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In order to create or perform dances and to appreciate choreographic works, students must acquire a certain amount of knowledge related to the language of dance, dance movement technique, choreographic principles, conventions of dance and subject-specific vocabulary. Presented schematically in the compulsory and optional programs, this learning is addressed here in order to facilitate teachers’ planning.

Divided into two sections, Knowledge and Applications of Knowledge, this document provides an overview of the learning that students are expected to acquire over the course of their arts education studies at the secondary level, both in the compulsory program and in the optional programs. The first section covers knowledge that students should have acquired by the end of each cycle as well as by the end of Secondary IV, where the certification of studies applies. The second section illustrates, by means of observable actions, how this knowledge is mobilized in the exercise of the three competencies developed in the program. The action verbs used in the statements characterize the progression of learning for each key feature of the competencies, from one cycle to another, and from year to year within each cycle. Also included is a review of the learning acquired at the elementary level upon which the secondary learning is based.

Since competency development and acquisition of the knowledge underlying the competency are closely related, the particulars contained in this document should enable teachers to help students acquire the tools they need to develop the competencies of the Dance program and to discover the possibilities of bodily movement, their artistic sensitivity and their creative potential, whether they are enrolled in the compulsory program or in one of the optional programs. In their planning, teachers should reserve time for the assimilation of certain elements of the learning content in order to offer students exploration activities as well as simple and varied tasks for improvement purposes, or more complex tasks involving the application of different kinds of knowledge in a particular context.  

Throughout their dance studies, students learn to use different types of knowledge acquired in the classroom and through their cultural experiences in order to create their own movement sequences, perform various dances and use dance movements in various performance contexts. They acquire the skills necessary to exercise critical judgment when appreciating a choreographic work and learn to use correct English and the appropriate terminology to formulate this appreciation.

In the optional Dance programs, students enhance the knowledge acquired in the compulsory program. In the context of more complex learning and evaluation situations, they are encouraged to consider the symbolic treatment of elements of dance language and to develop their ability to use these elements in the context of stage and multimedia environments, especially in the optional program Dance and Multimedia. They thus discover new avenues of creation, performance and appreciation.

The secondary-level Arts Education programs were designed to ensure a continuous progression of learning in the same arts subject from the beginning to the end of secondary school. Students can thus pursue their artistic development in a single subject into the second cycle. However, it may happen that some students change subjects in each year of Cycle Two. It is therefore important to establish conditions that will ensure as complete a training in dance as possible.