Program Total Credits: 130
The School of Dance includes a population of approximately 300 talented, wide-open, self-expressive students and a faculty of individuals whose abilities and experiences are diverse and far-reaching. The Dance curriculum is designed to balance a great range of experiences and small learning communities. It is divided into two parts: Foundation Series (freshman and sophomore years) and Research Series (junior and senior).
All Studio Practice courses within the Foundation Series provide anatomically sound models for technical training in dance that consistently weave and reference both the historical and the emerging techniques, forms and styles through informed somatic practices. The Studio Practice courses and the Thinking Making Doing (TMD) courses weave together to form the educational “spine” of the major. Tending to the need for dancers to be able to not only express themselves physically but also to nurture and to develop their artistry as creative and imaginative selves, the TMD courses focus on honing the thinking and making aspects of a young artist. These courses begin for dance majors in their first year of the Foundation Series of the program and continue through to the end of their third year of the Research Series. Also included in the Foundation Series is the Body Pathways area where a dancer will engage in the following: conditioning and assessment; awareness for alignment, body placement and strength; experiential anatomy; and varying somatic practices for sustaining the body in dance. The Foundation Series culminates in the Sophomore Performance and Coaching Project.
All Studio Practice courses within the Research Series continue to provide anatomically sound models for technical training in dance that consistently weave and reference both the historical and the emerging techniques, forms and styles through informed somatic practices. In the Research Series, Pedagogies of Dance (PODs) courses offer students the opportunity to make connections through multiple access points. An interdisciplinary system, PODS are designed to help students recognize the tools and methodologies used in their own creative and performance work. PODS, and their extended labs, are taught by dance department faculty, faculty from other departments, as well as working professionals outside the University, all of whom bring a level of expertise to their individual topic. The Senior Project and Critique and Senior Seminar capstone courses are designed to be the culmination of the Research Series for dance majors. The courses are designed to assist senior students in the development and presentation of their senior projects. Each student will hone an artist statement, propose a project, develop goals and objectives for the year, and develop a website. They will participate in rehearsals, performance, and technical aspects of the projects and presentations.
The faculty of the School of Dance have developed five essential learning goals that help to shape the school’s curriculum and the young dance artist and professional.
- Mutuality: Students will activate relationships in dance on personal, collective, regional and global levels.
- Relationship: Students will engage with the art world through multiple lenses of collaboration, exchange and difference.
- Expressivity: Students will develop tools and ideas of expression to speak, write, and dance about/with/of/alongside.
- Sustainability: Students will be immersed in anatomically sound technical training that consistently weaves and references both historical and emerging techniques, forms and styles through informed somatic practices.
- Resourcefulness: Students will develop and sharpen skills of reciprocity, relationship and network building through consistent contact with professional artists in the expanded field both within their communities and in the world.
These learning goals are mapped across courses that fall into six different categories: 1) Studio Practice, 2) Body Pathways, 3) Thinking, Making, Doing, 4) History, Theory and Criticism, 5) Capstone Experiences (Sophomore and Senior Projects), and 6) PODS (Pedagogies of Dance). The Dance curriculum is designed to balance a great range of experiences with small learning communities. It is divided into two parts: Foundation Series (freshman and sophomore years) and Research Series (junior and senior).