Jennifer Nugent

Undergraduate Discipline

Dance

Graduate Program

MFA Dance Program

Originally from Hollywood, Florida, Nugent has been living and working in New York City since 1998. Her practices are profoundly inspired by Daniel Lepkoff, Wendell Beavers, Patty Townsend, Thomas F. DeFrantz, and Paul Matteson. Through performing and teaching, she aims to nurture the proposition of physicality as a theoretical and complex language that resides inside a rejuvenating container of possibility. Nugent continues to augment these practices through sharing and refining ideas in front of others—a transmission of spoken and gestural language. Since living in New York City, she has performed most notably with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (2009-2014), Paul Matteson (2002-2020), David Dorfman Dance (1999-2007), and Martha Clarke (2007-2008). She is currently a teaching artist at Gibney Dance (NYC), Sarah Lawrence College, and the virtual platform freeskewl, where she hosts a monthly series called Pedagogy/Poetic Entry. SLC, 2017–

Graduate Courses 2023-2024

MFA Dance

Dance Teaching Methods

Graduate Seminar—Spring

Throughout the semester we will work collectively to prioritize questions and dialogue that support an understanding of what movement styles we are drawn to, how we create, interpret, and organize ideas in movement, and how we might begin to share this information with each other. Students will develop a self practice and investigate the intersection between this personal movement study and teaching inquiries. During the semester students will imagine, plan, develop a class that is supportive to and inclusive of multiple movement levels and abilities. Working to describe the intangible and the experience of movement itself we will refine how we filter this inside the dance class and how it might be initiated or shared to enhance one's ability to access movement, increase awareness, understand rhythm, technical structures, perception, and humanity within the exchange of teaching.

Faculty

Movement Studio Practice

Component—Year

These classes will emphasize the steady development of movement skills, energy use, strength, and articulation relevant to each teacher's technical and aesthetic orientations. Instructors will change at either the end of each semester or midway through the semester, allowing students to experience present-day dance practice across diverse styles and cultural lineages. At all levels, attention will be given to sharpening each student’s awareness of time and energy and training rhythmically, precisely, and according to sound anatomical principles. Degrees of complexity in movement patterns will vary within the leveled class structure. All students will investigate sensory experience and the various demands of performance.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Dance

Dance Movement Fundamentals

Component—Year

Movement and dancing are definitive signs of life! In every environment and at every level of existence, from single-cell organisms to entire populations, dancing is innate to living beings. The objective here is to awaken/reawaken students’ connection to movement as an elemental mode of human experience and learning. Students are introduced to some basic principles of dancing, as well as to strategies for preparing for dancing. Building fundamental skills for a wide range of movement studies, the focus is centered on learning movement and refining individual, partnered, and group performance in a variety of patterns and styles. Basic anatomical information is used to facilitate an understanding of dynamic alignment and movement potentials. Challenges in coordination, rhythm, range, and dynamic quality are systematically engaged, allowing students to gain strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, musicality, and awareness in the dance setting. While the primary emphasis is placed on learning structured material, improvisation and composition are incorporated to support students’ growing engagement with dance as an art form.

Faculty

Modern and Postmodern Practice

Component—Year

In these classes, emphasis will be on the continued development of basic skills, energy use, strength, and control relevant to the particular style of each teacher. At all levels, attention will be given to sharpening each student’s awareness of time and energy and to disciplining the body to move rhythmically, precisely, and in accordance with sound anatomical principles. Intermediate and advanced students will study more complex movement patterns, investigate somatic use, and concentrate on the demands of performance.

Faculty

Perspectives on Dance Pedagogy

Component—Year

In this practice-based course, students will develop skills to bring their artistry into a teaching setting. We will work systematically and imaginatively to develop teaching practices in the dance/movement forms that move us most deeply. To begin, we will read and discuss selected excerpts of foundational texts in dance/movement education. For the remainder of the fall semester, students will develop pedagogical approaches centered on individual interests. Each student will identify and deepen the knowledge of dancing that they wish to teach. In the studio, we will employ movement, observation, discussion, and class exercises. Additionally, each student will engage in independent research—surveying literature in the field of dance pedagogy, as well as potential sources beyond the field according to individual interests, and writing and presenting work to the class in the form of a practicum. Emphasis is placed on process, with the dual objectives of building metaskills (conceptualizing) and practical ones (actualizing) in constructing durable curricular structures. For the spring, focus of the class shifts to teaching generative forms, including improvisation and composition, with each student developing a formalized teaching plan. Each member of the class will serve as both teacher and student, with a weekly discussion of class activities and selected class readings drawn from a range of sources and perspectives. Supplemental independent research will support, inform, and enrich creation of the teaching plan. In both semesters, individual pedagogical research and development will be summarized and submitted in a final report, with an annotated bibliography serving as documentation of the development process as well as the basis for future promotional material.

Faculty

Teaching Conference

Component—Year

In this practice-based course, students develop skills to bring their artistry into a teaching setting. Readings, discussion, and short written pieces will support an exploration of perspectives on teaching and development of individual areas of interest. Following current practices in the field for bringing together arts and education, we will study methods for artists to partner with educators and implement those methods in a weekly class for children enrolled in Sarah Lawrence College’s acclaimed Early Childhood Center (ECC). In addition to our work with ECC, there are several options for students interested in an expanded practical curriculum. The College’s Campbell Sports Center offers opportunities for students to initiate and lead physical education classes; and the College’s Office of Community Partnerships can assist students in pursuing teaching initiatives in surrounding communities, including Yonkers, Greater Westchester, and other New York City Metropolitan areas.

Faculty

MFA Dance

Contemporary 3

Graduate Seminar—Year

Emphasis will be on the continued development of basic skills, energy use, strength, and control relevant to the particular style of each teacher. Attention will be given to sharpening each student’s awareness of time and energy and to disciplining the body to move rhythmically, precisely, and in accordance with sound anatomical principles. The students in this advanced class will study complex movement patterns, investigate somatic use, and concentrate on the demands of performance. 

Faculty

Contemporary Dance Practices

Component—Year

In these classes, emphasis will be on the continued development of basic skills, energy use, strength, and control relevant to the particular style of each teacher. At all levels, attention will be given to sharpening each student’s awareness of time and energy and to disciplining the body to move rhythmically, precisely, and in accordance with sound anatomical principles. Students will study complex movement patterns, investigate somatic use, and concentrate on the demands of performance.

Faculty

Dance Teaching Methods

Component—Fall

Throughout the semester we will work collectively to prioritize questions and dialogue that support an understanding of what movement styles we are drawn to, how we create, interpret, and organize ideas in movement and how we might begin to share this information with each other. Students will develop a self practice and investigate the intersection between this personal movement study and teaching inquiries as a means to imagine and develop a class that is supportive to and inclusive of multiple movement levels and abilities. Working to describe the intangible and the experience of movement itself we will refine how we filter this inside the dance class and how it might be initiated or shared to enhance one's ability to access movement, increase awareness, understand rhythm, technical structures, perception, and humanity within the exchange of teaching.

Faculty

Movement Studio Practice

Component—Year

In these classes, emphasis will be on the steady development of movement skills, energy use, strength, and articulation relevant to the technical and aesthetic orientations of each teacher. At all levels, attention will be given to sharpening each student’s awareness of time and energy and to training rhythmically, precisely, and in accordance with sound anatomical principles. Degrees of complexity in movement patterns will vary within the leveled class structure. All students will investigate sensory experience and the various demands of performance.

Faculty

Somatics, Improvisations, and the Athletics of Intimacy

Component—Year

We will be exploring movement and dance through the research of improvisation and the influences of the experiential anatomy of the somatic research of Body-Mind Centering®, Contact Improvisation, and structures and scores for improvising and composing dances. We will make the invisible visible, learning more about the interior of the body and our ideas, and explore pathways to space, time, and place as we also learn basic anatomy and physiology to better understand the mechanics of movement.

Faculty