Dance Courses and Requirements

Within the Dance major, there are two areas of emphasis: Performance Studies and Movement Studies. The performance emphasis, which requires technique study at the advanced level, culminates in a senior choreography/performance project, while the movement studies emphasis culminates in a senior project/written thesis that may or may not involve performance. Although encouraged to take technique throughout their four years, movement studies concentrators are not required to perform at the advanced level of technique and are encouraged to combine their work in dance with other disciplines.

Learning Objectives

Dance Majors pursuing a Performance Emphasis are expected to perform comfortably at the advanced (professional) level of modern technique classes and at least the intermediate level of ballet. They should demonstrate, through their own works and through participation in the choreography of others, an ability to analyze sophisticated movement patterns, understand and communicate, both physically and verbally, the nuances of a choreographic work and clearly explain, when teaching others, elements of structure and theme. They should be able to articulate, both orally and in writing, their own choreographic/performance journey, including theme, process, and execution.

Dance Majors pursuing a Movement Studies Emphasis should have a broad understanding of the important role that the body and human movement play in the study of other disciplines, and specific knowledge of one area, which may or may not involve performance. They should be able to identify and analyze movement patterns in daily life, sport, and the performing arts and should have a working vocabulary to write and speak about the role of the body and human movement relative to their area of interest, whether it be science, religion, anthropology, or the arts. Although Movement Studies concentrators are not expected to perform at the advanced level of dance technique, they should be fluent movers and should be involved in regular practice of dance technique and/or other movement disciplines to enhance their understanding of the body as an instrument.

All Dance Majors should understand major historical trends and experience movement vocabulary which reflects some knowledge of another culture. They should be able to apply to their own work - physical, oral, or written - theoretical concepts that inform observation and critical analysis. Finally, they should actively engage in research on the body and human movement through daily practice, one-on-one consultations with faculty, and participation in conferences and summer programs.

The Senior Exercise

  • Performance majors complete a choreographed piece and supporting document that articulates theme, process, and execution.
  • Movement Studies majors write a thesis that is the culmination of research or internship project