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Creating New Folk Dances

National Dance AssociationBy Fran Anthony Meyer, Editors

Linking to the Traditional

Having participated in the learning experience Working in the Coal Mine: An Integrated Approach to Folk Dance, students will create a new folk dance. This experience will extend knowledge and skills presented in the previous lesson and use contemporary coal mining songs as a music source. Based on 30-minute sessions, this learning experience may take two to three sessions (see the following table for teacher instructions).

GRADE LEVEL Grades 3 to 5


  • C. Lane and S. Langhout, Multicultural Folk Dance Treasure Chest, Vol. 2, 1998, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
  • ”Sixteen Tons,” Tennessee Ernie Ford Greatest Hits, 1995, Hollywood, CA: Capital Records
  • ”Big John,” Jimmy Dean 20 Great Story Songs, 1999, Nashville, TN: Curb Records
  • ”Working in the Coal Mine,” Lee Dorsey, Wheelin’ and Dealin’, 1997, New York: Arista Records
  • J. Hendershot, In Coal Country, 1987, New York: Alfred Knopf
  • CD or other music player
  • Learning experience titled “Working in the Coal Mine: An Integrated Approach to Folk Dance” for teaching Tanko Bushi


Content Standard 2: Understands choreographic principles, processes, and structures (Benchmarks: d, e)

Content Standard 3. Understands dance as a way to create and communicate meaning (Benchmark: c)

Content Standard 7. Makes connections between dance and other disciplines (Benchmark: b)

GOAL To create original coal mining dances based on facts learned about coal mining in Japan and the United States.

OBJECTIVES As a result of participating in this learning experience, students will

  1. create an Americanized version of a coal mining dance based on facts they learned about coal mining and Japan. Contemporary, folk, or country music may be used. [Psychomotor]
  2. list a minimum of two facts about Japan, one similarity and difference between Japanese and American cultures, and three facts about coal mining. [Cognitive]
  3. work cooperatively within the group and contribute ideas to the composition of the group coal mining dance. [Affective]
  4. express in writing how they feel about coal mining and working in a group to choreograph a dance. [Affective, Cognitive]



This is an excerpt from Implementing the National Dance Education Standards.

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The above excerpt is from:

Implementing the National Dance Education Standards

Implementing the National Dance Education Standards

Implementing the National Dance Education Standards

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