Undergraduate Program

Major Requirements

Our program offers a BA in dance. Students looking to major in dance can choose from two major tracks: creative expression and performance or dance studies.

Concentration: Creative Expression and Performance

The dance major comprises at least 50 credits.

This program is flexible enough that students can choose to focus on Western dance forms such as contemporary modern dance and contemporary ballet, or world dance forms such as those from the African Diaspora that might include West African dance, capoeira, Zimbabwean dance, hip hop and jazz. 

Required Courses 

Foundations – Minimum of 6 credits required

DAN 242: Design for Dance (2 credits)

Choose one of the following:

  • DAN 170: Embodied Resourcing Through Somatic Practices (4 credits)
  • DAN 288: Movement Analysis and Integration (4 credits)
Embodied Practice – Minimum of 16 credits required

We recommend at least one embodied practice course each semester, as ongoing practice is crucial to the development of the dancer and the integration of the body and mind. Students are required to take at least 16 credits of embodied practice courses.

Choose two or more courses:

  • DAN 204: Contact Improvisation and Culture (4 credits)
  • DAN 250: Contemporary Dance: Context and Practice (4 credits)
  • DAN 251: Intermediate/Advanced Jazz Dance: Context and Practice (4 credits)
  • DAN 252: Intermediate Ballet: Context and Practice (4 credits)
  • DAN 253: West African Dance: Context and Practice (4 credits)
  • DAN 254: Tap Dance in American History: Context and Practice (4 credits)

Additional embodied practice courses:

  • DAN 102: Fundamentals of Movement (2 credits)
  • DAN 108: Ecolinguistics: Language and Movement (4 credits)
  • DAN 110: Beginning Dance Techniques (2 credits)
  • DAN 150: Beginning Contemporary Dance Technique (2 credits)
  • DAN 265: Contemporary Dance Technique (2 credits)
  • DAN 267: Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary Dance (2 credits
  • DAN 145: Beginning Jazz Technique (2 credits)
  • DAN 140: Tap Dance: Beginning (2 credits)
  • DAN 240: Tap Dance: Intermediate (2 credits)
  • DAN 171: Capoeira: Brazilian Art Movement (2 credits)
  • DAN 271: Capoeira II: Music in Motion (2 credits)
  • DAN 273: Capoeira: Strategies and Improvisation (2 credits)
  • DAN 181: West African Dance Forms I (2 credits)
  • DAN 281: West African Dance Forms II (2 credits)
  • MUR 210/DAN 212: Ngoma: Drumming, Dance and Ritual in Southern Africa (4 credits)
  • DAN 188: Hip Hop Culture and Breaking (2 credits)
  • DAN 180: Creative Middle Eastern Dance (2 credits)
  • DAN 190: Middle Eastern Dance: Folkloric/Bedouin (2 credits)
  • DAN 290: Middle Eastern Dance: Orientale (2 credits)
  • DAN 116: Intro to Somatic Ballet (2 credits)
  • DAN 215: Beginning Ballet II/Advanced Beginning Ballet (2 credits)
  • DAN 268: Intermed/Advanced Contemporary Ballet (2 credits)
Dance History and Context – Minimum of 4 credits required

Choose one of the following:

  • DAN 195: World Dance (4 credits)
  • DAN 228: Dance History: Philosophy, Aesthetics and Culture (4 credits)
  • DAN 248: Arts and Activism (4 credits)
  • AH 311: Dance, Art and Film (4 credits)
Creative Expression/Collaborative Arts – Minimum of 12 credits

This category gives students an opportunity to develop skills for expressing their own artistic and aesthetic voices in order to improvise, create dances of their own, and think outside of the box. They also provide a performance experience as well as develop their observation and analytical skills for dance, art in general, and composition. 

All dance majors in creative expression and performance are required to present work and/or participate in public performance through one or more of the following courses.  

Twelve credits of the following:

  • DAN 104: Contact Improvisation (2 credits)
  • DAN 160: Dance Improvisation (2 credits)
  • SA 243/DAN 243/FMS 223/DMS 281: Dance on Camera/Camera on Dance (4 credits)
  • DAN 245: Dance Therapy Foundations (4 credits)
  • DAN 278: Choreography (4 credits)
  • SA 281: Performance Art and Social Intervention (4 credits)
  • DAN 296: Art of Teaching Dance K-12 (4 credits)
  • DAN 378: Choreographic Voice: Dance and Social Justice (4 credits)
  • DAN 385: Dance Performance Workshop (2 credits)
  • DAN 380: Repertory and Performance (3 credits)
  • DAN 397: Dance Ensemble (1 credit)
Somatic Awareness – Minimum of 6 credits required

This category is designed to encourage a diverse approach to a depth of understanding of embodiment. These courses serve not only as valuable cross training practice for dancers, but also provide training for relaxed strength, total body coordination/organization, integration of breath support, balance, centered alignment, timing, weight shifting, mindfulness, fluidity, and energy flow. Somatic study also helps to identify unconscious physical habits that over time can lead to injury or pain.

Choose at least one of the following:

  • DAN 200: Anatomy and Kinesiology (4 credits)
  • DAN 230: Living Anatomy, Living Yoga (4 credits)

Additional somatic awareness courses:

  • DAN 114: Intro to Yoga (2 credits)
  • DAN 115: Moving Into Stillness (2 credits)
  • DAN 130: Conditioning for the Dancer and Athlete (2 credits)
  • DAN 208: Tai Chi: Movement Art and Culture (2 credits)
  • DAN 209: Qi Gong Way to Health (2 credits)
  • DAN 211: Tai Chi: Explorations in Qi (4 credits)
  • DAN 225: Yoga II: Continuing the Journey (2 credits)
Senior Seminar – 4 credits required

DAN 360W: Senior Seminar/Project * (4 credits) 

Optional Courses
DAN 260: Seed Seminar* (2 credits) 
DAN 391: Independent Study

*The senior capstone research can take the form of a paper, project, service or community-based activity, choreography and/or performance.

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

The upper-level writing requirement is built into the array of courses in the dance major, where reflective and research-based writing is inherent. In all of our courses, we assess our students through reflective writing and/or research papers and projects, which account for approximately 40 to 50 percent of a student’s final grade.

One particular course where we pay attention to the writing requirement for this major is the required DAN 360W: Senior Seminar. In DAN 360W, students submit drafts and receive feedback before a final version of their senior thesis is due. This practice is not exclusive to this course, as the practice of written expression is an important part of the creative process and critical and reflective thought in dance.

Concentration: Dance Studies

The dance major comprises at least 50 credits. The dance studies concentration incorporates two or three courses from another discipline into the dance major. Many students choose to combine their studies in a second major with the dance studies major in order to explore interdisciplinary applications.

Required Courses

Foundations – Minimum of 4 credits required

Choose one of the following courses:

  • DAN 170: Embodied Resourcing Through Somatic Practices (4 credits)
  • DAN 288: Movement Analysis and Integration (4 credits)
Embodied Practice – Minimum of 10 credits required

At least one practice course each year is recommended. Students must take at least 10 credits of embodied practice courses. 


Choose at least two of the following:

  • DAN 204: Contact Improvisation and Culture (4 credits)
  • DAN 250: Contemporary Dance: Context and Practice (4 credits)
  • DAN 251: Intermediate/Advanced Jazz Dance: Context and Practice (4 credits)
  • DAN 252: Intermediate Ballet: Context and Practice (4 credits)
  • DAN 253: West African Dance: Context and Practice (4 credits)
  • DAN 254: Tap Dance in American History: Context and Practice (4 credits)

Additional embodied practice courses:

  • DAN 102: Fundamentals of Movement (2 credits)
  • DAN 110: Beginning Dance Techniques (2 credits)
  • DAN 150: Beginning Contemporary Dance Technique (2 credits)
  • DAN 265: Contemporary Dance Technique (2 credits)
  • DAN 267: Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary Dance (2 credits)
  • DAN 269: Advanced Contemporary Dance (2 credits)
  • DAN 145: Beginning Jazz Technique (2 credits)
  • DAN 140: Tap Dance: Beginning (2 credits)
  • DAN 240: Tap Dance: Intermediate (2 credits)
  • DAN 171: Capoeira: Brazilian Art Movement (2 credits)
  • DAN 271: Capoeira II: Music in Motion (2 credits)
  • DAN 273: Capoeira: Strategies and Improvisation (2 credits)
  • DAN 181: West African Dance Forms I (2 credits)
  • DAN 281: West African Dance Forms II (2 credits)
  • MUR 210/DAN 212: Ngoma: Drumming, Dance and Ritual in Southern Africa (2 credits)
  • DAN 188: Hip Hop Culture and Breaking (2 credits)
  • DAN 116: Intro to Somatic Ballet (2 credits)
  • DAN 215: Beginning Ballet II/Advanced Beginning Ballet (2 credits)
  • DAN 268: Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary Ballet (2 credits)
  • DAN 180: Creative Middle Eastern Dance (2 credits)
  • DAN 190: Middle Eastern Dance: Folkloric/Bedouin (2 credits)
  • DAN 290: Middle Eastern Dance: Orientale (2 credits)
Creative Expression/Collaborative Applications – Minimum of 12 credits required

This category gives students an opportunity to develop skills for expressing their own artistic and aesthetic voices in order to improvise, create dances of their own, and think outside of the box. They also provide a performance experience, as well as develop their observation and analytical skills for dance, art in general, and composition. All dance majors are required to present work and/or participate in public performance through one or more of the following courses.

DAN 104: Contact Improvisation (2 credits)
DAN 108 Ecolinguistics: Language and Movement (4 credits) 
DAN 160: Dance Improvisation (2 credits)
DAN 195: World Dance  (4 credits)  
DAN 228: Dance History: Philosophy, Aesthetics and Culture (4 credits)  
SA 243/DAN 243/FMS 223/DMS 281: Dance on Camera/Camera on Dance (4 credits)
DAN 245: Dance Therapy Foundations (4 credits)
DAN 248 Arts and Activism (4 credits)
DAN 278: Choreography (4 credits) 
DAN 296: Art of Teaching Dance K-12 (4 credits)
AH 311: Dance, Art and Film (4 credits)
DAN 378: Choreographic Voice: Dance and Social Justice (4 credits)*
DAN 385: Dance Performance Workshop (2 credits)
DAN 380: Repertory and Performance (3 credits)
DAN 242: Design for Dance (2 credits)
DAN 397/DAN 398: Dance Ensemble I/II (1 credit)

*DAN 378A and DAN 378B also acceptable.

Somatic Awareness – Minimum of 4 credits required

This category is designed to encourage a diverse approach to a depth of understanding of embodiment. These courses serve as valuable cross training exercise for the dancer, but also provide training for relaxed strength, total body coordination/organization, integration of breath support, balance, centered alignment, timing, weight shifting, mindfulness, fluidity and energy flow. Somatic study also helps to identify unconscious physical habits that over time can lead to injury or pain.

Four credits of the following:

  • DAN 230: Living Anatomy Living Yoga (4 credits)
  • DAN 114: Intro to Yoga (2 credits)
  • DAN 115: Moving Into Stillness (2 credits)
  • DAN 130: Conditioning for the Dancer and Athlete (2 credits)
  • DAN 200: Anatomy and Kinesiology (4 credits)
  • DAN 208: Tai Chi: Movement Art and Culture (2 credits)
  • DAN 209: Qi Gong Way to Health (2 credits)
  • DAN 211: Tai Chi: Explorations in Qi (4 credits)
  • DAN 216: Yoga and Experiential Anatomy (2 credits)
  • DAN 225: Yoga II: Continuing the Journey (2 credits)
Interdisciplinary Dance Studies – 8 to 12 credits required

Students will choose two to four classes in a related program that support their dance major and research interests. Courses should be chosen with the help of a dance advisor.

See interdisciplinary dance studies page for more information.

Seminar Courses

The Seed Seminar and Senior Seminar courses are the foundation for each student’s individualized and interdisciplinary research in dance and their own chosen related area.

The two courses provide a forum and platform for developing their own undergraduate thesis/project. Planning and research will take place in the Seed Seminar, either in a student’s junior year, or in an Independent Study in the fall of a student’s senior year. Further research, development, writing and/or project implementation will take place in the Senior Seminar.

Participation in the campus-wide Undergraduate Research Expo is strongly encouraged. This research should be built over at least one full year (but over two years or more is encouraged) and can take the form of a study, paper, project, service or community based activity, choreography and/or performance.

Courses

DAN 360W: Senior Seminar/Project * (4 credits)

Plus one of the following:

  • DAN 260: Seed Seminar (2 credits) 
  • DAN 391: Independent Study (2-4 credits)
Upper-Level Writing Requirement

The upper-level writing requirement is built into the array of courses in the dance major, where reflective and research-based writing is inherent. In all of our courses, we assess our students through reflective writing and/or research papers and projects, which account for approximately 40 to 50 percent of a student’s final grade.

One particular course where we pay attention to the writing requirement for this major is the required DAN 360W: Senior Seminar. In DAN 360W, students submit drafts and receive feedback before a final version of their senior thesis is due. This practice is not exclusive to this course, as the practice of written expression is an important part of the creative process and critical and reflective thought in dance.