At Sweet Briar College we offer a great variety of courses in dance. In technique, the program is based in modern dance. However, ballet, jazz, and yoga are also offered. Four courses in choreography, two courses in dance history, and several courses in teaching, anatomy, yoga, aesthetics and dance criticism are all part of the dance curriculum. Special studies in choreography, video dance, history and other areas can be done. Classes are open to all Sweet Briar students except when prerequisites are required.
Dance technique courses are available in modern, ballet, jazz and yoga. These courses are offered on several skill levels and are designed to challenge, strengthen and encourage students to increase their mastery of dance technique.
Dance composition courses develop students' understanding of the choreographic craft using the concepts of time, space and energy. Developing themes, expanding personal movement vocabulary and experimenting with different points of view in solo and group dances are explored in these courses.
Dance history courses cover dance from prehistoric times to the present. Everything from world dance and the Romantic Ballet to Post Modern Dance are represented visually through the dance program's extensive video collection.
Anatomy and kinesiology are the systematic studies of skeletal and muscular systems of the human body. These courses include an introduction to somatic techniques to help develop a more efficient use of the body.
Methods of Teaching Creative Movement and Dance prepares the student for the field of dance education. Lesson planning, classroom management, historical perspectives, working with the handicapped and student-teaching in the Amherst County Public Schools are all a part of the course.
Aesthetics and Dance Criticism reviews the origin and theories of aesthetics around the world and concentrates on the different styles of the major dance critics.
DANC 105 (1)–Yoga I
An introduction to Hatha Yoga; working with breath, flexibility and strength. Offered alternate years. May be counted toward the major in dance, but it may not be counted toward the minor in dance. IV.3.
DANC 107 (1)–Beginning Ballet
Beginning technique in ballet. May be repeated for credit. IV.3, V.6b.
DANC 109 (1)–Beginning Jazz
Beginning technique in jazz dance. May be repeated for credit. IV.3, V.6b.
DANC 111 (1)–Beginning Modern Dance
Beginning technique in modern dance. May be repeated for credit. IV.3, V.6b.
DANC 205 (1)–Yoga II
Prerequisite: DANC 105. Further study in Hatha Yoga; working with breath, flexibility, and strength. May be counted toward the major in dance, but may not be counted toward the minor in dance. IV.3.
DANC 207 (1)–Intermediate Ballet
Intermediate technique in ballet. May be repeated for credit. IV.3, V.6b.
DANC 209 (1)–Intermediate Jazz
Intermediate technique in jazz dance. May be repeated for credit. IV.3, V.6b.
DANC 211 (1)–Intermediate Modern Dance
Intermediate technique in modern dance. May be repeated for credit. IV.3, V.6b.
DANC 221 (3)–Dance History I
This course covers the history of dance from prehistory to 1830 and dance in world cultures. It focuses extensively on dance in non-West- ern societies including Japan, China, Pacific Islands, India, Africa, aboriginal Australia, South America, Native America, early Egypt and pre- historic Europe. It includes dance in Greece, Rome, medieval, Renaissance, and the early romantic period in Europe. One field trip to see Native American dancers. Offered alternate years. V.4, V.6a.
DANC 222 (3)–Dance History II
This course covers the history of dance from 1830 to the present. Romantic Ballet through Post Modern Dance is examined through his- toric and contemporary texts, film and video. Offered alternate years. V.1, V.6a.
DANC 223 (3)–Introduction to Dance Composition I
Co-requisite: DANC 107, DANC 109, DANC 111, DANC 207, DANC 209, DANC 211, or DANC 311. Basic elements of dance composi- tion; analyses of rhythmic movement in terms of space, time, and force. Emphasis on theme and development and on enlarging personal move- ment vocabulary. V.6b.
DANC 224 (3)–Introduction to Dance Composition II
Co-requisite: DANC 107, DANC 109, DANC 111, DANC 207,DANC 209, DANC 211, or DANC 311. Further development of the techniques and concepts introduced in DANC 223. V.6b.
DANC 261 (1, 2, or 3)–Directed Study
Prerequisites: One DANC course and permission of the instructor. The study of introduc- tory level material by an individual student or by a small group of students under the immediate supervision of a faculty member.
DANC 301 (3)–Intermediate Dance Composition I
Prerequisites: DANC 223 and DANC 224. Co-requisite: DANC 107, DANC 109, DANC 111, DANC 207, DANC 209, DANC 211, or DANC 31. Lectures and studio work in principles of movement as related to performing techniques. Experimentation with different con- temporary points of view. Solo and small group compositions. V.6b.
DANC 302 (3)–Intermediate Dance Composition II
Prerequisites: DANC 223 and DANC 224. Co-requisite: DANC 107, DANC 109, DANC 111, DANC 207, DANC 209, DANC 211, or DANC 311. Further development of the tech- niques and concepts introduced in DANC 301. V.6b.
DANC 311 (2)–Advanced Modern Dance Technique
Prerequisite: DANC 211. Concentrated work in dance technique on the performance level. May be repeated for credit. IV.3, V.6b.
DANC 351 (3)–Anatomy and Kinesiology
Prerequisite: First-year students with permission.This course covers the systematic study of skeletal and muscular systems of the human body; with anatomical analysis of basic movement patterns. It offers an introduction to somatic techniques to help develop more effi- cient use of the body. Lectures and laboratory. Offered alternate years.
DANC 361 (3)–Special Study
Prerequisites: DANC 223, DANC 224, and permission of the instructor. Study projects in group choreography, dance production and in dance-related areas such as anatomy, kinesiology, methods of teaching, history and music.
In addition to these offered courses, our visiting artist program and our association with the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) is a great benefit for our students. Last fall the department hosted a master class by performers from the Doug Varonne Dance Company. Meredith Monk, Bill T. Jones, Pilobolus, Bebe Miller, Alvin Ailey, and Erick Hawkins have all performed and taught master classes at Sweet Briar College. Clay Taliaferro, who was in Jose Limon's Company, is a frequent guest technique teacher. In the dance composition classes New York City composer Joelle Wallach shared some of her music for dance. The dance program sponsored two VCCA fellows, Dan Froot, a choreographer, and Walter Thompson, a composer, who worked together at the VCCA and then shared their ideas with Sweet Briar dancers. Many other VCCA fellows have shared their art with Sweet Briar dance over the years. Choreographers Sarah Skaggs, an alumnae of Sweet Briar College with her own dance company in New York City, and Victoria Marks, an award winning video dance choreographer from Los Angeles, both VCCA fellows, have spent considerable time with our students.
Visit the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts website at www.vcca.com