Dance Minor

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The dance minor program focuses on the art of making dances by offering two dance composition classes. Dance Composition I focuses on dance improvisation, enabling dancers to create spontaneous dance studies and/or performance pieces based on specific themes or intentions. Dance Composition II is designed to develop skills in choreographing dances. Students in this class can have their final dance adjudicated for inclusion into the annual main stage dance concert.

Our dance minor also addresses the art and science of teaching dance. The Dance Pedagogy class emphasizes an understanding of the human anatomy and how it most effectively moves and maintains healthy alignment. Coursework explores how to teach basic technique for all forms of dance, while developing an awareness of common problem areas, as well as focusing on injury prevention. Students will participate in weekly practicums: teaching each other, as well as an after-school class of young students. Our Children’s Creative Dance course highlights teaching dance as an improvisational approach in a classroom setting. A weekly in-class practicum will involve teaching a 4thgrade class and creating a final school-wide performance.

Our offering of different types of one-hour technique classes is a part of our plan to nurture creative, versatile dancers, while also demonstrating proper dance pedagogy. Dancers are encouraged to take a variety of different dance forms. Technique classes are also open to the general Berry College community, fulfilling the required Gen Ed activity credit.

The dance program also offers Survey of Dance, which teaches a variety of social and ballroom dances. This course teaches everything from salsa to waltz, giving special attention to the technique of leading and following in partner dances. Dance History is taught annually, exploring primarily western dance with an emphasis on the dance that has evolved during last two centuries.

The fall Dance Performance class enables our students to dance in young audience performances. Sometimes this involves taking our show on a Tour-of-Schools, going directly into the schools and after-school settings. Other options involve developing a community concert—while working collaboratively with local dance studios—and performing to live music in a main stage setting.

The annual spring dance concert provides the opportunity for students to choreograph and perform in a main stage production. Student choreographers run their own weekly rehearsals in the fall and then show their pieces every December during adjudication. The dances that are chosen are costumed and prepared for a professional level production. 

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