Dance

Requirements & Courses

Movement is the language of dance. Dancers use their bodies in space as a prime means of expression. Alma’s dance program stresses the development of imagination, creativity and performance skills. Several dance productions are presented each term.

Dance graduates find employment in professional, educational and community theatre; arts administration; or in such non-theatre areas as broadcasting, social work and public relations.

  • Dance courses, as designated by the three-letter prefix DAN, are offered through the Theatre and Dance Department. Dance courses were offered under the prefix THD through the 2016-17 academic year.

  • Major Requirements

    Thirty-six credits, which must include:

    1. Eight credits of Dance Studio Technique choosing from DAN-139, 147, 160, 210, 240, 244, 340, 344 (any of which may be repeated for credit but must include at least ONE ballet course and ONE modern course);
    2. Dance Theory (14 credits): DAN-191, 220, 347, and 351;
    3. DAN-201 Choreography;
    4. Complete either the senior capstone (DAN-495) or the honors thesis (DAN-500);
    5. Eight credits of selected THE or DAN electives.
  • Minor Requirements

    Twenty-four credits, which must include:

    1. Six credits of Dance Technique chosen from DAN-139, 147, 160, 210, 240, 244, 340, and 344 (any of which may be repeated for credit but must include at least ONE ballet course and ONE modern course);
    2. Eight credits of Dance Theory: DAN-191, 220, 347, and 351; four credits of Choreography I (DAN-201);
    3. Six credits of selected THE or DAN electives.
  • Students bound for graduate school or the dance-teaching profession should choose courses to support their area of emphasis. Participation in research and additional coursework in choreography, pedagogy, theatre, music, business, physiology and anatomy is recommended.

  • In total, only 4 credits from THE and DAN may count toward the Distributive Requirements in the Arts and Humanities; practicum and independent study courses do not count.

Courses

  • DAN
    139
    .
    Somatic Movement
    4 credits
    Introduction to Somatic Methods; e.g. Alexander Technique, Ideokinesis, Bartenieff, and Feldenkrais.
  • DAN
    143
    .
    Yoga I
    1 credit
    Yoga complements the dancer as well as the human being in many ways, particularly in the physical realm. Slow stretching and breathing increase flexibility and awareness, and restore tone and vitality. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    146
    .
    Dance in the Humanities
    4 credits
    Investigation of dance as an art form. Involves movement awareness, improvisation, exploratory exercises and movement games designed to build trust. Collaboration with class members to create a performance atmosphere is an integral part of the course. Students design environments dealing with the theatrical aspect of dance.
  • DAN
    147
    .
    Dance Fundamentals
    2 credits
    This courses introduces basic movement concepts, aesthetics, and qualities. It also covers the beginnings of modern dance, ballet, and jazz. The course will develop movement sequences based in all three techniques and differentiate vocabulary. Short writing assignments will complement studio requirements. Offered every fall term.
  • DAN
    148
    .
    Highland Dance I
    1 credit
    Introduction to basic movements, steps and terminology of Highland Dance. Emphasis on fundamentals of footwork and introduction to history and cultural background of Scottish dances. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    149
    .
    Pointe I Beginning
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: DAN-144 or Permission
    Development of classical ballet skill techniques en pointe. Principles of beginning pointe technique are displayed and discussed. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    151
    .
    AC Dance Company
    1 credit
    Participation in dance concerts throughout the term. Opportunities for choreography, performance and organizational planning. May be repeated for credit. Final registration subject to audition.
  • DAN
    160
    .
    Afro-Brazilian Dances
    1 credit
    Studio course that introduces vocabulary, history, and cultural aspects of Afro-Brazilian dance.
  • DAN
    180
    .
    Topics in Dance
    4 credits
    Special topics and projects selected by instructor in dance. Background prerequisites vary with selections.
  • DAN
    191
    .
    Dance Professions
    2 credits
    Survey on dance professions, including dance related careers, and guest speakers.
  • DAN
    201
    .
    Choreography I
    4 credits
    Analysis of choreographic styles. Principles of various choreographers examined and experienced. Development of individual skills for choreographing.
  • DAN
    210
    .
    Dance Improvisation
    1 credit
    Dance Improv introduces students to new ways to move and craft dances through imposed structures.
  • DAN
    220
    .
    Dance Pedagogy
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: 4 credits from DAN Sophomore Standing
    This course examines practical, pedagogical, and philosophical approaches to teaching dance in different settings, including schools (K-12), recreation, and professional dance training. Through readings, discussions, lectures, individual and group assignments, students will develop and apply lesson plans based on practical and reflexive skills. The content of this course includes the NDEO (National Dance Education Organization) and MAEIA (Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment) standards. Different genres of dance may be included depending on the specialties of participants.
  • DAN
    240
    .
    Modern Dance II Intermediate
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: DAN-147
    Continuation of Modern Dance I. Emphasis on movement patterns and development of body alignment. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    243
    .
    Yoga II
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: DAN-143 or Permission
    Yoga complements the dancer as well as the human being in many ways, particularly in the physical realm. Slow stretching and breathing increase flexibility and awareness, and restore tone and vitality. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    244
    .
    Ballet II Intermediate
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Permission
    Continuation of Ballet I. Development of ballet combinations and concentration on body alignment. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    245
    .
    Jazz Dance
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: DAN-147 or Permission
    This course looks at the practice of jazz dance throughout U.S. history. We will consider key styles and techniques, emphasizing rhythm, improvisation, shape, and isolations. This class is for multi-level learners. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    248
    .
    Highland Dance II
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: DAN-148 or Permission
    Continuation of Highland Dance I. Technical accuracy, style and conditioning stressed. Emphasis on performance preparation. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    280
    .
    Topics in Dance
    4 credits
    Special topics and projects selected by instructor in dance. Background prerequisites vary with selections.
  • DAN
    295
    .
    Dance for the Camera
    2-4 credits
    The course covers history, theories, and filmmaking for choreography and dancing in film.
  • DAN
    296
    .
    Dance and Communities
    2 credits
    The course will teach students about how to create dance projects that engage communities.
  • DAN
    299
    .
    Dance Independent Study
    1 credit
    Supervised reading, research or projects in dance.
  • DAN
    302
    .
    Dance Composition
    2 credits
    Dance composition is the foundation of group choreography, which requires an examination of different theories, literacies, and examples in order to achieve an original piece of art. We will look at many examples of choreographers’ group compositions as reference points. This course will require one short group composition and one paper. Offered every odd winter term.
  • DAN
    340
    .
    Modern Dance III Advanced
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: DAN-240 or Permission
    Continuation of Modern Dance II. Emphasis on refinement of performance techniques, style and improvisation. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    344
    .
    Ballet III Advanced
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Permission
    Continuation of Ballet II. Emphasis on further development of style and technique. May be repeated for credit.
  • DAN
    346M
    .
    Dance/Theatre Trip
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: Permission
    In-depth investigation and exploration of various dance and theatre forms. Opportunities to witness professional dance companies and theatre companies, attending performances and touring backstage. Historical backgrounds and current trends in dance and theatre examined. Journal, critiques and final paper. Trips have included London, New York, and Toronto. Spring Term only.
  • DAN
    347
    .
    Dance Criticism
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: DAN 351
    Introduction to the history of dance criticism as well as philosophies of early dance critics. Review dance films, video tape recordings and actual performances and evaluate each in the various critical styles. Investigate the structure and function of historical, recreative and judicial criticism, and review dance critics of today and their influence upon the dance world.
  • DAN
    351
    .
    Dance History
    4 credits
    Survey of culture, styles and methods of dance from the Baroque period to the Modern period. Ethnic, concert and interpretative forms. Emphasis on theatrical ballet and 20th century contemporary dance.
  • DAN
    380
    .
    Topics in Dance
    4 credits
    Special topics and projects selected by instructor. Background prerequisites vary with selections.
  • DAN
    380M
    .
    Dance and Pop Culture
    4 credits
    What are the dances from stages, clubs, and screens that have drawn attention in the U.S. over the last century? Where do they come from? This class will explore and contextualize dance in popular culture and analyze who dances, how they dance, and how movement constructs identity and history. We will look at dances from around the world (e.g., Africa, Central, and South America) and their influences on U.S. culture. The course introduces methods for critical analysis and reveals the hidden heritage of dances we see in clubs, television, films, and musicals. Through reading selections, videos, and discussions, students will discover how popular dance reflects and affects perceptions of age, ethnicity, economic status, and disability. Overarching themes include the role of media in the development and dissemination of dance and issues of innovation and appropriation.
  • DAN
    380M
    .
    Topics in Dance
    4 credits
    Special topics and projects selected by instructor. Background prerequisites vary with selections.
  • DAN
    385
    .
    Dance Practicum
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: Permission
    Study-work participation in community institutions, schools or professional organizations combined with faculty supervision. Practical experience in teaching, directing or performance of dance. Culminates in written report. Also offered as DAN 386.
  • DAN
    399
    .
    Dance Independent Study
    1 credit
    Supervised reading, research or projects in dance.
  • DAN
    480
    .
    Topics in Dance
    1 credit
    Special topics and projects selected by instructor in dance. Background prerequisites vary with selections.
  • DAN
    495
    .
    Senior Capstone
    2 credits
    Prerequisite: Advanced Junior standing or permission from instructor
    This course is required for dance majors in their senior year who are not enrolled in DAN 500 (Senior Thesis). The capstone can be either a paper or a performance. The paper must evidence advanced research that explores a specific topic in dance studies chosen by students in conjunction with their capstone advisor. The performance must be one of original choreography that is accompanied by a detailed written component or portfolio.
  • DAN
    499
    .
    Dance Independent Study
    1 credit
    Supervised reading, research or projects in dance.
  • DAN
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    2-4 credits
    Students with honors in Theatre and Dance must complete a Senior Thesis, approved and directed by the Department.