Research and Curriculum Resources

To determine whether we reach our objectives, as well as create new knowledge contributing to the field of dance education, Hubbard Street conducts ongoing, in-depth research. Program changes are guided by this research as needed. Data sources for evaluation include: pre- and post-surveys of teachers and teaching artists; a pre- and post-student choreographic and performance assessment; classroom observations of in-school residencies and professional development workshops; documentation of project meetings and planning processes; lesson plans; reflection statements and meeting notes from all participants; and final student performances. We use chorographic and performance rubrics to analyze students’ dance skills. 

 The MAP program is Hubbard Street’s venue for research projects. Previous research projects have increased staff capacity to manage student level research examining how student created and performed group choreography improves over time, allowing us to continue to generate student level data about dance learning and freeing up external research funds to continue to grow our knowledge base for student and school impact. As we are selecting new schools for 2017-18 and beginning a new 3-year partnership cycle, we are concurrently beginning a new research inquiry cycle. For the next 3 years, we will develop new tools and methodologies to measure how the Prepare, Create, Perform, Respond (PCPR) model used in MAP dance classes serves to teach students vital skills in dance choreography and performance while integrating across subjects.

 Emerging data from previous research (Smolin 2012, 2014) indicates strong correlation between the parallel processes of the PCPR choreographic process and the reading and writing processes as well as transfer across domains in “reading” dance texts for inference skills. These preliminary data are supported by research in other art forms. This ability of the art form to effect translation across domains leads to the strong theory that transfer will also occur with the observed noncognitive factors in the PCPR curriculum. We will begin to examine how this framework aids in the development of non-cognitive factors of academic perseverance, academic mindsets, learning strategies, and social skills. This research is significant because while dance and teaching the choreographic process has previously shown to improve students’ cognitive work of thinking, remembering, or learning (Hanna 2008) this research has not yet established a link to improvement in non-cognitive factors. Dr. Louanne Smolin will lead the external research protocols and reporting. Complete methodology is available upon request.

Hubbard Street’s Youth, Education, and Community Programs engaged Dr. Louanne Smolin for Phase I research of our pedagogy and partnerships in the Movement as Partnership (MAP) Program, a long-term partnership model designed to strengthen whole school understanding and advance dance education in the public school setting. The 127 participants in this research were Chicago Public School and Oak Park elementary classroom teachers and independent teaching artists affiliated with Hubbard Street’s MAP program during the 2007-2010 school years.

The research for the MAP program, was guided by the following inquiry questions:

  • What is the impact of professional development on teacher and artist practice?

  • What makes an effective dance curriculum in a residency environment?

  • What are the processes that create effective school partnerships?

MAP Research Brochure

Research PowerPoint by Dr. Louanne Smolin


POWERPOINT: MAP Residencies in Action

Wild Things: Expanding Writing Through Choreography


For schools and communities who will be attending a Hubbard Street or HS2 performance, we offer a variety of materials to enhance your experience. Please note that Hubbard Street is often working with new choreographers right up to a performance or tour -- occasionally study guides for the premieres you will see will not be available right away.

Performance Guide: Strategies for using dance performance in the classroom


Download a copy of the scope and sequence used in our FSI program.

Creating Reflective Choreographers: The Eyes See/Mind Sees Process
by Sinead Kimbrell, Associate Director
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Youth, Education, and Community Programs

Managing Movement as Partnership
by Sinead Kimbrell, Associate Director
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Youth, Education, and Community Programs

by Kathryn Humphreys, Education Director
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Youth, Education, and Community Programs

Best Instructional Practices for Developing Student Choreographers
by Kathryn Humphreys, Education Director & Sinead Kimbrell, Associate Director
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Youth, Education, and Community Programs

Questions? Email or call 312-850-9744