Dance: Group Piece (Grades 9-12)

Teacher: Jennifer Landa
School:  Ridgewood High School
Location: Ridgewood, NJ
Grade: 9-12
Subject: Dance
Lesson: Group Piece

One Semester Course – PEARLS Project Unit

  1. Limited Physicality Study
  2. Poem Study
  3. Portrait Study
  4. Solo Portrait Study
  5. Group Piece 


  • Students will be able to create a movement vocabulary from the concept of asking a question (What is beauty? Who am I?). They will be able to craft that vocabulary into a complete compositional study.
  • Students will be able to use the concept of theme and variation to bring their solo studies together in a larger context, creating a group dance from the solo material.
  • Students will learn and prepare a group dance for a performance at the Spring Dance Concert.

Duration: Seven Weeks

Materials: PEARLS blogs, Positive Exposure website, journals, music, video


  • Students are introduced to the concept of creating a group piece from individual solo studies and how it connects to their PEARLS Project work.
  • Week 1: Students continue their communication with an Ambassador from their earlier PEARLS studies. They also create movement material for a solo portrait study of themselves, asking questions about what is beauty.


  • Class creates the dance for the Spring Dance Concert and cultivates a relationship with the PEARLS Ambassadors.
  • Week 2: Students continue their communication with their PEARLS Ambassadors, reading their blog and sending them questions. They also finalize their solo portrait studies of themselves and begin to mold them into a full group piece.
  • Week 3: Students continue their PEARLS communications. The class finalizes the group dance and discusses important overarching themes of empathy, unity and communication in dance.
  • Week 4: Students continue their PEARLS communications. The class continues to rehearse the group dance using video as a tool – they view the video and assess their work.
  • Week 5: Students continue run piece and clean group piece.
  • Week 6: Students add costumes and run piece on stage.


  • Students perform the piece in the Spring Dance Concert.

Student Outcomes/Assessment: By the end of the lesson the students will have created a group dance piece from their solo studies. They will ask questions about beauty and personality and incorporate these ideas into a movement vocabulary. They will understand how a dance compositional structure can develop from solo material. They will understand how an overarching theme and variation can be an integral part of creating a choreographic structure. They will be provided verbal feedback during in class rehearsals, and receive weekly grades for participation and commitment. In addition, they will be graded on their performance at the Spring Dance Concert.


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