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Journal of Early Childhood Literacy


Sage Publications



This paper explores dance as literacy. Specifically, it examines qualitative case study research findings and student examples from a dance artist-in-residence that explored curricular content using dance as its primary mode of inquiry and expression. Throughout the residency, students constructed meaning through their dance experiences in dynamic and autonomous ways, exhibiting complex literacy practices of inquiry and communication. Focusing on the kindergarten student participants’ experiences, the authors highlight three themes in their dance literacy practices: (a) artistic autonomy, (b) embodied knowledge, and (c) multimodality. As embodied knowledge, dance innately allowed for integrative literacy possibilities in the dance residency. The dance experiences observed and referenced in this research illustrate the complexities of dance as literacy, as both a unique literacy and in meaning-making across literacies. Drawing on the findings of this study, the authors seek to inspire teachers to foster similar experiences to develop transformative literacy practices individually in their classrooms and collaboratively in their schools.


This manuscript has been published in the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. Please find the published version here (note that a subscription is necessary to access this version):

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