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The Department of Dance offers a wide range of courses in dance technique for the beginning, intermediate, and advanced dancer, as well as dance theory courses such as dance history, composition, human anatomy and kinesiology, and teaching methods. The dance major consists of a series of core courses in dance technique and theory. Students follow their interests within the discipline (dance performance, choreography, teaching, or dance studies) by choosing a specific track; students may elect to broaden their understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of the field by an additional focus on related disciplines such as art, education, music, philosophy, psychology, and/or theatre.
The dance major and minor may be either disciplinary or interdisciplinary depending upon the courses selected. Three interdisciplinary dance major tracks are offered: Dance Education, Movement Studies, and Theory and Performance Studies. All courses toward a dance major or minor must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DISCIPLINARY MAJOR (B.A.) in Performance & Choreography
disciplinary, 12 courses
DAN 200 or DAN 250; DAN 225; DAN 300; DAN 325 or DAN 305; DAN 210 or 212; DAN 460; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses at the intermediate or advanced level; a dance ensemble course (DAN 140); and three dance electives in consultation with the adviser, two of which must be at the 200-level or higher.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INTERDISCLINARY MAJOR (B.A.) TRACKS:
interdisciplinary, 12 courses
Major in DANCE EDUCATION
Two courses from among DAN 225, DAN 305, and DAN 325; either DAN 200, DAN 250, or DAN 300; either DAN 210, 212, or 214; Dance Education Seminar DAN 432; Capstone DAN 460; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses at the intermediate or advanced level; one dance elective (not 900 series); and three electives drawn from Arts Education, Education, and/or Psychology approved by the major adviser.
Major in Dance: MOVEMENT STUDIES
Required courses: DAN 225, DAN 305, and DAN 325; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses at the intermediate or advanced level; two DAN electives, one at the 200-level or higher (not 900 series); Capstone DAN 460 (or DAN 450 or 499); one Human Behavioral/Developmental elective; and three electives outside the Department chosen in consultation with the adviser.
Major in Dance: THEORY AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES
DAN 105; Dance History DAN 210, or 212, or 214; Movement Studies DAN 225, DAN 305, or DAN 325; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses at the intermediate or advanced level; two DAN electives at the 200-level or higher; Capstone DAN 460; and four courses outside the Department chosen in consultation with the adviser.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
disciplinary, 7 courses
DAN 105; DAN 210 or 212; either DAN 200, 250 or 300; either DAN 225, 305, or 325; one full-credit dance technique (DAN) course at the intermediate or advanced level; and two additional dance (DAN) courses.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
interdisciplinary, 7 courses
DAN 105, DAN 210 or 212; DAN 225, 305, or 325; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses, at least one at an intermediate or advanced level; and two additional dance (DAN) courses or courses outside the department approved by the adviser.
DAN 105 Introduction to Dance: Theory and Practice This course introduces students to the technique and theory of dance as an art form. Novice and experienced movers alike are introduced to dance theory in a lecture setting, and then explore those movement theories in the dance studio. Students gain both theoretical and practical knowledge of dance and self through readings, research assignments, journal writing, film observation, live concert dance, movement experiences, discussion, and faculty lecture. Study topics include an overview of dance styles, multicultural definition of dance, and an introduction to dance criticism, dance history, aesthetics, dance sciences, and movement analysis. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN 110 Introduction to Global Dance Forms The style of dance offered--Afro-Caribbean, Latino, Flamenco, West African, Indian, or others--will depend on the instructor's expertise. In addition to dance studio movement experiences, this course will include a theoretical component with reading and writing assignments. This will provide students with a cultural and historical context for the dances and techniques studied. No prior dance experience or training is required.
DAN 140 Dance Ensemble: Practicum in Repertory and Performance This course follows the creation and performance of dance choreography from audition through final performance. Enrollment is by audition only; auditions are typically held in the fall prior to spring term registration. Students cast in Dance Ensemble learn new or repertory choreography created by dance faculty or guest artists and are frequently active participants in the choreographic process. In addition to developing performance skills, students are introduced to technical theatrical design concepts and are expected to complete pre- and post-production assignments. Concurrent registration in a dance technique course is required. (Spring, offered annually)
DAN 200 Dance Composition I This is an introductory course in the art and craft of creating dances. Techniques to nurture the individual creative process are explored, including movement improvisation, visual art imagery, chance procedures, musical influences, poetic imagery, and prop and costume studies. The course culminates in each student’s presentation of a substantial composition. This course has a multi-disciplinary focus and is open to all students interested in the arts and creative process. (Davenport/Williams, Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN 210 Dance History I This course is designed to present the history of social and theatrical dance from early human history through the flowering of ballet in the 19th century. A strong emphasis is placed on recognizing how social, political, economic, and religious conditions and attitudes influence and are influenced by dance and other artistic expressions. The course format consists of faculty lecture, student presentations, film and videos, and studio workshops. (Williams, Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN 212 Dance History II This course examines the development of theatrical dance from the late 1800s through the mid-20th century. A special focus of the course is the rise of modern dance and the women who were its creators—Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, and Ruth St. Denis, and the women pioneers who followed: Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Mary Wigman, and Hanya Holm. This singularly American art form was greatly influenced by feminist reform movements, and continues to be associated with political, social, and economic conditions and reforms. The course traces the development of modern dance through the tumultuous 1960s. (Williams, Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN 214 Dance History III: 1960s to Present As in the other arts, dance in the 1960s underwent tremendous changes and witnessed the breaking apart of traditional forms and aesthetic assumptions. Iconoclastic choreographers said no to the techniques and presentations of their predecessors, changing the aesthetics of dance permanently. This course starts with the revolutions in culture and dance of the 1960s and traces the growth and development of today’s “postmodern” dance. Issues of body, gender, race, sexuality and cultural heritage form the lens through which contemporary dance and its choreographers are discussed. (Williams, Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN 225 Anatomy and Kinesiology This course presents specific knowledge of human skeletal anatomy and muscular anatomy and its relationship to movement skills and postural alignment. Once the basic skeletal and muscular anatomy is understood, the course focuses on analysis of action, with particular attention on the action of gravity and its effect on posture and muscular function. Additionally, the course focuses on principles of alignment, conditioning, and injury prevention. Although dance-based, the course material is relevant to students interested in the areas of physical therapy, physical education, athletic training, human biology, and other movement sciences. (Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN 250 Dance Improvisation Improvisation in dance—like its counterparts in music and theatre—relies on the technical skills of the performer, a profound mental commitment and focus, the ability to respond to multiple sensory stimuli, and the development of a body-mind synthesis that allows for action and reflection. The ability to improvise frees the performer from technical and choreographic ruts and gives one the opportunity to create and understand movement from an intensely personal perspective. Students participate in a variety of structured improvisations throughout the semester that are designed to improve their sensitivity to group dynamics, individual movement creativity, and recognition of the expressive capacities for movement expression. While movement is the media, prior dance training is not required. (Williams, Davenport, Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN 300 Dance Composition II This course explores further the art and craft of making dances with a focus on group choreography. Composition II covers such aspects of choreography as developing a unique movement vocabulary, group compositions, site-specific work, and choreographic process and documentation. Collaborations with musicians, actors, poets, and visual artists are encouraged. Prerequisite: DAN 200 or permission of instructor. (Davenport/Williams, Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN 305 Somatics Somatics is a term used to describe a broad range of practices and theoretical frameworks having to do with integrating the body and the mind, usually with a focus on physical/psychological wellness. In this course we will investigate specific body/mind modalities and theories such as Alexander Technique, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Body/Mind Centering, Feldenkrais Method and Pilates, as well as studying the hands-on techniques of therapeutic modalities such as Cranio-Sacral Manipulation, Experiential Anatomy, and Rolfing. Students are expected to gain an increased awareness of their body structure, an understanding of individual patterns of movement behavior, and to develop somatic self-awareness. Course format includes movement exploration sessions, reading and reflective writing assignments, and hands-on application of material. (Iklé, Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN 325 Movement Analysis: Laban Studies This course is an introduction to the theory and application of Laban Movement Analysis, which includes effort/shape, space harmony, and the Bartenieff Fundamentals. These theories apply directly to all physical actions of the human body, nonverbal communication, cultural differences, choreography, body wellness and health, live performance, therapeutic practices, and teaching methodology. The course focuses on the personal relevance of Laban theories to the individual student, as well as to the related disciplines such as movement studies/science, theatre, dance, anthropology, psychology, and education. Students are taught how to observe, record, describe, and notate subtle qualities in the movement around them and how to understand their own movement patterns and the potential for enhanced expression, muscular efficiency, and wellness. (Whittier, Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN 432 Dance Education Seminar This course is designed to introduce the student to the practices and principles of teaching dance. In addition to the traditional pedagogical areas of study—construction of lesson plans, formation of curriculum, and semester unit plans—the course explores the specific concerns of the dance classroom—injury prevention, use of imagery to elicit physical response, and composition of movement material to cognitively as well as physically challenge students. Prerequisites: Successful completion of DAN 105, DAN 225, DAN 305, and/or DAN 325 strongly recommended. (Davenport/Williams/Whittier, Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN 450 Independent Study In this course students are encouraged to pursue explorations of choreography, performance, historical research, teaching, improvisation, arts management and production, or body-mind synthesis within an approved and academically challenging independent study. Permission of instructor required.
DAN 460 Seminar: Advanced Topics in Dance This seminar provides an opportunity for faculty-guided research of a particular area of interest to senior or junior dance majors. (Dance minors admitted with permission of instructor.) Qualified students may work toward the development of choreographic and performance material, or pursue independent studies of career-related topics such as dance science, somatics, dance anthropology, dance criticism, K-12 dance education, dance administration or other areas of interest. (Iklé/Davenport, Spring, offered annually)
DAN 495 Honors A course to be completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Honors work in dance. Permission of the Honors adviser required.
DAN 499 Dance Internship This internship offers an option for the student who wishes to pursue workplace experience in dance education, arts administration, technical production, and/or professional venues. Specific course content varies with each individual situation, but in general students are expected to spend a minimum of 10 hours a week at their placement under the supervision of a workplace professional. Academic credit is for credit/no credit only, with appropriate mid-term and end of semester assessment agreed upon in advance in consultation with the professor.
(Offered each semester)
DANCE TECHNIQUE COURSES (DAN/DAT)
Dance technique courses may be taken as a one-half credit activity course (DAT) for credit/no credit or as a full credit DAN course. Students electing the full credit DAN technique course are expected to complete the academic components of the course, including weekly reading and writing assignments, concert reviews, and research projects, in addition to participation in the studio-based technique class. Students enrolling in the half-credit DAT course must register for credit/no credit only.
DAT 140 Dance Ensemble: Practicum in Repertory and Performance Students may elect to take the department’s Dance Ensemble course as a studio-based half-credit activity. The course material is identical to that described above, and requires the same audition process. Students electing DAT 140 must register for the course credit/no credit and are not expected to complete the additional academic components of the course, but are required to enroll in a concurrent dance technique course. (Spring, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 900 Beginning Dance—Jazz/Ballet/Modern This course is an introduction to jazz, ballet, and modern dance technique for the beginning dance student. Students explore the basic principles of dance technique: strength, alignment, coordination, spatial and rhythmic awareness, and performance skills within the context of the unique vocabulary and aesthetic of each dance technique. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 905 Beginning Technique: Body and Self Body and Self is a course designed to integrate dance and movement, self-knowledge, and knowledge of the body into dynamic balance. Releasing unwanted tension patterns, developing efficient alignment and movement patterns, and discovering a wider range of movement capabilities is both the focus and the intended outcome of the semester’s material. Modern dance-based exercises and sequences form the basic vocabulary of movement, but explorations include improvisation and self designed movement sequences, as well. An underlying area of focus is on increased kinesthetic awareness, including exploration of body mind connections and the ability to express that awareness in movement and writing. (Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 907 Intro to Jamaican Dance This is a studio-based dance course in which students are introduced to traditional and contemporary Jamaican dance. In the dance studio, students will study the significance of dance and music in Jamaican society, past and present. By examining and participating in Caribbean movement expressions, students will gain insight into Jamaica's historical journey towards the restoration of a national identity and learn how the island's people turn to dance and artistic expression as a method of cultural survival.
DAN/DAT 910 Beginning Ballet I This course is an introduction to the techniques and principles of classical ballet, including balance, coordination, flexibility, strength, and technical terminology. The class structure follows the basic ballet format of barre work, center barre, adagio, petite allegro, and grande allegro. The course is designed for the beginning student of ballet; no prior experience necessary. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 915 Beginning Modern Dance I Designed for students with little or no previous dance experience, this course includes familiarization with basic dance vocabulary and simple improvisational movement structures. Much time is spent on placement and basic body awareness exercises. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 920 Intermediate Ballet I This course focuses on the performance of the classical movement vocabulary with accuracy and precision, and the development of strength and flexibility. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 922 Intermediate Contemporary Ballet II Further study of intermediate-level ballet technique emphasizing correct muscular control and petite allegro movements. Students are encouraged to further develop their kinesthetic awareness of classical movement. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 925 Intermediate Modern Dance I This course focuses on alignment, muscular strength, technical endurance, and the development of phrasing skills in complex movement combinations, and continues work with improvisational movement and performance skills. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 927 Intermediate Modern Dance II The focus of this course is on stationary and dynamic placement in complex movement phrases. Additional areas of emphasis include rhythmic accuracy, development of individual movement style, and increased work on dynamic phrasing. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 930 Advanced Ballet I This course covers advanced technique with emphasis on integrating dynamic placement, musical phrasing, and complex turns, jumps, and balances. Emphasis is on continued technical execution while exploring stylistic nuances of dance expression. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 930-11 Pointe I This lab is linked to the advanced ballet class. It is designed for dancers who have reached a level of technical proficiency and strength that enables them to work on Pointe. The class is structured with barre and center floor combinations to teach the principles essential for Pointe work and to develop strength and placement. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in DAN/DAT 930 and permission of instructor required. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 932 Advanced Ballet II This course is a continuation of Advanced Ballet I involving intricate movement Patterns, batterie, and presentation of classical styles. (Spring, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 932-11 Pointe II This lab is linked to the advanced ballet class. It is a continuation of the fundamentals of pointe work emphasizing strength, control, fluidity, and turning movements. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in DAN/DAT 932 and permission of instructor required. (Spring, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 935 Advanced Modern Dance I This course is designed for dancers who have developed strong kinesthetic sensing as well as an awareness of their body mind connection. Class work includes advanced levels of technical movement and the opportunity to work with improvisational structures. (Spring, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 937 Advanced Modern Dance II This course is a continuation of advanced level I with further study of concepts of space, time, force in relation to movement combinations, and individual performance of classroom phrases.
(Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 940 Beginning Jazz This is an introductory level jazz technique course designed for the beginning dancer. No prior dance experience is necessary. Students learn to perform basic jazz dance vocabulary through short movement sequences and longer jazz combinations, while developing flexibility, strength, and awareness of rhythmical phrasing, and an understanding of jazz as a system of movement. Emphasis is placed on the exploration and discipline of dance as an art form. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 945 Intermediate Jazz This is an intermediate level jazz technique course designed for the student with at least four years of formal dance training. Students review basic jazz vocabulary and learn to perform exercises and movement sequences of increasing complexity. Development of technical accuracy, strength, flexibility, and rhythmic sensibility are goals within the classroom. Both composition and improvisation in the jazz idiom are explored. Prerequisite: Intermediate technique level proficiency in either modern dance or jazz, or permission of instructor. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 950 World Dance The style of dance offered—Afro-Caribbean, Latino, Flamenco, West African, Indian, or others—will depend on the instructor’s expertise. In addition to dance studio movement experiences, this course will include a theoretical component with reading and writing assignments. This will provide students with a cultural and historical context for the dances and techniques studied. No prior dance experience or training is required.
DAN/DAT 955 Dance Techniques in Global Dance A studio-based technique course taught from an anatomical perspective, using anatomy as the bridge to understanding dance in global cultures. In each culture studied, students are encouraged to investigate: What parts of the body are valued, and how is the body used as a tool of expression and definition of culture voice?