First-Year Studies in Dance
The dance program encourages first-year students to study aspects of dance in an integrated and vital curriculum of technical movement practices, improvisation, and dance history. In technical practice classes such as contemporary and ballet, emphasis is placed on developing awareness of space and time, use of energy, articulation of form through sensation, and building strength and control with an understanding of functional anatomy. In Improvisation, structured activities form a framework for investigating the properties of movement in the context of experience and performance. Goals include honing perceptive and communicative skills, exploring movement instincts and appetites, and constructing a viable foundation from which to work creatively. In Dance History, students will explore the history of concert dance in the United States from the early 20th century to the present. First-Year Studies in Dance seminar provides students with an additional weekly forum to expand analytical skills, both oral and written, for communication, independent research, and study. We will consider and cultivate critical perspectives on dance as an art form through movement studies, class exercises, discussion, reading, writing, and oral presentation, building skills in each of those areas throughout the year. In sum, these components are designed to encourage individual investigation and development of community centered on dance.