Dance 699 Disarming the Playground: Violence Prevention through Movement and Pro-Social Skills


Name: Rena Kornblum
SCID: School of Education
Department: Dance
Course Name: Dance 699 Disarming the Playground: Violence Prevention through Movement and Pro-Social Skills

Supported Program Outcomes:

  • SPO1:Competency in Mind/ Body Connection & Personal Integration as well as Interpersonal Empathy from a global or multi-cultural perspective– Demonstrate skill in expressing one’s self through movement, making connections between movements expression & emotion and attuning with others.
  • SPO2:KNOWLEDGE –Develop literacy about the field of DMT – Demonstrate knowledge about of the scope & efficacy of the field, it’s premises & major concepts such as working w/the whole person, starting where the client is & strength-based work
  • SPO3:ASSESSMENT – Understand and Apply theories of movement Analysisin relationship to assessment, treatment plans and making connections to others
  • SPO4:PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Community service – Practicum experience – Teaching classmates-Apply knowledge from research and personal movement exploration to actual therapeutic experiences

Course Objectives:

  • CO1:Knowledge: Identifythe major issues involved in violence prevention curriculums, comparing & contrasting the major themes covered in at least 3 different research-based programs. 2. Demonstrateknowledge of the 7 units covered in the Disarming the Playground Curriculum & how these relate to the field of dance/movement therapy. They will investigate how the application of these would look different depending on the age, population, culture.
  • CO2:Spatial Awareness: Demonstrate an understanding the role of spatial awareness in a multi-cultural world, identify their own spatial preferences & demonstrate 3 different ways for exploring space & its role in creating safety.
  • CO3:Self-Regulation: Demonstrateknowledge of the physiology of the stress &relaxation response. 2. Practiceand learn15 different self-regulation techniques for excitement, anxiety, frustration and anger.  3. Identifywhich ones work the best for them in different situations & 4. Teach these techniques to others.
  • CO4:Attention Span, Inner Focus, Self-Control or Resisting Temptation: Learn and Demonstratethe ability to focus attention, ignore distraction, and maintain a sense of their center of self-control.
  • CO5:Empathy and Attunement: Understand & Demonstrateembodied empathy & attunement through movement explorations with others. Applythis knowledge by leading classmates and others during Community Service
  • CO6:Early Warning Signs – Identifyinternal cues that warn of potential danger. Compare/Contracttheir body cues with others in the class. Demonstrate an ability to scan the environment & alternate between inward & outward focus.
  • CO6:Pro-Active Intervention for Bullying and Teasing: Students will learn and experience 10 ways to handle and diffuse tense situations – what they sound like, look like and feel like. They will experiment with these and be able to choose three that work the best for them.  They will gain competence in teaching these interventions to others.
  • CO7:Positive Problem Solving (PPS), Positive Self-Talk (PST) – Inner Coach:  Explorepositive vs negative self-talk.Identifywhen they use each & Practiceturning negative to positive. Developa list of positive problem-solving techniques for themselves as well as additional ones for others. Link PPS & PST to feelings of empowerment.
  • CO8:Handling Anger & Other Strong Feelings: Learn 3 anger & anxiety management techniques. Experimentusing new techniques with others from self-regulation unit. Identify triggers,Develop coping techniques for different situations
  • CO9:Integration & Application: Gain competenceteaching activities from each unit of curriculum to classmates & a variety of other people. Students will develop new activities or adaptations of an existing activity for each unit.

Course Units:

  • CU1: Spatial Awareness: It’s Role in Creating Safety and Preventing Violence
  • CU2: Self-Regulation, Attention Span, Self-Control: Identifying cues of dysregulation, distraction and temptation and learning and developing personalized techniques to calm ones-self, attend with calm alert energy, refocus
  • CU3: Empathy and Attunement: It’s role in making connections and acting as a stop-guard to violence
  • CO4: Early Warning Signs and Pro-Active Interventions: Recognizing potential danger and learning techniques to diffuse tense or dangerous situations.
  • C05: Handling Strong Feeling and Becoming a Positive Problem Solver
  • CO6: Application of embodied social skills though teaching and developing

Unit Being Redesigned:
CU1: Spatial Awareness: It’s Role in Creating Safety and Preventing Violence

Unit Objectives:

  • UO1:Demonstrateknowledge of different types of space used in social situations, multi-cultural uses of space, and the role of space in creating safety
  • UO2:Detect & Identify body cues relating to personal spatial needs and Perceiveothers’ non-verbal cues relating to spatial needs as demonstrated in movement experiences and journaling.
  • UO3:INTEGRATION – Developan activity to explore space – either a new activity or an adaptation of what we explored in class.

Summary of Blended Activity Flow

Pre-Class Activities In-Class Activities Post-Class Activities
1.  Read Space Chapter in Training Manual & Activity Book of Disarming the Playground.  UO1

2.  Watch Training Video on Space Unit  UO1

3.  Movement Observation – Pay attention to your use of space in 4-5 different settings.  Spend 2 minutes jotting down what you noticed – Where were most comfortable -Where uncomfortable UO2


1.  Over the course of a few days again pay attention to your own use of space. Compare these observations with the ones before the last class.  Spend two minutes writing it up.

2.  Read article by Edward Hall on Proxemics

3.  Watch Video of Kindergarten students at Lake View doing an actual session on Space.

4.  BEGIN brainstorming ideas for an activity on the use of space. Think about age group, environment (school community center, prison, Seniors, Parents and children together.

– It could be an adaptation of what you read or watched for a different age group or thinking of space in a different way such as emotional space.

Share activity with previously selected small group. Give and receive feedback –

Be prepared to share activity in class

First Period on Space Unit
1. Check-in Self-Assessment- Round Robyn UO2 (20 min)

2.  Move w/different size space bubbles (10min)  (UO1)

3. Walk and Stop – Students approach each other & take turns stopping each other at a distance that feel safe or comfortable. Switch partners after each turn. Approach with different speed, moods, etc. Pay attention to what and where inner cues are in body UO2  (30 min)

4. One Step closer – Mover coming one step closer to partner than partner is comfortable with. CO6 UO2  (15)

5. 2 min write-up on Act 3 & 4 followed by small group discussion

6.  Space in Therapy – Watch Video of Mom

& adopted child / Video of Safe Spaces in

trauma groups / Discuss UO1 45min.






1.   In small groups share movement observations of others and of self  (15min)

Then compose a space dance representing some of space use you all observed (1-2 minutes long) Share with class (30 min) (UO 1 & 2)

2.   Make Spaces w/crepe paper – work in partners – approach in different ways 30 min

3.   Adaptations for cultural differences

4.   Write and Share

2 min write of space experience w/partner

5-minute sharing in small group

2 minute add more to writing

5 minute whole group sharing

5.  Using mats, scarves, rollers, etc. each students make a home or safe place.  Students visit each other – sometimes friendly, sometimes not.  The visitee gets to decide whether to let them in or not. Practice assertion – Sharing space.

6. If time, make a story involving leaving spaces and things happening.



               DAY THREE



Each Student leads class though activity

One to two-minute feedback

One minute write up after each activity


Whole group discussion on how things went. 

Discuss Self-Regulation Unit Coming up next.

1.  Four 15-minute movement observations, each in a different environment. Choose places with people of different cultures, ages, races, as well as different types of places

2. Take a notebook or tablet & take notes on how people use space. See if you can draw some conclusions about what you noticed


1.Put your brainstorming to work. Plan an activity on use of space – It could be an adaptation of what you read or watched for a different age group or thinking of space in a different way such as emotional space.


2. Write an activity description following the format in the Space Chapter.  Give clear objective of activity, props needs if any, age group, and a description with bulleted points.  CO9 – UO3

Finalize activity plan from feedback and teaching experience, And submit via Canvas – Make sure you state what age & population it’s for               

        CO9 – UO3

Timmo Dugdale

Blended Learning Initiatives |Faculty Engagement | DoIT Academic Technology

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