Conceptualizing dance literacy: A critical theoretical perspective on dance in school

Sofia Jusslin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Research on dance literacy has advanced in the 21st century, with researchers arguing that emphasis on students’ dance literacy can illuminate bodily learning in school. Nevertheless, the concept is often left undefined, and there seems to be no clear consensus on what dance literacy means for bodily learning in school contexts. This article examines previous literature to provide a conceptual overview of dance literacy, and discusses dance literacy in school through a critical theoretical lens. Discussing and reviewing the previous literature on dance literacy from an emancipatory approach, the article proposes a Dance Literacy Model for Schools within primary and secondary education settings that do not teach dance as a school subject. The model comprises three dimensions of dance literacy: dance as an art form and form of expression, dance combined with other literacies, and learning through dance in different curricular areas. The article concludes that education in dance literacy can contribute to students’ literacy education by accentuating bodily learning in and through dance while simultaneously highlighting and appreciating the value of dance itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24–42
JournalPå Spissen
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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