Dance Courses

DANCE 101 - The Creative Athlete
Fulfills a course requirement in the Dance Core Concentration
Examines creative process and artistic expression in relation to the athleticism of movement. Topics include important movement principles, theories, techniques, and styles. Emphasizes understanding the body as a means of communication. Athletic skills applied to these principles and creative projects. In addition, students attend live concerts of selected movement artists and write critiques of the performances. (Field Trip Fee: $50) (3 credits) Fall

DANCE 131 - Mime Workshop
Explores the fundamental techniques and philosophies of mime. Strong focus on the concept of body isolation and the relationship to stage movement and character development. Solo and ensemble mime pieces are constructed and critiqued. (3 credits) Fall, Spring

DANCE 150 - Introduction to Dance Technique
Fulfills a course requirement in the Dance Core Concentration
Explores dance as an art form through familiarization of the student with various contemporary dance techniques. Emphasizes the acquisition of basic dance skills and the development of kinesthetic perception, energy qualities, and rhythmic awareness. For the student with no dance training. (3 credits) Fall, Spring

DANCE 161, 162 - Tap and Theatre Dance Styles I, II
Explores dance idioms as they are used in performance. Includes study of tap and period social dance (Charleston, Swing-Lindy, the Blues, Cake Walk, Viennese Waltz, etc.). (3 credits) Fall, Spring

DANCE 200, 201 - Elementary Modern/Contemporary Technique and Improvisation I, II
Fulfills a course requirement in the Dance Core Concentration
Prerequisite: DANCE 150; or major status
Elementary study of dance and its relationship to rhythmic structure. Emphasizes understanding of one’s kinesthesis and modern and Contemporary idioms. (DANCE 200: 3 credits; DANCE 201: 3 credits) Fall, Spring

DANCE 210, 211 - Ballet I, II
Prerequisites: DANCE 200, 201; or consent of instructor
The study of ballet at elementary and high-intermediate levels. Emphasizes ballet’s relationship to modern dance. Work in barre, adagio, and petite and grand allegro combinations. (DANCE 210: 3 credits; DANCE 211: 1 credit) Fall, Spring

DANCE 220, 221, 301, 302 - Intermediate Modern/Contemporary Technique and Improvisation I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: DANCE 200, 201; or consent of instructor for higher levels
High-intermediate-level dance technique. Emphasizes further development of each student’s technique and the relationship between movement styles and sound environment. Encourages students to increase performance ability through the study of more complex patterns and improvisation. (DANCE 220: 3 credits; DANCE 221, 301, and 302: each 1 credit) Fall, Spring

DANCE 225 - Intermediate Technique: London
Prerequisites: DANCE 301, 302; or consent of department faculty
Designed for students who must complete additional technical work on the intermediate level. In addition to class performance, students increase knowledge of techniques associated with modern, ballet and dance masters. (3 credits) Fall, London only

DANCE 290 - Introduction to Choreography
Fulfills a course requirement in the Dance Core Concentration
Prerequisites: DANCE 200, 201; or consent of instructor
Introduces basic concepts of choreography through the elements of space, time, and energy. Daily assignments emphasize composition, analysis, performance, and evaluation of compositional works. Includes studio performance at the end of the semester. (3 credits) Fall

DANCE 310 - Dance History
Fulfills a course requirement in the Dance Core Concentration
Examines the history and development of dance from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the 20th century. Emphasizes the influence of Western European, Asian, African, and Pacific Basin cultures, which led to the modern dance revolution and today’s post-modern performance artists. (3 credits) Fall

DANCE 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319 - Repertory and Performance I-VI
by audition only
Provides qualified students extensive repertory and performance experience with the RWU Dance Theatre. Students work with visiting guest artists and faculty choreographers on a regular basis, perform in on- and off-campus concerts, and travel to the American College Dance Festivals for workshops and performances. One credit will be assigned for each semester’s work up to a maximum of six semesters. Auditions are held each semester. Interested students must see the department faculty concerning audition requirements. (each 1 credit) Fall, Spring

DANCE 320, 321, 401, 402 - Advanced Technique and Improvisation I, II, III, IV
Prerequisites: DANCE 301, 302; or consent of instructor for higher levels
Designed for the serious student of dance. Focuses on advanced technical work, repertory, and the development of performance quality. (DANCE 320: 3 credits; DANCE 321, 401, 402: each 1 credit) Fall, Spring

DANCE 325 - Advanced Technique: London
Prerequisites: DANCE 320, 321; or consent of department faculty
Offered to students who exhibit special talents in the field of dance. Each will be required to challenge and maximize his or her abilities in technique, improvisation, and repertory. Requires solid working knowledge of the theories and techniques of Graham, Humphrey/Limon, Cunningham, Horton and Ballet. (3 credits) Fall, London only

DANCE 340 - Performance Lab and Movement Analysis
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor
Acquaints students with the process of developing a strong performance quality. Through vocal, text, and body techniques, each student enhances skills in stage presence emphasizing the creation of performance focus and grounding. Students will be introduced to and apply movement analysis theories and techniques of Laban, Ideokinesis, Alexander Technique as useful tools for performance development. Work on auditioning techniques and professional career preparation will be addressed. (3 credits) Fall or Spring

DANCE 350 - British Dance and Performance Art: London
Co-requisite: THEAT 490 (Students pursuing a Core Concentration in dance may substitute this course for THEAT 350.)
Offers opportunities to see dance, movement theatre, and performance art in Britain, and to study the cultural influences of Britain on these performing arts. Students attend several performances a week, participate in group discussions, and complete written reports. (London) (3 credits) Fall

DANCE 390 - Advanced Choreography
Prerequisite: DANCE 290; or consent of instructor
The study and composition of movement patterns, sequences, and visual styles for use in the theatre. Based upon modern dance compositional techniques. Students research and choreograph selected styles from different theatrical productions ranging from non-Western cultures, Greek and Elizabethan drama to musicals and contemporary post-modern dance. (3 credits) Spring

DANCE 410 - Independent Study
Individualized study in dance/performance through special arrangement with the department faculty or the academic advisor. (1-3 credits)

DANCE 425 - Kinesiology for Dancers
Prerequisite: Sophomore or junior standing
Fulfills a course requirement in the Dance Core Concentration
The structure and function of the human body and awareness of its innate capabilities in movement. Analyzes voluntary, observable movement and the factors that underlie individual performances and learning differences through basic kinesiological principles. (3 credits) Spring

DANCE 435 - The Performance Artist in Society
Prerequisite: Junior standing
Fulfills a course requirement in the Dance Core Concentration
Focuses on the influence of performance artists in society beginning with the artistic revolutions during the Victorian era and concluding with current trends in the performance art fields. Examines how the philosophies and theories of these artists are reflected in their work and how they ultimately impact the development of new performance art directions. Includes practical skills needed to survive as an artist in today’s world, including discussions of funding agencies, production techniques, and grant-writing. (3 credits) Fall, Spring

DANCE 440 - Movement Theatre
Prerequisites: THEAT 131, DANCE 290; or consent of instructor
Explores movement theatre techniques and styles. Students use their skills in dance, mime, pantomime, and acting to develop original performance pieces. Creative assignments involve masks, text, puppetry, props, video, and costumes. Requires a final project which serves as a substantial component for the course. (3 credits) Fall

DANCE 460 - Teaching Techniques, Musical Concepts, and Rhythmic Analysis
Prerequisites: DANCE 425 or consent of instructor; senior standing
Presents various teaching theories and principles for dance, improvisation, and creative movement to prepare students for structuring classes on various levels and for different populations. The physics of dance and movement and its application to alignment and proper technical development will be studied. Students are acquainted with musical and sound resources, structures, and rhythmic analysis. Each student will teach in regional school systems. (3 credits) Fall or Spring

Follow us on Instagram @rwudancetheatre

Roger Williams University

Dance and Performance Studies Program

~ Learning Outcomes ~

At RWU, students earn their Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Performance Studies by engaging in the steady practice of movement research, development, performance, and analyses.  While training in our program, students:

  1. Increase proficiency in anatomical efficiency, effort dynamics, and overall technical development.
  2. Heighten cognitive and embodied understanding of both the technical and cultural evolution of Classical Ballet, Modern, Post-Modern, and Contemporary forms.
  3. Synthesize performance skills via ongoing participation in numerous and diverse experiential creative processes and performances.
  4. Exercise a variety of established, experimental, and devised forms of movement composition.
  5. Explore and develop their own distinct interests, skills, and viewpoints as artists and practitioners.  By doing so, students learn to situate their work within the larger contexts of history, pedagogy, culture, identity, and community.