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Before You Begin

Dancing Backwards is designed to be easy for teachers to navigate to maximize student engagement while they are learning critical thinking and responsible citizenship. 

Permission Forms

Before students participate in the program, it’s important that their parents/guardians are informed of the intention to post the students' finished work on the publically accessible Dancing Backwards site.

Parents/guardians are requested to sign the Release Form and return them to the teacher. This form grants Dancing Backwards permission to use student projects on the Her Story Archive, which is on our website site. Although students will not be identified by last name or school to ensure student safety, the students’ image, voice, if included in the project will be public.

If your class has students unable to get permission, may we suggest the following options:

  • Have a conversation about why this form is being signed, and what objections parents may have to signing it
  • Explore with your class, what role a student could play in the creation of a project that allows participation without permission,
  • Brainstorm the types of projects students could create without using their image,
  • Suggest that students without permission might work on a piece together, and present it to the class only,
  • Brainstorm other options.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments at

The Issue of Copyright

When students are working on their projects, it will be tempting for them to download music, artwork, photos or videos from the internet to help them tell their story in a creative way. It’s important to explain the principle of copyright to students so that they are aware of the creator’s right to control and benefit from his or her creations. The goal of copyright laws is to make sure that artists (and their publishers and producers) get paid for their work, and get a say in how their work is used by others. Because students’ stories will be uploaded to the Her Story Archive on the Dancing Backwards website, it’s important that these laws be respected. 

Copyright:The exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (such as a literary, musical, or artistic work). 

Public Domain:The state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, and therefore not subject to copyright.

We suggest the following websites for access to free music and photos/graphics that are copyright fee and in the public domain:

 Further, suggest to students that they try to write their own music, or accompany visuals with an instrumental soundtrack or soundscape (mix of different types of music and sounds) that they create for the project. Here is a website to source some sounds https://freesound.org/




Partners and Supporters

The Dancing Backwards Program
Created by Sandy Mayzell
Written by Johanna Lee and Sandy Mayzell
Additional Materials by Jessica Hoyt, Monica Prendergast,
Lacey Jones, Sarah King, Angela Hemming, John Gould and Alexa Lewis.

Funded by the Government of Canada core logo

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