Mr. De Leon’s Dance Unit


Picture by Mr. De Leon in the KBOW Season 2 Finale Video

Alice Han and Anushka Singh

In Mr. De Leon’s PE class, each semester there is a dance unit where you choreograph a dance and perform it at the end of each semester in front of other classes. Each period has a variety of song choices and styles that make it unique and interesting to watch.

The dance unit is where seventh and eighth-grade students make a group to create a dance. Mr. De Leon looks for how good a performance is, how well a group works with one another, how confident they are, their musicality, creativity, and the effort they put in during the whole process. Mr. De Leon said he “[Grades] through a rubric and it has to be met and [your grade is based on] how well each team works to get to their final goal.”

In this semester, the dances were performed on June 3, 2022, in the gym, though 1st period was performed in the foyer. Normally, the dance unit lasts about three to four weeks. Though, during the unit, Mr. De Leon will also mix in other sports while doing the unit. For example, on some Wednesdays or Fridays, Mr. De Leon will have the class do volleyball, basketball, etc.

To make the dance group, Mr. De Leon first puts two people together, and then others who want to join that group can. The groups have no limit, so any amount of people can join a group. In each class, the number of groups varies from four to six, and there are some people who do solos, duets, or even trios.

In the dance, you choreograph a dance to any music you choose. Though Mr. De Leon required his students to add three dance moves at least once throughout their dance. You must include the Charleston, the Smooth Step, and the Eight count, all of which he made sure we learned before starting.

We asked Mr. De Leon a few questions about the dance unit. Mr. De Leon included that he does the dance unit because “Dance is a different form of expression that allows all the kids to express their movements through music. It’s an equalizer, it’s not just about playing games, but also social-emotional learning.” He also included that the purpose/ what you learn from the dance unit is “When you’re put into a dance group, you learn to work with people that have different personalities, you learn to be more cooperative, you let go of your own ego and take opinions from others, learn to be confident, be considerate, and compromise.”

Mr. De Leon’s dance unit not only helps dancers express themselves in new ways, but is also very fun and positive. During the dances, lots of people came to watch and it was very entertaining, which made the environment more positive and made the dancers feel good about themselves. Many people we have asked throughout each period were nervous to do the dance and perform it in front of lots of people in the beginning. Though after this unit ended, many people said that they would definitely do it again and they felt proud to be a part of something like this.


Mr. De Leon