Creative) and Learn social dance steps (Technical) (pg.19), Hora, and Chimes of Dunkirk.

  • Assign: Ch.9 Schrader

  9-7 —Multiple Intelligence (Body Intelligence)

  • Activity: Ml Activity
  • Assign: Read Chapter 5, Schrader, Complete paper on Dance and Individual.

  9-9 —Activity: Complete Multiple Intelligence Activity, Lesson Demonstration, Assign lessons.

  • Elements of Dance Handout.
  • Assign: p. 15 – 19 Schrader, 5 matted pictures for Copy Dance

  Elements of Dance, Teaching Dance   9-14 —

  • Copy Dance, Service Project Discussion and Jill Pierard Presentation
  • Assign: Lesson Preparation, Chapter 7 Schrader

  9-16 — *Student Lessons Focus on Space: Level, Shape, Direction, Focus, Paths, Relationships

  • Assign: Chapter 6 Schrader
  • Attend Symposium session(s) Prepare Symposium presentation writeup (5) Transpose & Describe energy, space and rhythm characteristics of the topic or issue presented (5), describe choreographic elements of the dance as well as music and props informed by pg. 175-185 of text. (5). Reference the presenter and other sources as appropriate.

  9-21 – No Class Symposium (Speaker write-up, due next class meeting, electronically)  

9-23- Submit Symposium Dance Writing

  • *Student Lessons: Focus on Rhythm, STOMP Video
  • Assign: Chapter 8 Schrader

  9-28 *Student Lessons: Focus on Effort

  • Assign: Read Chapter 12 Schrader

  Choreographing Dances 9-30 Begin Choreography of Symposium Dance

  • Assign: Read Chapter 13 Schrader

10-5 Continue Symposium Dance Practice (4 – 6 dances)

10-7 Discussion of Service Project, Symposium Dance Performance.

  • Meet with Service Sites and Begin Writing Lessons. 10-12 No Class, Fall Break Meet at Service Sites this week
  • Assign: email by 10/19:
  1. Journal – information about site, interests of participants, physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and mental needs and challenge AND preservice expectations,
  2. Schedule of visits,
  3. Focus and outline of each lesson – Objectives and rationale for lesson activities. (This journal posting should be included in your final project portfolio)

10-14 Office Meeting with Dr. Miller:

  • Groups present Dr. Miller their Service Learning Lessons. All three lessons will be discussed at this meeting.
  • Service lessons must be completed by November 14.

10/19 Picture Dance, Visit Art Museum

  • Assign: Read Chapter 13 -14 Schrader

10/21 Submit Picture Dance Paper:

  • Describe the picture in detail. ie. shapes, lines, textures, colors, patterns. (5) Explain your reaction to the piece. Discuss what you think the piece is about and or relate it to personal experience. (5) Describe energy phrases, movement forms, rhythms, and floor patterns (shape, time, and space), props and music, and choreographic elements. that you may use to create a dance from this artpiece. Explain why. (20)

10/26 Begin Groups and Choreography of Picture Dance (Dance Elements)

10/28 Picture Dance (Dance Composition)

11/2 Picture Dance Performances   Dance and Culture

11/4 * Performance, Sex and Social Dance, Describe Final Project.

  • Activity: d’Hammerschmiedsgselln (Virginia Reel)
  • Assign: Begin Final Project

  11/9 Religion and Dance Movie

  • Activity: Yoga

  11/11 Dance of Realm Movie

  • Activity: Ballet, Carnavalito

  11/16 New World of Dance Movie

  • Activity: Jazz, Troika
  • Assign: Complete Service Project Journal and Reflection

  11/18 Service Discussion. Tinikling, Organize Final Presentations

  • *Service Journal & Reflections Due.

  11/23 Threatrical Dance

  • Activity: Modern Dance, In class preparation of final project
  • Assign: Read Moodle Labanotation Article

  11/25 Thanksgiving Break

11/30 *Labanotation

12/2 * Final Project Presentations 12/7 * Final Project Presentations, Class Evaluation

12/9 *Final Project Presentations Finals Week – Complete Final Project Presentations, Final Test.