Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Dance (DANC)

First Advisor

Kristen Smiarowski


With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, the demand for further development in arts education has grown. In California, the Visual and Performing Arts have been mandated components of education since 2001; yet, students often experience limited and inconsistent access to the arts due to budget cuts. Thus, the need for a specialized approach to synthesizing the arts and education is imminent. Arts Integration, a pedagogical method that refers to the combination of a visual or performing art with a core content area to provide equal understanding of a topic from both selected fields, is sprinkled throughout primary and secondary educational institutions nationally. The specific integration of dance with core content areas exercises somatic and kinesthetic learning modalities. Dance in the classroom also can address aspects of other art forms, including music, visual art and theater. Yet, in the greater Los Angeles area there is only limited access to this form of education. This project analyzes the prevalence, efficacy and methods of implementation of dance-based Arts Integration in California for the purpose of investigating an approach to improve access to it. Through interviews and observations with five California-based dance education programs, in addition to a field study with one of the programs, I have gathered data on both their administrative operations and pedagogical practices. By analyzing these findings, I have built the foundations for Dancing at My Desk, a new, Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that focuses specifically on Arts Integration through dance. For the scope of this project, the development of the organization centered around the creation of programming and branding. Thus, the results of this project include the development of the mission, vision and values, example curriculum and a video demonstration of a select lesson, and the logo and website design for the organization. Further research into the development of administrative aspects such as an organizational budget, establishment of the board of directors and selection of facilities are necessary for the implementation of this organization. By continuing efforts in the development of Dancing at My Desk, the symbiotic relationship of education and the arts will strengthen and advance.