Dance/Performance

Discover the full breadth of professional dance through Dance/Performance at RWU, where you’ll study technique and theory, collaborate with composers and work internationally during our semester-long Dancing in London Program. Our faculty -- all working professionals in the field -- give individual attention and guidance to broaden your career options beyond performance and choreography with additional coursework in fields such as education, therapy and management.

The Department of Dance and Performance Studies develops highly trained, creatively active and professionally oriented students with its unique curriculum.  A Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in Dance/Performance.  The program allows for individual attention from the faculty, all working professionals in the field.

Courses are offered in technique (Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Mime, Movement Theatre, Ethnic and Social forms).  Theory courses include Choreography, Dance History, Pedagogy, Movement Analysis, Kinesiology, Performance Techniques, and other Special Topic courses to keep students on
 the forefront of emerging topics of the field.  The dance faculty guides students towards partnering the Dance and Performance Studies major with another major/minor for a broad range of career options in addition to performance and choreography; examples include Dance/Psychology towards Dance and Movement Therapy, Dance/Secondary Ed for a Teaching Certification, Dance/Biology for Occupational or Physical Therapy, Dance/Public Relations for work in the Communication field and Dance/Arts Management for non-profit or studio management.

Our program offers live accompaniment for each technique class and gives opportunities for students to collaborate with our staff composer, facilitating crucial skills for work in professional dance fields.  Students broaden their backgrounds in the related arts, foster perceptive appreciation and develop artistic discrimination.  An audition is required for acceptance into the program.

The Dance/Performance Major

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The Department of Dance and Performance Studies develops highly trained, creatively active and professionally oriented students with its unique curriculum. A Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in Dance/Performance. The program allows for individual attention from the faculty, all working professionals in the field.
Courses are offered in technique (Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Mime, Movement Theatre, Ethnic and Social forms), choreography, history, pedagogy, movement analysis, kinesiology, performance techniques, and other special topic courses to keep students on the forefront of emerging topics of the field. The dance faculty guides students towards partnering the Dance major with another major/ minor for a broad range of career options in addition to performance and choreography; examples include Dance/ Psychology towards Dance and Movement Therapy, Dance/ Secondary Ed for a Teaching Certification, Dance/Biology for Occupational or Physical Therapy, Dance/PR for work in the Communication field and Dance/Arts Management for non-profit or studio management. Our department offers live accompaniment for each technique class and gives opportunities for students to collaborate with our staff composer, facilitating crucial skills for work in professional dance fields. Students broaden their backgrounds in the related arts, foster perceptive appreciation and develop artistic discrimination. An audition is required for acceptance into the program.
An important option for Dance and Performance Studies majors is the semester-long Dancing in London Program. Students may spend the fall semester of their junior year in London working with an international faculty of technique teachers and choreographers. Students also attend dozens of dance and theater performances presented by British and international companies.
Each semester, the department welcomes to campus notable artists for teaching and choreographic residencies and performance collaborations. Artists have included Seán Curran, Doug Elkins, Molissa Fenley, Billy Siegenfeld, Meredith Monk, Kate Weare, Neta Pulvermarcher, Tiffany Mills, Christina Robson, Jean Abreu, Jason Aryeh, Hilary Easton, Takehiro Ueyama, Jorge Crecis, TJ Lowe and K.J. Holmes.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The Dance/Performance major must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements. In addition, majors must successfully complete the 42 credits listed below and sufficient electives to total 120 credits. Majors are encouraged to apply electives toward a minor or second major. Majors are also required to participate in a technique class every day and maintain a satisfactory level of competence. Progress is evaluated by faculty each semester

Foundation Courses – Required – 9 credits

DANCE101The Creative Athlete 
DANCE290Introduction to Choreography 
DANCE310Dance History 

Technique Studies Courses – Required – 15 credits

DANCE210Ballet I 

and a minimum of 12 credits in Upper Level Technique courses taken from the following:

DANCE211Ballet II 
DANCE220
Intermediate Contemporary Modern
Technique and Improvisation I
 
DANCE221
Intermediate Contemporary Modern
Technique and Improvisation II
 
DANCE301
Intermediate Contemporary Modern
Technique and Improvisation III
 
DANCE302
Intermediate Contemporary Modern
Technique and Improvisation IV
 
DANCE320Advanced Technique and Improvisation I 
DANCE321Advanced Technique and Improvisation II 
DANCE401Advanced Technique and Improvisation III 
DANCE402Advanced Technique and Improvisation IV 

A daily technique class in Modern, Contemporary, and/or Ballet (credit or audit) is required of all majors.

Theory and Performance Studies Courses – 18 credits
Choose 6 out of the following 7 courses:

DANCE131Mime Workshop 
DANCE340Performance Lab and Movement Analysis 
DANCE390Advanced Choreography 
DANCE425Kinesiology for Dancers 
DANCE435The Performance Artist in Society 
DANCE440Movement Theatre 
DANCE460
Teaching Techniques, Dance Pedagogy and Musical Concepts
 

Note: Students completing Dance Teacher Certification are required to take DANCE 161 and DANCE 460

The PK-12 Dance/Education Dual Major

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Majors pursuing a dual major in Dance and education must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements, and the College speech requirement, COMM 210, all education requirements, the following 45 credits as specified and sufficient electives to total 120 credits.

Foundation Courses – Required – 9 credits

DANCE101The Creative Athlete 
DANCE290Introduction to Choreography 
DANCE310Dance History 

Dance Teacher Certification – Required 3 credits

*DANCE161Tap and Theatre Dance Styles I 

Technique Studies Courses – Required – 15 credits

DANCE210Ballet I 

and a minimum of 12 credits in Upper Level Technique courses taken from the following:

DANCE211Ballet II 
DANCE220Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation I 
DANCE221Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation II 
DANCE301Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation III 
DANCE302Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation IV 
DANCE320Advanced Technique and Improvisation I 
DANCE321Advanced Technique and Improvisation II 
DANCE401Advanced Technique and Improvisation III 
DANCE402Advanced Technique and Improvisation IV 

 

A daily technique class in Modern, Jazz, and/or Ballet (credit or audit) is required of all majors.

Theory and Performance Studies Courses – 18 credits

Choose 6 out of the following 7 courses: DANCE 460 required

DANCE131Mime Workshop 
DANCE340Performance Lab and Movement Analysis 
DANCE390Advanced Choreography 
DANCE425Kinesiology for Dancers 
DANCE435The Performance Artist in Society 
DANCE440Movement Theatre 
DANCE460Teaching Techniques, Dance Pedagogy, and Musical Concepts 

Note: Students completing Dance Teacher Certification are required to take DANCE 161 and DANCE 460.

The Dance/Performance Minor

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DANCE101The Creative Athlete 
Four Dance Technique Classes or a total of twelve credits in Dance Technique. (Placement made through consultation with a member of the dance faculty.)
and one of the following:
DANCE290Introduction to Choreography 
DANCE310Dance History 
DANCE350British Dance and Performance Art: London 
DANCE425Kinesiology for Dancers 
DANCE435The Performance Artist in Society 

Student Learning Outcomes

  • To channel the passion that leads students to choose dance as a career path and to develop it into an integrated part of how they live their lives and view the world
  • To experience Dance as an effective means of communicating experience and a route for the discovery and realization of the self
  • To develop high levels of competency in all aspects of the discipline, both practical and theoretical, in order to prepare Dance majors for success in related careers and in graduate school.
  • To provide students with an abundance of opportunities, under the guidance of faculty and guest artists, to experience the creative process in a rigorous, challenging and collaborative professional‐level environment.
  • To expose students to a variety of multicultural perspectives both through a scope of diverse guest artists and through study abroad programs.
     
A headshot of Cayley Dorr

Exploring Refuge

Cayley Dorr, RWU Class of 2017 Dance/Performance

Learning an art form is a difficult task in and of itself, but using that art form as a tool for social justice is the work of artistic activism. Cayley Dorr worked with Professor Cathy Nicoli and her Advanced Choreography class to express what they’d learned about the refugee crisis through the medium they are passionate about.

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Internship Opportunities

  • Dance Theatre Workshop, NYC
  • Movement Research, NYC
  • RI State Council for the Arts

Research Projects

  • Choreography Projects
  • Dance Film Projects

Employers

  • Bennett Dance Co.
  • Boston University
  • “Coyote Ugly,” Country Music TV & NYC
  • Ellis Wood and Dancers
  • Groundwerx Dance Theatre
  • Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company, Chicago
  • Hampshire College
  • Heidi Latsky Dance Company
  • Kinodance
  • Paula Josa Jones Works
  • Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
  • Rocha Dance Theatre
  • Sean Curran Company
  • Shoda Moving Theatre
  • The Place, London
  • West Virginia University

Graduate Study

  • Smith College
  • New York University
  • Long Beach State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Lesley University
  • Laban Institute, London