Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Major in Dance (B.A. Degree)

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance reflects a philosophy that integrates principles of theory and practice resulting in the discovery of an original voice. "Movement Practice" courses engage students in dance technique and performance work, and in learning and applying physical skills to the creation and reconstruction of African/Diasporan and Contemporary dance. "Dance Studies" courses emphasize creating, moving, recording, reading and writing, exposing the fundamental patterns of skilled movement acquisition, generating close textual analysis of specific movement forms, practicing dance making, and culturally contextualizing the diversity of dance forms. "Advanced Studies" courses provide opportunities to deepen and integrate primarily through independent research. In all courses, the boundaries between practice and theory are purposefully blurred, indicating our commitment to a liberal arts curriculum rather than a conservatory model.

Further, studying dance abroad allows students to experience another culture and way of life through the lens of movement and dance studies. Study abroad opportunities integrate the department’s mission and make possible a deepening understanding and expansive perspective on movement in a global context. We encourage students to visit the Global Study office to explore options. 

The Dance major requires 36 credits minimum.

Movement Practices

All dance majors must take a minimum 12 credits in Movement Practices, combining coursework in any combination. Possibilities include:

  • African/Diasporan Level II or III, 2 credits (DANC 222 - African Diaspora Dance Level II, DANC 322 - African/Diaspora Dance Level III) or Performance, .5-1 credit (DANC 422 - Performance: African/Diaspora/DANC 424 - Performance: African/Diaspora (Student Project))
  • Contemporary Level II or III, 2 credits (DANC 232 - Contemporary Dance II, DANC 322 - African/Diaspora Dance Level III) or Performance, .5-1 credit (DANC 432 - Performance: Contemporary Dance/DANC 434 - Performance: Contemporary Dance (Student Project)

Dance Studies

All dance majors must take at least one course (4 credits per course) in three separate areas of inquiry, comprising a minimum of 12 credits in Dance Studies. Our dance curriculum offers four areas of inquiry. Possibilities include:

  • Critical Historical and Cultural Inquires - Recent examples include: Black Dance and Popular Culture; Global Hip Hop; The Body in Performance; African/American Aesthetics.
  • Compositional Studies: Choreographic Investigations; African Movement Aesthetics; Improvisation and Performance; Site-Based Work
  • Human Movement Investigations: Somatics I; Somatics II
  • Movement Analysis: Introduction to Labananalysis; Introduction to Labanotation; Reconstruction for Performance

Advanced Studies

All dance majors must also enroll in a minimum of 12 additional credit hours. These 12 credits shall be comprised of three requirements:

  • Any 4 credit hours that deepen a student's experience/knowledge in a chosen area of interest. This may include:
    • A series of Movement Practices courses (at the 200-level or above) that total 4 credit hours
    • An additional course in Dance Studies (at the 200-level or above)
  • DANC 451 - Senior Research (Proposal: Thesis and Methodology) (4 credits)
  • DANC 452 - Senior Research (Execution: Investigation and Presentation) (4 credits)

Requirements for the Minor in Dance (B.A. Degree)

24 credits minimum The Dance minor is designed to accomplish at least one of two possible objectives:

  1. encourage those new to dance to access this course of study, and
  2. avail those interested in a narrow study of dance to design a minor that suits their interests.

Beyond a reduced number of credit hours, the main differences between the major and minor are these:

  • Majors may not include any 100-level courses in the fulfillment of the requirements; Minors may include any 100-level courses for fulfillment of the requirements.
  • Majors must include at least three of the four categories of inquiry; Minors may select any course regardless of distribution.
  • Majors must complete a senior research project; Minors are not required to complete a senior research project.

Movement Practices

All dance minors must take any combination of 12 credits in Movement Practices (any genre at any level). Possibilities include:

  • African/Diasporan Level I, II or III, 2 credits (DANC 122 - African/Diaspora Dance Level I, DANC 222 - African Diaspora Dance Level II, DANC 322 - African/Diaspora Dance Level III) or Performance, .5-1 credit (DANC 422 - Performance: African/Diaspora/DANC 424 - Performance: African/Diaspora (Student Project))
  • Contemporary Dance Level I, II or III, 2 credits (DANC 132 - Contemporary Dance I, DANC 232 - Contemporary Dance II, DANC 332 - Contemporary Dance Level III) or Performance, .5-1 credit (DANC 432 - Performance: Contemporary Dance/DANC 434 - Performance: Contemporary Dance (Student Project))

Dance Studies

All dance minors must take any three courses, resulting in 12 credits in dance studies (selected from any area).

  • Critical Historical Inquiries: Dance as an Art Form; Black Dance and Popular Culture; Global Hip Hop; The Body in Performance; African/American Aesthetics.
  • Compositional Studies; Choreographic Investigations; African Movement Aesthetics; Improvisation and Performance; Site-Based Work
  • Human Movement Investigations: Somatics I; Somatics II
  • Movement Analysis: Introduction to Labananalysis; Introduction to Labanotation; Reconstruction for Performance

Additional Points of Interest

The General Education (G.E.) requirements include two 4 credit-hour courses in two different departments in the Fine Arts Division. All Movement Practices courses may accumulate credit toward a G.E. Fine Arts requirement. Any Dance Studies course fulfills one G.E. Fine Arts requirement.

When registering, please follow these general guidelines:

  • All 100 level courses assume no previous experience with Movement Practices or Dance Studies.
  • All 200-level courses assume a review of the fundamentals of the languages and practices of the sub-discipline will be necessary, including a review of library searches and basic digital technology. Level II Movement Practices courses are appropriate for students with previous experience in dance training, even if not in the genre being offered.
  • All 300-level courses require independent thinking and processing. Level III Movement Practices courses require two semesters at the 200-level in the same genre, or permission of the instructor.
  • All 400-level Movement Practices courses are by audition or invitation only.
  • It is expected that a student will enroll in the same level movement practice course for two or more semesters. This repetition is permissible by the University and Registrar.
  • Performance courses will not accrue additional fees from the University, even if the student is already at the limit of credit hours for that semester.

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