You are here

2020 CAS - Family and Community Guide for High School Dance

2020 standards family and community guides banner

Working Together: To support families, communities, and teachers in realizing the goals of the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS), this guide provides an overview of the learning expectations for students studying high school dance. This guide offers some learning experiences students may engage in at school that may also be supported at home.

Why Standards? Created by Coloradans for Colorado students, the Colorado Academic Standards provide a grade-by-grade road map to help ensure students are successful in college, careers, and life. The standards aim to improve what students learn and how they learn in 12 content areas while emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and communication as essential skills for life in the 21st century.

See all the Family and Community Guides here.

Where can I learn more?

content area icon for dance


The dance standards for the high school years divide into two different pathways: fundamental and extended. In both, the focus is on advanced skill levels of technical proficiency and body mechanics and awareness, along with utilizing artistic and expressive performance skills. When embarking on the fundamental pathway students investigate, understand and demonstrate multiple choreographic principles, ideas, meanings, and intent during the process of crafting dance works. Students will also understand the process of creating, rehearsing, performing, and evaluating various dance works from an assortment of genres, styles, and cultures.

Expectations for Students in the Fundamental Pathway:

  • Movement, Technique, and Performance (Perform/Present): Demonstrate kinesthetic awareness (body mechanics); perform dance with technical proficiency, expression, and artistry while applying the components of the performance process.
  • Create, Compose and Choreograph (Create): Apply the creative process to dance-making; use intent and a variety of different stimuli to create and develop original dance works.
  • Historical and Cultural Context (Know/Comprehend): Connect personal, cultural, and historical dance styles to create a dance work.
  • Reflect, Connect, and Respond (Critique/Evaluate/Refine): Respond and reflect upon new and classic works of dance.

Throughout the Fundamental Pathway, You May Find Students:

  • Demonstrating an advanced level of kinesthetic awareness (body mechanics) and technical proficiency while combining artistic expression to performances.
  • Articulating that choreography is organized with specific form and order for a reason; creating dances through the use of choreographic techniques; utilizing the creative process when developing new dance works.
  • Translating the knowledge of cultural and historical dance into performances; articulating how world dance traditions are influenced by the values of a society.
  • Responding, reflecting, and analyzing the connections of the creative process to the final product of a cultural dance work or classic masterpiece.

Expectations for Students in the Extended Pathway:

  • Movement, Technique, and Performance (Perform/Present): Perform advanced movement with artistic interpretation and expression; produce a multi-faceted dance performance; work independently and collaboratively with peers.
  • Create, Compose, and Choreograph (Create): Refine the creative process in dance-making; compose dance works that convey meaning and intent.
  • Historical and Cultural Context (Know/Comprehend): Analyze and articulate personal connections to cultural and historical dance forms and traditions.
  • Reflect, Connect, and Respond (Critique/Evaluate/Refine): Apply formal, critical analysis to multiple forms of dance in oral, written, or technological formats.

Throughout the Extended Pathway, You May Find Students:

  • Demonstrating and performing advanced movement as a creative artist.
  • Showing leadership by creating dance works for others in dance performances.
  • Refining their personal creative process and problem solving by combining multiple choreographic strategies.
  • Independently investigating historical dance traditions to inspire new dance works.
  • Articulating an understanding of the connections dance has to society, historically and in the current cultural context.