Dance

Undergraduate

Dance is an exploration of how the body speaks. We offer a comprehensive curriculum with learning goals that emphasize technical training, creative experimentation, and critical/theoretical understanding.

A student dance perfmance

Program Overview

As a dance student you will investigate physical, cultural and aesthetic principles of dance and embody the skillful practice of different dance traditions. The curriculum of core courses and areas of concentration emphasize technical training, performance, creative practice and critical/theoretical understanding.

You may choose one of three areas of concentration, pursue dance teacher licensure, or choose to create your own concentration supported by the Five College Curriculum.

Five College Dance

The is one of the largest dance departments in the country, combining the programs of , , Mount Holyoke and Colleges and the . The faculty meet to coordinate curricula, course scheduling, performances, and other services. Five College Dance supports a variety of philosophical approaches to dance and provides an opportunity for you to experience a wide spectrum of performance styles and techniques. Course offerings are coordinated among the campuses to facilitate registration, interchange and travel; you may take a dance course on any of the five campuses and receive credit.

The Dance Concentrations

With the three concentrations, dance majors graduate with skills to pursue graduate degrees in dance; careers in choreography and performance; research in science, somatics and arts therapies; professions in dance education and community engagement; and graduate degrees in history, theory and criticism. You may also create your own concentration supported by the Five College dance department curriculum.

Christiana Axelsen '03

Choreography and Performance

Learn creative expression and study how choreography is inspired and developed. Investigate the tools of the craft and immersed yourself in technique classes and artistic production. Gain experience rehearsing and performing works of faculty and renowned visiting artists. Choreograph and direct your student and senior concert.

Margaret (Mollie) Frederiksen 鈥13

Dance Science, Somatics and Art Therapies

Explore dance anatomy and body therapies. Learn bodily practices that bridge the separation between mind and body. Gain valuable skills that translate to careers in dance therapy, physical therapy and graduate research in movement analysis.

Photo credit: Jim Coleman

History, Theory and Criticism

Study dance through a theoretical lens. Research and analyze national and international dance culture, artists and performance. Prepare for careers in dance criticism, masters and doctoral programs and dance historians.

Upcoming Events

Community Voices

Spotlight on Dance students and alums

Molly Brown 鈥25

she/her

Lila Reid 鈥15 MFA Candidate in Dance

Selecting courses in your first year

As first year student you may enroll in technique courses at your appropriate level, beginning (100's) or intermediate (200's), but you must audition at the beginning of the fall semester for placement in advanced technique courses (300's). Also available in your first year, and required for anyone majoring or minoring in Dance are:

  • Dance 151 Elementary Composition
  • Dance 171: Studies in Dance History
  • Dance 241: Scientific Foundations of Dance

Courses and Requirements

Mount Holyoke鈥檚 dance faculty and visiting artists are accomplished professionals who teach introductory through advanced courses in performance, composition, analysis, choreography, pedagogy and history/theory. You may also take dance courses at any of the Five Colleges and receive credit at Mount Holyoke. Five College courses are accessible via the Five College Dance Department website.

Learning Goals

The dance department鈥檚 learning goals incorporate the broader learning goals of the college by educating students to think analytically about dance and acquire in-depth methodological expertise and historical understanding of the art form.

The curriculum encourages artistic expression by developing skills in the language of dance while concurrently connecting inquiry to disciplines in and outside the arts. 

Students engage in the community through performance and site-specific work and practice self-assessment and reflection through process papers, choreographic showings and the senior capstone course.

Departmental Learning Goals

  • Develop a multi-faceted literacy for dance鈥攌inesthetic, visual, musical.
  • Undertake an in-depth study and practice of technique and performance.
  • Promote the integrated study of a broad spectrum of dance: 
    • Choreography, performance, creative studies, rhythmic analysis.
    • History, culture, and aesthetics.
    • Teacher licensure, dance education, and community outreach.
    • Design, production and arts management.
  • Encourage personal and cultural connections through somatic learning, imaginative exploration, and historical understanding.
  • Enhance interdisciplinary awareness and collaboration and apply creative and artistic modes of inquiry across disciplines.

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 48 credits:

Core Courses:
DANCE-151Elementary Composition4
DANCE-171Studies in Dance History4
DANCE-241Scientific Foundations of Dance4
DANCE-272Dance and Culture4
DANCE-287Rhythmic Analysis4
DANCE-390Senior Capstone Seminar (2 cr fall and 2 cr spring)4
Six 2-credit dance courses (12 cr) of technique in at least two idioms12
Concentration:
Declare one of the following concentrations and complete 12 credits, including a minimum of 8 credits at the 300 level:12
Choreography and Performance
Dance Science, Somatics, and Arts Therapies
History, Theory, and Criticism
Total Credits48

Other Requirements

  • Program plan. The dance major鈥檚 program is designed in consultation with the advisor and approval of the department chair.
  • Concentration. Planning for each concentration may include, but is not limited to, the courses listed below. In some cases, courses from other departments may be substituted for the concentrations and will require the approval of the department chair.
  • Crew. Dance majors must serve on crew in the first two years, for a minimum of two dance concerts.

Choreography and Performance

DANCE-252Intermediate Composition4
DANCE-309Dance Repertory: Ballet Variations4
DANCE-387Rhythmic Analysis II: Performance4
Two 2-credit 300-level technique or repertory courses4
DANCE-353 Advanced Composition

Dance Science, Somatics, and Arts Therapies

DANCE-377Advanced Studies4
Dance 285 Laban Movement Analysis4
Kinesiology 311 at UMass Amherst: Anatomy of Human Motion4

History, Theory, and Criticism

DANCE-377Advanced Studies4
Dance 323 at UMass Amherst: Dance in the New Millennium4
Dance 368 at UMass Amherst: Writing about Dance4

The dance minor is intended to provide a well-rounded and in-depth introduction to dance as an art form.

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 24 credits:

DANCE-151Elementary Composition4
DANCE-171Studies in Dance History4
DANCE-241Scientific Foundations of Dance4
DANCE-272Dance and Culture4
A minimum of two courses of dance technique or repertory (DANCE-305)4
An additional 4 credits of dance at the 300 level, either in theory or technique4
Total Credits24

Other Requirements 

  • Approval. All minors must be approved by the department chair.
  • Crew. Dance minors must serve on crew in the first two years, for a minimum of two dance concerts.

Course Offerings

The department is renowned for its extensive studio offerings in ballet technique, contemporary/modern technique, and repertory/performance, as well as its rotating offerings in West African dance, hip hop, tap, jazz, Indian classical dance, tango, contact improvisation, and musical theater. Theory courses range from Scientific Foundations in Dance to Studies in Dance History, Analysis of Rhythm, and Choreography. All courses are designed to contribute in various ways to the College鈥檚 Learning Goals. This range of courses is further augmented by more than 100 theory and studio courses offered annually through the .

Dance Theory

DANCE-151 Elementary Composition

Fall. Credits: 4

A study of the principles and elements of choreography. How is movement design and meaning constructed? How do the different dimensions of the medium of dance inform and inspire choreographic choices? Course work will focus on experiential and analytical approaches to these questions through readings, video viewings and guided improvisational and compositional explorations of such issues as sensation, time, rhythm, desire, image, shape, space, and effort quality. Students will experiment with a range of tools and strategies for dance making, including movement phrasing, musical structure , collage, group forms, improvisational scoring, and the design of movement in relation to objects and environments.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
S. Barron

DANCE-171 Studies in Dance History

This course is designed to present an overview of dance as a performing art, starting at the turn of the twentieth century to contemporary times. Each offering of the course has topical focus through which dance history is explored.

DANCE-171BH Studies in Dance History: 'Ballet History'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Through readings, video and film viewings, individual research projects, and classroom discussions, students will explore principles and traditions of twentieth-century concert dance, with special attention to their historical and cultural contexts. This semester, the topical focus of the course will be ballet history. The dance world and ballet in particular are thought of as microcosms of Eurocentric history and society. Through this particular lens, we can explore how these concepts shape our view of ballet today and of dance history more broadly.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department

DANCE-171HP Studies in Dance History: 'Contemporary Issues in History and Performance'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course investigates the development of dance as a performing art in the 20th/21st century. The course will examine major trends, multi-cultural aspects and significant global events affecting the development of dance. We will observe the work of principal artists and companies, and we will investigate aesthetic points of view, beliefs, and assumptions inherent in dance practices, dance criticism and writing of history. The course will investigate topical groupings of events and artists that, in historical perspective, share similar artistic issues and influences. We will look at artists' work and the context of their dance-making and collaboration. Aspects of the work to investigate include: movement description, genre, choreographic methods, production, relationship to music, content, analysis, and economic, geographical or political climates.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
The department
Restrictions: This course is limited to Dance majors and minors

DANCE-171MT Studies in Dance History: 'Beginning Modern Dance in History and Practice'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This class is an introduction to the practice of contemporary modern dance at the beginning level, from both the theoretical and embodied perspectives. The course introduces the basic principles of dance movement: body alignment, coordination, locomotion, artistry, and is studied alongside the study of the histories and contexts of modern dance development. Class time will alternate between in-studio dance practice, and lecture-based classes with readings, class discussions, video viewings and short written and creative assignments.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department
Advisory: No previous dance experience required.

DANCE-241 Scientific Foundations of Dance

Selected scientific aspects of dance, including anatomical identification and terminology, physiological principles, and conditioning/strengthening methodology. These concepts are discussed and explored experientially in relationship to the movement vocabularies of various dance styles.

DANCE-241AM Scientific Foundations of Dance: 'Anatomy of Movement'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Designed for dance students, this course is an experiential study of the human body's musculoskeletal system. The structure of this course includes lectures, movement laboratory sessions, somatic exercises, and developing a personal warmup for full-bodied dancing. Anatomical understanding becomes a springboard for clearer movement choices and deeper engagement in dance practice.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
B. Diewald
Prereq: 2 credits in Dance.
Advisory: Previous dance experience is recommended.

DANCE-252 Intermediate Composition

Spring. Credits: 4

Intermediate Composition is structured as a workshop for you to explore and expand your own artistic vision. It will increase your understanding of inspiration and intention as they relate to choreography as well as encourage active consideration of choreographic possibilities for space, time, performer/audience interaction, energetic qualities, use of text, music, and physical and environmental intelligences.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
C. Bansal
Prereq: DANCE-151.

DANCE-262 Somatic Studies

DANCE-262HP Somatic Studies: 'Somatic Studies and Dance Practices Toward Healing and Justice'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course introduces students to a range of somatic therapy practices and their application toward healing and justice work. This will occur within legacies of African-rooted dance and performance that we witness being expressed in a traditional community practice throughout the continent and within the Diaspora. The philosophies and methodologies of these therapies will be investigated, invoked and experienced through the honoring of personal stories within the transformational framework of the community circle -- a nourishing and replenishing space welcome to beings of all races, genders and cultural backgrounds.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Physical Education
The department

DANCE-267 Embodied Archives: Reading, Writing, and Researching Dance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course, open to all, is an introduction to qualitative research methods employed by dance scholars and practitioners. Texts will include live and recorded performances, movement-based workshops, and theoretical secondary sources. Students will gain an understanding of epistemology, autoethnography, and phenomenology as they pertain to dance practices; articulate the felt experience of dance in concrete writing; conduct interviews; develop a practice archive; and craft a detailed research proposal and review of literature. Trips to regional dance archives and local rehearsal visits will contextualize the work done in class.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
B. Diewald
Advisory: This course is designed for students who have a sustained dance or movement-based art practice, and is intended to prepare sophomore and junior dance majors for the rigors of independent choreographic practice and capstone projects.

DANCE-272 Dance and Culture

DANCE-272AF Dance and Culture: 'Improvisation from an Africanist Perspective'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will be a contemporary exploration of the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of the African-rooted community dance circle. Through technical, literary, and media-based explorations, students will examine the circle as a culture of healing and transformation that sustains people of African heritage across geographic spaces spanning both oceans and time. By investigating dance improvisation as a practice of deep listening and as a method of negotiating with precarity and the unknown, we will conduct in-depth research on the potentials of the circle as a place of embodiment, resource, and belonging that can be participated in by people across all cultures, races, and backgrounds.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
The department

DANCE-272FD Dance and Culture: 'Funk Styles'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course introduces students to funk dance styles such as Locking, Popping, and Breaking. We will examine the evolution of African American music and its relationship to what's happening historically in the U.S. Students will learn the terminology and rhythmic patterns of each dance form and how to find their own relationship to the movement. This class will focus on becoming grounded in the basics through technique drills and combinations. There will be many sessions where the students can freestyle using the foundation they've learned and incorporating their own uniqueness to the movement. The study of music and movement will take form in research, through books, scholarly journals, and documentaries. This will allow students to have many discussions throughout the course on the many artists and pioneers of the form.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
S. Barron

DANCE-272HP Dance and Culture: Hip Hop

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will be a literary, media-based, and technical exploration of the history and influence of contemporary Hip Hop culture creation. Students will engage in an embodied study of various hip-hop dance techniques and a rigorous investigation of the influence of Hip Hop culture on music, fashion, language, media, and personal style throughout the world. The technical aspect of the course will support their study of history and culture through media, readings, discussion and research. Works cited will include peer reviewed articles, as well as the brilliance of materials created outside of the narrow academic lens. Each reading, film, or documentary that is assigned will be followed by written responses and discussions, and students will present their in-depth research findings at the end of the course.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
S. Barron

DANCE-272PM Dance and Culture: 'Dance and Payatt Movement Across the Diaspora'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course offers an in-depth exploration of Kalaripayattu, an ancient Indian martial art, and its diverse influences on movement arts worldwide. Through research and practical application, students will delve into the intricate techniques, philosophical foundations, and therapeutic potential of this dynamic practice, tracing the rich lineage and global journey from Kalaripayattu's originals in Kerala, India, to its impact on worldwide modern dance, healing arts practices, Kung Fu styles in China and the broader narrative of Asian martial arts. Equipped with practical techniques, philosophical insights, and a broader movement vocabulary, students will leave the course better positioned for their own expressive and dynamic journey in contemporary dance, classical forms, or therapeutic practices.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
C. Bansal

DANCE-272QF Dance and Culture: 'Queer and Feminist Performance'

Fall. Credits: 4

What does performance teach us about subjectivity? How do bodies' cultural inscriptions shape meaning in dance? How does choreography complicate the performance of gender? This course poses an inquiry into euro-american contemporary dance performance through the lenses of queer and feminist thought. Students will study the body as a site of knowledge production and investigate how movement and performance can highlight the intersection of theory and lived experience. Class will read from authors including adrienne marie brown, Audre Lorde, Sarah Ahmed, Ann Cooper Albright, Petra Kuppers, Jos茅 Mu帽oz, Fiona Buckland, and others. We will watch and be in conversation about performances by choreographers like Rosie Herrera, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Ananya Chatterjea, Miguel Gutierrez, and Ralph Lemon.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
The department

DANCE-287 Rhythmic Analysis

Fall. Credits: 4

The study of music from a dancer's perspective. Topics include musical notation, construction of rhythm, elements of composition (visual aspects of music and movement), communication between dancer and musician, and music listening.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Jones

DANCE-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

Students interested in independent study in dance (Dance 295) must provide convincing reasons for pursuing independent work and be self motivated and directed in their work. Students are responsible for choosing and receiving approval from a faculty advisor, with whom workload expectations, meeting times, and outcomes will be mutually negotiated and set for the semester. Credit load (1-4) will reflect the workload level and outcomes of the proposed study (e.g., a 2-credit independent study requires a minimum of 2-4 hours of outside work each week.

The department
Instructor permission required.

DANCE-338 Mobilizing the Hippocampus

Spring. Credits: 4

This course will provide a research site to investigate the functions of the hippocampal brain region to then embody that learning through choreographic structures. In particular, students will use dance expression to aid the understanding of complex neuroscience topics, and apply neuroscience knowledge to deepen creative expression. "Mobilizing the hippocampus" will help to bridge a gap between science and art, serving as a tool to stimulate a heightened understanding of both disciplines.

Crosslisted as: NEURO-338
Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
B. Diewald, M. Sabariego
Restrictions: This course is open to juniors and seniors; This course is limited to Dance and Neuroscience majors.

DANCE-377 Advanced Studies

DANCE-377DW Advanced Studies: 'Oscillating Viewpoints in Dance-Making: Dance Writing and Dramaturgy'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

How can we activate the tension between language, movement, and performance to reveal subterranean aspects of dancing experience? How do layers of relationship, dialogue, attention, sensation, and subjectivity shape meaning? In this upper-level seminar, students will explore practices of writing and dramaturgy in relation to dance-making process and performance. Taking a cue from dramaturg Katherine Profeta, we will oscillate between multiple vantage points -- stepping in and out of roles such as that of researcher, questioner, witness, archivist, translator, outside eye, and inside eye. Considerable attention will be given to how writing and dramaturgical practices can be sites of care. This course is designed for students who have a dedicated, ongoing dance practice. Coursework will consist of compositional studies, readings, discussion, writing, and research in addition to outside studio and rehearsal visits and attendance at live performances.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
The department
Prereq: Two dance technique courses and either DANCE-171 or DANCE-272.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-377ST Advanced Studies: 'Dance Styles: Street and Club'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This house and hip-hop class will develop the student's dance while preserving the essence of the styles the student is learning. It is important to be capable of using technique within the groove as it is the soul and the identity of the dancer. The groove which is often perceived as an esthetic can also be an invitation to question its social meaning. The objective is to investigate the student's identity and to turn this very technical style into something more natural. This method develops the coordination, the rhythm, the musicality, polyrhythm and a strong sense of body control. Elements of social justice will be discussed during the class. This course also involves discussion, research and journal assignments.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department
Prereq: Two dance technique courses and either DANCE-171 or DANCE-272.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-387 Rhythmic Analysis II: Performance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

A continuation of Dance 287. The focus now shifts specifically to performance and the notation of complex rhythmic structures. Working as an ensemble, the class will create a music/dance suite, using body music, movement, vocal work, and music visualization as our inspiration. Emphasis will be placed on odd and mixed meters and rhythmical accuracy. Students will contribute both movement and musical material. Class time will be run like a professional rehearsal. Outside work will focus on musical research, choreography, and music notation. This suite will be performed at Blanchard Campus Center at a date to be determined.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Jones
Prereq: DANCE-287.

DANCE-390 Senior Capstone Seminar

Fall and Spring. Credits: 2

Each dance major will be expected to be involved in a senior project during their final year of study. One should sign up for Dance 390, Senior Seminar for both fall and spring semesters. Senior projects can vary, from choreographic or performance work to research topics.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
S. Barron, B. Diewald
Restrictions: This course is limited to seniors.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

Students interested in independent study in dance (Dance 395) must provide convincing reasons for pursuing independent work and be self motivated and directed in their work. Students are responsible for choosing and receiving approval from a faculty advisor, with whom workload expectations, meeting times, and outcomes will be mutually negotiated and set for the semester. Credit load (1-4) will reflect the workload level and outcomes of the proposed study (e.g., a 2-credit independent study requires a minimum of 2-4 hours of outside work each week.

The department
Instructor permission required.

Performance Studies

DANCE-107 Introduction to Ballet and Modern

Fall and Spring. Credits: 2

This course is an introoduction to the basic principles of ballet and modern dance. Students will learn and practice common forms, pathways, and footwork in both styles. The class will focus on momentum, weight shift, and dynamic alignment.

C. Bansal, E. Goudie-Averill
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-113 Beginning Modern

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

An introduction to the basic principles of dance movement: body alignment, coordination, strength and flexibility, basic forms of locomotion. No previous dance experience required.

The department
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-119 Contact Improvisation

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

Contact improvisation is a duet movement form that explores communicating through the language of touch, momentum, and weight. Classes will develop simple solo and duet skills - rolling, falling, balance, counterbalance, jumping, weight sharing, and spirals.

F. Wolfzahn
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-120 Beginning Ballet

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

Students will study the basic movements and fundamentals of classical ballet. The movements are taught in a pure form, at a relaxed pace before proceeding to more complex combinations. Ballet I sets the groundwork for the movements and musicality of the ballet lesson.

The department
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-121 Advanced Beginning Ballet

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

A continuation of the knowledge gained in Ballet I. The course will emphasize maintaining correct body placement, coordination of the arms and head while using the whole body for dance. Curriculum covered will include the small and big classical poses and an increase in the allegro portion of the class.

The department
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-127 Renaissance and Baroque Dance I

Fall. Credits: 1

Sixteenth- through eighteenth-century European social dance, contemporary with the eras of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare in England, the Medicis in Italy, Louis XIV in France, and colonial America. The focus will be on learning the dances, supplemented by historical and social background, discussion of the original dance sources, and reconstruction techniques.

Crosslisted as: MUSIC-147D
N. Monahin, M. Pash
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-128 Renaissance and Baroque Dance II

Spring. Credits: 1

Continuation of Renaissance and Baroque Dance I. Sixteenth- through eighteenth-century European social dance, contemporary with the eras of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare in England, the Medicis in Italy, Louis XIV in France, and colonial America. The focus will be on learning the dances, supplemented by historical and social background, discussion of the original dance sources, and reconstruction techniques.

Crosslisted as: MUSIC-147F
N. Monahin, M. Pash
Prereq: DANCE-127 or MUSIC-147D.
Notes: Repeatable.

DANCE-132 Introduction to Hip Hop

Spring. Credits: 2

This class will introduce students to the basic elements of hip-hop dance including bouncing, rocking, waving, swinging, and much more. The class will include drills and combinations, which will ask the dancers to find their relationship to musicality, athleticism, dynamics, and articulation of the body. In addition, students will learn the history of hip-hop's core four elements: Deejaying, Emceeing, Breakin', and Graffiti.

S. Barron
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-133 Introduction to Breakin'

Fall. Credits: 2

In this course we will learn about the history and foundation of Hip Hop culture from its birth to both the current underground and commercial scene. We will work on foundational techniques and dynamic movements to continue to develop the growth within each student. Documentaries shown in class will inform the students about the underground battle scene and its evolution to the big-stage events like the Olympics. Students will learn battle etiquette and, as community engagement, the class will attend a local event where they can showcase what they've learned and be in community within the Hip Hop culture. Students will also be prepared for commercial work by practicing choreography in class that includes auditioning techniques and working on-stage presence. The goal of the course is to physically train and educate students in Breakin' as well as prepare them for any path they want to follow in dance.

A. Ramirez
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-142 West African Dance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

The objectives of the course are for students to understand the profound influence African dance has had on American dance forms, to understand the significance of dance in African culture, and to understand the connection between drummer and dancer and to appreciate and respect a culture that is different yet similar in many ways to American culture.

The department
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-144 Tango

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

Argentine Tango is the sensual and elegant social dance of the city of Buenos Aires, which is experiencing a worldwide revival. Cuban Salsa Rueda is a unique Salsa Game developed in Havana, Cuba. Class will include the steps, the history, and anecdotes about the culture of tango and salsa. We will cover traditional and modern forms. All dancers will learn lead and follow, so you do not need a partner. Wear leather-soled shoes or bring socks.

The department
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-146 Afro-Fusion Dance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

An introductory course in Afro-fusion dance with an emphasis on Afro-centric drums, music and movement. Exploration of a fusion of West African, Jazz technique and Afro-beats dance styles. Development of dance technique, and performance principles as well as history, culture and life.

The department
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-147 Bollywood Dance

Fall. Credits: 2

Throughout the course, students will build a solid foundation in rhythm, coordination, strength, and stamina, all of which are applicable to various dance styles. By focusing on these fundamental aspects, participants will not only develop their skills in Bollywood dance but also enhance their abilities across various dance styles. Students will also engage in ear training exercises to develop their ability to discern various beats, enabling them to recognize and appreciate the unique sounds of traditional Indian instruments. Through this practice, they will gain a deeper understanding of the intricate rhythm system that underpins Indian music.

C. Bansal
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-216 Intermediate Modern

DANCE-216MA Intermediate Modern 2x/week

Fall and Spring. Credits: 2

This course is a continued practice of modern dance. Physically, the emphasis is on aligned, articulate and efficient dancing through modern dance technique and principles. Students will build capacity for physical endurance and active presence as well as a deepening awareness of the body's potential. Course work will include improvisation, moving into and out of the floor, shifting the centers of gravity, and finding agility and clarity in movement and thought.

C. Bansal, E. Goudie-Averill
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-217 Site-Specific Intermediate/Advanced Modern Improvisation

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

This course will focus on the development of site-specific improvisational dance skills. Beginning in indoor environments, and moving outdoors when the weather gets warmer. Students will perform solo, duet and group improvisations inspired by nature, architecture and public spaces. Students will then collaboratively build movement choreographies using compositional methods that draw from the improvisations. There will be repeated opportunities to perform with and for each other.

The department
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-218 Improvisation from an Africanist Perspective

Spring. Credits: 2

This course is a contemporary exploration of the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of the African-rooted community dance circle. Through movement, literary, and media-based explorations, students will examine the history of the circle and investigate dance improvisation as a practice of deep listening, researching the potential of the circle to engage people across many cultures, races, and backgrounds.

S. Barron
Prereq: One course in Dance.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-219 Intermediate Improvisation

Fall. Credits: 2

This course focuses on dance improvisation. The class studies structured improvisation through the use of scores, tasks, imagery, and other methods for generating and crafting movement. Students will sharpen their awareness of attention and intention in instant decision-making practices as individuals and in group settings. This is a movement class intended for students with a regular dance practice in any form.

C. Bansal
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-222 Intermediate Ballet

Spring. Credits: 2

This course is designed for the intermediate-level dancer. It will include a logical and efficient development of exercises culminating with varied allegro combinations. The class will provide the student the opportunity to acquire endurance and learn artistic expression. The importance of musicality within the technique will be a fundamental aspect of the class.

B. Diewald
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-223 Intermediate Ballet

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

Continues to perfect the classical ballet technique, concentrating on small and big poses at the barre, pirouettes and adagio work in the big poses in the center, and jumps in the small and big poses in the allegro section of the class. More complex grand allegro will be presented.

The department
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-232 Intermediate Hip Hop

Fall and Spring. Credits: 2

Journey through time and experience the evolution of hip-hop from its old-school social dance roots to the contemporary phenomenon of commercial choreography that hip-hop has become. Using film and text in addition to studio work, this class will create a framework from which to understand and participate in the global culture of hip-hop dance.

S. Barron, The department
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-234 House Dance

Fall. Credits: 2

This course is designed for dancers to learn the fundamentals of House dance. Students will learn the history and culture of House along with terminology of the dance movements. Class will include across the floor drills and center combinations, which will ask the dancers to find their relationship to musicality, athleticism, dynamics, and articulation of the body. Improvisation is a critical component of this course. This will empower them to embody the movement, feel comfortable improvising, and have a greater capacity to learn more intricate choreography.

S. Barron
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-236 Funk Styles

Spring. Credits: 2

This course introduces students to funk dance styles such as Locking, Popping, and Breaking. It contextualizes the history of funk dance and examines its relationship to the evolution of African American music. Students will learn terminology and the rhythmic patterns of each dance form as they find their own relationship to the movement. This course will focus on becoming grounded in specific movement techniques through drills and combinations, and students will freestyle incorporating learned foundations and their own unique movement styles.

S. Barron
Prereq: One course in Dance.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-305 Dance Repertory

DANCE-305CR Dance Repertory: 'Contemporary Repertory'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced dancers interested in performing. The work developed will be performed in the Fall Faculty Concert.

The department
Instructor permission required.
Advisory: Students must attend the Five College Dance Department audition at the beginning of the fall semester for permission to register for this course.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-305HP Dance Repertory: 'Hip Hop Repertory'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced hip hop dancers interested in performing a premiere hip hop work for the Fall Faculty Dance Concert.

S. Barron
Instructor permission required.
Advisory: Students must attend the Five College Dance Department Audition at the beginning of the fall semester for permission to register for this course.
Notes: Repeatable for credit. Course meeting times will be determined following the audition.

DANCE-305NT Dance Repertory: 'Exploring the Intersection of Movement, Choreography, and Performance'

Fall. Credits: 2

Throughout the semester, students will actively participate in the choreographic process as they create or rework dance pieces. A strong background in modern dance technique and improvisational skills is preferred as these technical elements will serve as a solid base for the choreographic and performance aspects of the course. Students will have the opportunity to refine their technique, expand their movement vocabulary, and explore improvisational skills within the context of choreography. This course offers a comprehensive experience exploring intersections of dance and performance studies, choreographic processes, and technology.

C. Bansal
Instructor permission required.
Notes: Repeatable for credit. Students must attend the Five College Dance Department Audition at the beginning of the fall semester for permission to register for this course.

DANCE-305RB Dance Repertory: 'Ballet Repertory'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced dance students interested in performing. The work developed will be performed in the Fall Faculty Concert.

The department
Instructor permission required.
Advisory: Students must attend the Five College Dance Department Audition at the beginning of the fall semester for permission to register for this course.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-305RM Dance Repertory: 'Modern Repertory'

Fall. Credits: 2

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced dancers interested in performing. The work developed will be performed in the Fall Faculty Concert.

B. Craig-Quijada, B. Diewald
Advisory: Students must attend the Five College Dance Department Audition at the beginning of the fall semester for permission to register for this course.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-305ST Dance Repertory: 'Street Styles'

Fall. Credits: 2

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced street style dancers interested in performing a premiere work for the Fall Faculty Dance concert.

S. Barron
Instructor permission required.
Notes: Repeatable for credit. Students must attend the Five College Dance Department Audition at the beginning of the fall semester for permission to register for this course.

DANCE-309 Dance Repertory: Ballet Variations

DANCE-309BV Dance Repertory: 'Classical Ballet Variations'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course is designed for intermediate- to advanced-level dance students who wish to study classical ballet variations. The course examines the evolution of classical ballet choreography and compares and contrasts the many revivals and remakes of classical full-length productions. Students will learn variations from Swan Lake, Giselle, and Cinderella. Requirements outside of the classroom include viewing videotapes, researching choreography, and attending live performances. Pointe shoes are optional.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department

DANCE-318 Advanced Modern

Spring. Credits: 2

Intermediate and Advanced study in modern technique focuses on body level issues of strength, support, alignment, articulation, and initiation; and performance issues of rhythmic clarity, spatial clarity, intention, embodiment, intricate coordinations, and expanding personal vocabularies. Students will build capacity for physical endurance and active presence as well as a deepening awareness of the body's potential.

C. Bansal
Advisory: Students must pass the Advanced Placement Audition to take this course.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-319 Advanced Modern and Improvisation

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

In studying dance at the advanced level, students are expected to define their own priorities, thresholds, and modes of working. This course is an opportunity for students to physically engage with dance forms rooted in modern dance and improvisational forms of the mid-twentieth century and the twenty-first century. Daily creative and physical practice and building a resilient and collective dance culture are the foundations of this course. Meeting times will be dedicated to codified modern forms, improvisational practice, and discussion. Advanced placement or instructor permission is required.

The department
Prereq: 8 credits in Dance.
Advisory: Placement occurs during the first class meeting.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-325 Advanced Ballet

Fall. Credits: 2

Course is for advanced dancers and will stress complex classical ballet technique combinations, concentrating on turns at the barre, turns in the big poses in the centre, and batterie in the allegro. Artistry, presentation, and musicality of dance will be incorporated, with the grande allegro serving as the focus of the class. The last half hour will be devoted to advanced pointe technique.

B. Diewald
Advisory: Advanced placement
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

Contact Us

The Dance Department is renowned for its extensive studio offerings in ballet and contemporary/modern technique and repertory/performance, as well as rotating offerings in West African dance, hip hop, tap, jazz, Indian classical dance, Tango and more.

  • Kendall Sports & Dance Complex

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