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Wisconsin Standards for Dance

Introducing the Wisconsin Standards for Dance

We are pleased to introduce this new set of dance standards. The Wisconsin Standards for Dance has been adopted by the Wisconsin State Superintendent for school districts to consider in their work with dance education programs. 

Standards Documents

Dance Standards

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Wisconsin Standards for Dance provides a foundational framework that identifies what students should know and be able to do in dance. The dance standards may be used for courses focusing on the techniques and knowledge of this art form. Here is a full set of the standards - Wisconsin Standards for Dance - full document. Desktop Poster 11"X17"

I Can Image
I CAN...
I CAN Statements - Download these copies onto your desktop. The I CAN statements are aligned to the Wisconsin Standards for Dance and allow for edits within the document to create classroom, student friendly posters. There are slight variations between the grade bands for formatting to show multiple versions. Feel free to adjust the format to support your classroom. 
Dance K-23-56-8, 9-12

Learn more about the Wisconsin Standards for Dance.

Dance Education in Wisconsin

Dance is an essential part of a comprehensive education in Wisconsin. The 2019 Wisconsin Standards for Dance provides a condensed set of academic standards for schools and other learning facilities to consider using in developing their own curriculum. The overall focus of dance as an art form is to build students’ skills and knowledge through expressive movement. Dance education offers additional dimensions of student learning. The physical, mental, social, and expressive nature of this art form offers learners multiple opportunities to explore and develop skills and knowledge through four artistic processes: Create, Perform, Respond, and Connect

The 2019 Wisconsin Standards for Dance are developed by Wisconsin educators, experts, and the business community. The standards are informed by work being done in other states and at the national level. These standards introduce the analytical elements and aesthetic expressive qualities of dance to all students, and include:

  1. Fundamental concepts of body awareness, expressive movement, and critical thinking beginning in the elementary levels;
  2. Critical thinking, skill building, expressing and communicating ideas, feelings, and concepts at the secondary levels;
  3. Additional experiences that allow interested students to study dance in depth and prepare them for entry into a career or college;
  4. Opportunities for students to demonstrate their dance concept knowledge and skills through Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting; and
  5. Investigating various aspects of dance across time and cultures.
Components of the Standards
Here are some things to look for in these standards:
  1. The Wisconsin Standards for Dance focus on the artistic processes of Create, Perform, Respond, and Connect. These are inspired by the National Core Arts Standards in Dance (2014).
  2. The Wisconsin Standards for Dance are organized by grade bands: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. This allows for some flexibility in instruction and greater differentiation for the support of students over time. All levels identify proficient for the older grade level in that band.
  3. There are four dance standards identified for grades kindergarten through 12. These conceptual ideas take into consideration the current Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for Dance (1997) and the National Core Arts Standards in Dance (2014), as well as other state examples reviewed by the writing team.
  4. The overall concept of the dance standards provide what students should know and be able to do in the identified grade bands. Performance indicators allow for flexibility for educators and school communities to identify more specific elements through their own curricular development.
Standards Formatting
Standard: Broad statement that tells what students are expected to know or be able to do.
Artistic Process: Breaks down the broad statement into manageable learning pieces.
Performance Indicator by grade band: Measurable degree to which a standard has been developed or met.
Grade Bands: K - 2nd (Elementary), 3rd - 5th, 6th – 8th, and 9th – 12th.

Note: As Wisconsin continues to update our existing Wisconsin Academic Standards, additional crosswalk documents and resources will be created.

Wisconsin Standards for Dance Review and Revision Process

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has a transparent and comprehensive process for reviewing and revising academic standards. The process involves the wide gathering of ideas from multiple persons including dance teachers, administrators, parents, business professionals, dance industry and service organizations, and leaders from across the state. The process is outlined within the standards review/revision process link.

The Dance Writing Team started their review in October 2018 and worked throughout the fall and winter. The team reviewed survey feedback, the current Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Dance Education (1997), and other dance standards examples including the National Core Arts Standards in Dance (2014). Another part of the process included the public release of a draft with an accompanying survey to gather feedback from the public, key stakeholders, and educators, and a set of public hearings. This feedback further informed the writing committee in their work. The following links provide more information about this process.

The final draft of the Wisconsin Standards for Dance was presented to the SSSRC on April 3, 2019. The SSSRC approved the draft submitted by the Dance Writing Committee and State Superintendent Stanford Taylor approved the Wisconsin Standards for Dance on June 3, 2019.

2019 State Superintendent’s Dance Standards Writing Committee
This work is made possible through the efforts of a dedicated team of educators, administrators, higher education staff, and dance industry professionals. The Wisconsin Standards for Dance was shaped by this team’s expertise and generous nature, with the goal of creating a tool that could be used by fellow educators, parents, community members, and the learners in their care, to build skills and knowledge in dance. Members of the writing committee donated numerous hours and shared their expertise in the development of the dance standards document. These members include:
Wisconsin Standards Dance Writing Committee
2019 State Superintendent’s Dance Standards Writing Committee
  • Jessica Bauer, Signature Steps Studio; Physical Education Educator; Reedsburg
  • Susan Gingrasso, Retired UW Stevens Point, Stevens Point
  • Andrea Balsiger, Northside Elementary School, Monroe School District
  • Dean Drews, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Milwaukee
  • Renee Griswold, Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy, Milwaukee
  • Greta Lewis, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson
  • Simone Linhares Ferro, UW-Milwaukee
  • Karen Mcshane-Hellenbrand, UW-Madison
  • Julie Rabideau, Green Bay School District, Green Bay
  • Yeng Vang-Strath, Bruce-Guadalupe Community School, Milwaukee
  • Tina Wozniak, Bradford High School, Kenosha
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Facilitator:
Julie Palkowski, Arts and Creativity Education Consultant
Standards Writing Team Resources
The primary resources used in developing the Wisconsin Standards for Dance were the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for Dance (1997) and the National Core Arts Standards in Dance (2014). The document, Comparison Dance Standards, highlights elements in both of these resources, along with the newly adopted Wisconsin Standards for Dance (2018). These resources, along with several other state standards sets, have been the inspiration for the newly adopted state voluntary standards.
Additional state standards were utilized by the writing team in their work. The state examples provided various structures and content for comparison.  
Wisconsin Implementation Plans

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WI DPI) will be updating the resources on this page to support districts in learning about and implementing the  standards. WI DPI supports a three-year implementation for districts to ensure appropriate time to fully implement the standards into the curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Dance Standards Roll Out

District Teams - As Wisconsin school districts begin to implement the Wisconsin Standards for Dance, they are encouraged to consider the overall needs of the students in their care. It is essential that the school community discusses the delivery of the standards through a thoughtful alignment of instruction, learning, and assessment. Other factors to support this work will include planned professional learning to build educator and learner capacity of the key concepts. The use of collaborative leadership teams provides a solid start in ensuring proper planning and budgeting to support high-quality learning experiences that focus on access for all students. The principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and equitable learning opportunities for all students are a central focus of the team. In addition, districts are encouraged to leverage the Wisconsin Standards for Dance to implement instructional support systems that align with the local Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Educator Learning Modules

Participate in these modules to investigate additional ways to implement the standards in your arts classroom. Here are the links to each module for Dance, along with newsletter issues which provide more resources for your use.

                CREATE                 PERFORM                            RESPOND                            CONNECT


For questions about this information, contact Christopher Gleason (608) 264.9554