Denison’s Dance program is unique
- We situate dance squarely in the liberal arts! Our program explores diverse dance styles from Hip Hop to Contemporary to Ballet, Salsa, Jazz Dance, Dance Film, Stretch, Strength & Dance and more. Our classes help students become innovative dancers and thought leaders. We draw connections with Global Health, Psychology, Anthropology, Black Studies, Global Commerce, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, among others. We provide a liberal arts experience that benefits all students, helping to launch versatile and adept creative professionals.
- We blend artistic practice with arts leadership skills. Studying dance at Denison will help you to realize your artistic voice as a dancer and choreographer. You’ll also become competent at project management and administration, research, collaboration, and community engagement.
- We value interdisciplinary connections. We support students who want to double-major or minor in dance. We are interested in how dance intersects with other disciplines–whether that’s Biology or Theater, or Anthropology or English.
- We provide many performance and career preparation experiences. In the Michael D. Eisner Center for Performing Arts, students practice and perform in a world-class space and work with world-class dance professors and acclaimed guest artists. The Eisner Center’s natural light Thorsen Dance Studio invites dancers to work on their craft in a calm environment with a sprung-floor system and radiant floor heating that help prevent injuries. And the Sharon Martin Hall provides a beautiful large performance space.
The Dance department’s three-pronged curriculum integrates “Movement Practice,” “Dance Studies,” and “Professional/Advanced Studies”, to help students discover their artistic voices and strengthen professional skills.
All students are immersed in learning the skills of arts leadership, creative process and collaboration. Specializations such as Artistry and Performance and Dance and Wellness can be pursued as well.
- “Movement Practice” courses engage students in dance technique and performance as they learn and apply physical skills critical to dance making and body conditioning. These classes include: Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Hip Hop, Salsa, Dance is Art, African Diaspora Dance, Denison Dance Company and more.
- The class Denison Dance Company was established for Dance majors and minors to fine tune their skills in dance performance, work with professional choreographers, and learn about production. Students can become members of this dance company and perform throughout the year.
- “Dance Studies” courses can emphasize dance technique along with relevant cultural and/or scientific context of diverse dance forms. Classes include: Dance & Global Health, Somatics, Dance Film, Global Hip Hop, Black Dance & Popular Culture and more.
- “Professional/Advanced Studies” courses deepen and integrate student learning with more advanced classes, internships, mentorships, and through independent research. In these classes, students become more seasoned dance artists on the stage. They learn to put theory in practice, produce performances, engage choreographic leadership, carry out research and arts administration.
Outside the Classroom
Students can take advantage of attending the national festivals and intensives such as Ohio Dance Festival, Columbus Dance Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet Intensive and national events such as American Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival. There are international dance study opportunities in places such as England, Argentina, Senegal, Ghana, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Spain and morel.
What do dance majors do after Denison?
Career pathways that Dance graduates take demonstrate the versatility of the degree. Dance is an interdisciplinary powerhouse, hence, the opportunities are diverse and cut across job markets. What one learns in dance can be applied into professions in public health, business, art leadership, education, non-profit organizations, film and more.
Dance is a performing arts, a science and cultural study. Hence students can establish a career as a choreographer, dancer, dance educator, arts administrator, creative producer, entrepreneur, physical therapist, dance health researcher, film maker, and more.
We believe that vital dance artists and scholars develop from independent thinkers who are committed to cultivating a personal aesthetic and artistic focus, and who resourcefully engage in original research and commit to the construction of knowledge. Our mission supports the development of student artists/scholars who are informed citizens and responsible agents of positive change in a world where the moving arts are essential. Our goal of exposing students to cutting edge and experimental dance practices from diverse cultures and with global perspectives is embedded in our curriculum and ideology. The focus of our movement practices intentionally centralizes Contemporary Dance and African/African-Diasporan forms. The integration of embodied practices with scholarly inquiry is integral to our mission.
Writing within the Major
Both dance scholars and dance artists come to better understand their ideas and those of others through writing. We focus our teaching of writing on experiential and conceptual ideas prompted by, and about, the body, to generate precise description and sophisticated analysis. Our aim is to hone students’ observation and reflection skills, and ability to document these intelligently and concisely through writing.
Student Learning Goals
- Broaden perspectives through risk taking, embracing ambiguity, and exposure to a range of choreography and performance.
- Synthesize knowledge and generate new, independent and original theoretical and creative projects.
- Demonstrate multifaceted practical, analytical, and reflexive understanding of languages, history, and the cultural significance of dance’s various bodily-kinesthetic forms.
- Employ various methods for describing, discerning, analyzing, labeling, and categorizing human movement.
- Be proficient movers in a combination of aspects of embodied movement practices, at the intermediate level, at a minimum.
- Demonstrate a fluency in disciplinary vocabularies both orally and written that is evident across coursework and utilized within the body of student’s senior research.
- Use basic 21st century technology including digital equipment and software applications in order to access and document artwork, and to use it appropriately to market or create within those media.