Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
D 170
Course Title:
World Dance
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces traditional and popular dance forms and styles from a selection of countries and cultures. Examines and practices dance movement within a cultural context. Ethnic dances may vary by term. This course is also offered as PE 124; a student who enrolls in this course a second time under either designator will be subject to the course repeat policy. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand basic dance skills, in particular ethnic dance forms and styles.
  • Identify and demonstrate specific ethnic and/or popular dances.
  • Examine and appreciate dance as cultural and social expression.  

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Recognize specific ethnic dance forms and styles.
  • Demonstrate traditional and/or popular dances of particular countries or cultures.
  • Observe and analyze specific ethnic dance performances, dancers, and choreography.
  • Create and present a report on ethnic dance.  

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Dance warm-up
  • Body positions
  • Posture and placement
  • Arm positions and movements
  • Leg and foot positions and steps
  • Coordination
  • Basic rhythms in ethnic dances
  • Counter and polyrhythms
  • Steps in place
  • Traveling steps
  • Turning steps
  • Jumping steps
  • Muscle memory
  • Vocabulary of steps and dances
  • Integration of dance and music
  • Dance combinations
  • Intent and meaning in movement
  • Movement aesthetics
  • Movement style
  • Origin of dances
  • Structure of dances
  • Musical and dance forms
  • Choreography  


  • Practice and demonstrate correct techniques and styling in the following elements of traditional and popular ethnic dances:  
    •             Warm-up techniques
    •             Arm positions and movements
    •             Body posture and positions
    •             Foot positions and steps
    •             Leg positions and steps
    •             Arm and leg movements together
    •             Steps in basic rhythmic patterns
    •             Steps in more complex rhythmic patterns
    •             Combinations of steps
    •             Turning movements
    •             Upper body styling
  • Repeat steps and combinations
  • Identify particular ethnic dance steps and combinations
  • Practice and demonstrate ethnic dances
  • Perform ethnic dances with expression and musicality
  • Recognize specific ethnic musical and dance forms
  • Observe and discuss video and audio recordings of ethnic music and dance
  • Explore historical and social perspectives of ethnic dance forms
  • Research and present a report on ethnic dance