Department of Dance

http://www.towson.edu/dance

OFFICE

Center for the Arts 1002, 410-704-2760
Fax: 410-704-3752

PROGRAMS OF THE DEPARTMENT

The Towson University Department of Dance advocates Dancing for a Lifetime by challenging students to examine and refine their approaches to the arts of dancing, choreography, and dance education. Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in dance are expected to develop the knowledge, skills, concepts and sensitivities essential to the artist in the field of dance. To fulfill various professional responsibilities, the dance artist must exhibit not only technique competence, but also broad knowledge of dance and dance repertory, the ability to integrate dance-related knowledge and skills, sensitivity to dance and musical styles, and an insight into the role of dance intellectual, education, and cultural life.

B.F.A. majors in dance adhere to rigorous standards for merging technique with performance by maintaining a state of mind and body that is focused, purposeful and appropriately nuanced with expression. Majors learn a variety of approaches for taking dances from the studio to the stage that are somatically sound, choreographically consistent, and artistically excellent.

Towson University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) since 1984. It fulfills a state and national need for dance performers, choreographers and teachers trained in 21st-century skills. National and international artists bring their choreography and pedagogical practices as faculty and guest artists to prepare dancers for a lifetime of dancing.

As stated in the NASD Standards for Accreditation Handbook 2006: page 41 VIII.A.2 Purpose for all Professional Baccalaureate Degrees in Dance: “B.F.A. Students enrolled in professional undergraduate degrees in dance are expected to develop the knowledge, skills, concepts and sensitivities essential to the artist in the field of dance. To fulfill various professional responsibilities, the dance artist must exhibit not only technique competence, but also broad knowledge of dance and dance repertory, the ability to integrate dance-related knowledge and skills, sensitivity to dance and musical styles, and an insight into the role of dance intellectual, education and cultural alike.”

Auditioned Dance majors may elect to take courses that will enable them to meet university, college and Maryland teacher certification requirements in the PreK-12 Dance Education Concentration.

The Department of Dance offers opportunities in leadership, entrepreneurial partnerships, internships, honors programs, national honors and service programs.

TRANSFER CREDIT POLICY

Students transferring from other institutions must complete a minimum of 20 units of their dance course requirements at Towson University.

Most students take three years to complete the BFA Dance program after transferring to Towson University.

SCHOLARSHIPS

To qualify for a dance recruitment scholarship, or for a COFAC Dean’s scholarship, students must successfully pass the pre-dance audition, be accepted into the major, be full-time Dance majors, and be nominated by a dance faculty member.

The terms/criteria for automatic renewal of Dance Recruitment and COFAC Dean’s scholarships offered to Dance majors at Towson University are as follows:

  1. For the Foundational First-Year Courses, a GPA of a 3.00 (B) or higher must be maintained.
  2. For the B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography a 2.50 GPA in Dance major courses must be maintained.
  3. For the B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography and who also are candidates for the PreK-12 Dance Education Concentration must have  an overall GPA of 2.75 and a GPA of 3.00 (B) in the major. Students whose GPA falls below this minimum requirement will automatically lose all scholarship awards. Once students have re-established an overall GPA of 2.75 and a GPA of 3.00 in the major, the remainder of their scholarships from that date forward to graduation will be reinstated.
  4. Perform a minimum of once per year and be registered in DANC 481.
  5. Demonstrate and exemplify a behavioral understanding of the relationship between rights and responsibilities within the classroom, rehearsal, and all other aspects of the profession.
  6. Participate fully in all aspects of the major.
  7. Annual scholarship renewal evaluation by the Department of Dance faculty.

Admission To The Screened Major 

The Department of Dance accepts pre-Dance majors who have passed one of the auditions in October, November, and February.

Students missing the auditions, choosing not to audition or not passing the audition by May 1 will be moved to the category of “open”. These students will be encouraged to take non-major dance classes and audition or re-audition in their freshman year to join a cohort with first-year pre-dance majors.

Foundational First-Year Dance Experience include the following courses:

Fall Term
TSEM 102TOWSON SEMINAR3
DANC 227LEVEL I MODERN2
DANC 223LEVEL I BALLET2
DANC 245SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR MOVEMENT I3
ENGL 102WRITING FOR A LIBERAL EDUCATION3
ORIEFirst-Year Orientation0
Spring Term
DANC 224LEVEL I BALLET2
DANC 228LEVEL I MODERN2
DANC 345SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR MOVEMENT II2
DANC 126MUSICAL CONCEPTS FOR DANCERS3
DANC 235DANCE COMPOSITION I3
DANC 216SOPHOMORE CREW1
Total Units26

Dance Company (3) and Repertory (3) courses are popular, encouraged, and count as electives for graduation.

Dr. Susan Kirchner is the First-Year Adviser for newly auditioned first-year and transfer pre-Dance majors. The Foundational courses encompass knowledge in dance technique, performance, history, music, anatomy/kinesiology, and production.

A student must earn a 3.00 GPA (B average) or better in the Foundational courses (total 26 units), as highlighted above.

After the Foundational First Year, Dance majors must maintain a 2.50 GPA in dance courses to be eligible for graduation with a major in Dance.

Acceptance into the university is required for acceptance into the major. Applications for audition can be accessed via the website. Applications for a certain audition date are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students may only audition twice for the major. If students are accepted into the Dance major and do not attend the following fall, they must petition the faculty for later acceptance.

Admission to the K-12 Certification Option and Internship

  1. admission to the university;
  2. admission to the major;
  3. a personal interview;
  4. completion of a Criminal Background Disclosure Form that must be notarized and kept on file in the Center for Professional Practice (CPP);
  5. completion of a criminal background check that must be kept on file in the CPP before the student enters into an intensive/extensive internship in a public or private school setting (pre-K through 12);
  6. Required standardized test scores reflecting one of the following:
    • a passing score on Praxis I (as determined by the Maryland State Department of Education);
    • SAT taken after 2005, math and critical reading composite score of 1100;
    • or ACT composite score of 24.
  7. successful completion of the speech and hearing test by spring term of first year, and
  8. Education Psychology taken by fall of second year.

All eight items listed above are prerequisites for the internship application. Continuance in the program requires the maintenance of an overall GPA of 2.50 and a GPA of 2.75 in major classes each term, the maintenance of a current membership in the National Dance Education Organization, and maintenance of behaviors and attitudes set forth by Towson University’s Conceptual Framework for Professional Education.

Dance Courses

DANC 101 THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE (3)

An examination of the psychophysical pressures of contemporary American life and the application of the Alexander Technique as a method to investigate issues of body/mind disciplines and alleviate tension and stress. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. GenEd II.B.3 or Core: Arts & Humanities.

DANC 102 YOGA (2)

A Yoga practice that will develop techniques to enhance strength, flexibility and body/mind awareness; including breathing, postures, concentration, relaxation, yoga history and philosophy.

DANC 104 AERIAL DANCE TECHNIQUE (2)

A study of the basic technique skills in aerial dance on single point low-flying trapeze. Additional skills include choreographic techniques, improvisation and a historical overview of aerial dance. Can be repeated for additional credit for a maximum of 8 units.

DANC 105 MOVEMENT SKILLS ENHANCEMENT FOR MEN (3)

Using movement techniques to improve athletic and movement skills. Core: Arts & Humanities or GenEd II.B.3.

DANC 106 FUNDAMENTALS OF DANCE MOVEMENT FOR NON-MAJORS (3)

Floor and standing work to develop upper/lower connectivity, increased rotation, efficient movement patterns, and proper support for dance movement. GenEd II.B.3 or Core: Creativity.

DANC 109 JAZZ DANCE I (2)

American jazz dance as traced historically through movement from Afro-Caribbean and vaudeville forms to Broadway show styles from the 1920's through the 1950's. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 111 TAP DANCE I (2)

A beginning study of the technical fundamentals of tap dance. Includes basic one and two sound movements performed at the barre and simple rhythmic combinations in center. Also includes time steps and simple turns. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 122 DANCE IN THE EUROPEAN COURT (3)

European court concert dance as a cultural phenomenon, methods of training, evolution of ballet aesthetics, and building a world view through movement.

DANC 124 BALLET FOR NON-MAJORS (2)

Classical ballet class with emphasis on placement and alignment of the body, turn-out, footwork, barre work, simple allegro movements, adagio, and grande allegro movements required in the establishment of a basic technical foundation. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 125 INTRODUCTION TO DANCE: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE (3)

Dance as a global cultural phenomenon, methods of training, evolution of dance aesthetics, and building a worldview through movement. Field experiences may be required. Core: Global Perspectives or GenEd II.C.1.

DANC 126 MUSICAL CONCEPTS FOR DANCERS (3)

An introduction to basic music skills and concepts of rhythm and its appropriate application to dance composition, movement, performance and education environments. Students will explore, perform, analyze, create, evaluate and respond to musical experiences for the purpose of developing musical skills and concepts. An awareness and understanding of varied genres of music will be developed as appropriate to the expectations of becoming a dance professionals and/or a dance educator. Prerequisites: Pre-Dance status only, special permit required.

DANC 127 INTRODUCTION TO DANCE: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE (3)

American concert modern dance as a cultural phenomenon, methods of training, evolution of modern dance aesthetics, and building a world view through movement. Field experiences may be required. GenEd II.B.1 or Core: The United States as a Nation.

DANC 128 MODERN DANCE FOR NON-MAJORS (2)

Course work in modern dance technique as derived in part from principles of the American founders of modern dance. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 130 DANCE AND MYTH (3)

Historical survey of mythological themes in dance in the Western tradition through readings, videos, and movement experiences. Emphasis on the hero cycle and individuation. GenEd II.C.1 or Core Category: Arts & Humanities.

DANC 133 HONORS INTRODUCTION TO DANCE: EUROPEAN COURT (3)

European court concert dance as a cultural phenomenon, methods of training, evolution of ballet aesthetics, and building a world view through movement. Field experiences may be required. GenEd II.C.1.

DANC 200 OUR DANCE CORRIDOR: A BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON SAMPLER (3)

Experiencing American culture through theatrical dance performances in Baltimore and the surrounding area. Field trips are required. GenEd II.B.1.

DANC 201 METHODS OF TEACHING DANCE: DEVELOPMENTAL MOVEMENT (2)

Movement-based experiences in developmental stages of children; motor actions, personality development, spatial organization, and emerging literacy. Prerequisite: PSYC 201.

DANC 209 JAZZ DANCE II (2)

A continuation of Broadway show styles from the early 1960's to the present day. Includes study of contemporary jazz technique with emphasis on rock, funky, lyric and percussive movement. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisites: DANC 109 or consent of instructor.

DANC 210 THE GENDER DANCE (3)

Historical survey of gender roles in dance in the Western tradition through readings, videos, and movement experiences. Emphasis is on the cultural lenses of audience members and transformations of stereotypes over time. Prerequisite: ENGL 102. Core: Diversity & Difference.

DANC 211 TAP II (2)

A continued study of tap dance including complex rhythms, tempi, barre and center work. New movements include wings, trenches, riffs and advanced turns. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisite: DANC 111.

DANC 216 SOPHOMORE CREW (1)

Formal crew work, including experiential training in the set-up, operation and/or strike for the TU Dance Company mainstage productions. Prerequisite: DANC 263.

DANC 220 USING INFORMATION EFFECTIVELY IN DANCE (3)

Gathering, evaluating, and communicating information from traditional and electronic sources germane to dance.

DANC 223 LEVEL I BALLET (2)

Elementary classical ballet technique: classical form, static and dynamic alignment, rotation, weight shift, breath support, and level change with application to classical ballet vocabulary. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 224 LEVEL I BALLET (2)

Elementary classical ballet technique: classical form, static and dynamic alignment, rotation, weight shift, breath support, and level change with application to classical ballet vocabulary. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 227 LEVEL I MODERN (2)

Study of elementary modern dance technique: level change, weight shift, dynamic alignment, breath support and expression, and application of modern dance vocabulary. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 228 LEVEL I MODERN (2)

Study of elementary modern dance technique: level change, weight shift, dynamic alignment, breath support and expression, and application of modern dance vocabulary. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 235 DANCE COMPOSITION I (3)

Introduce interdisciplinary relationships with movement invention; improvisation and personal exploration and performance form will help investigate personal idiosyncratic ways of moving with effort and body preference. GenEd I.E or Core: Creativity & Creative Development.

DANC 245 SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR MOVEMENT I (3)

Introduction to anatomical, physiological and biomechanical principles of human movement and applying these principles to body alignment and movement for dance. Not open to students who have successfully completed DANC 106. Prerequisites: majors only, special permit required.

DANC 250 METHODS OF TEACHING DANCE: TECHNIQUE (2)

Designed to provide students with the ability to integrate their professional Studies of technical and conceptual content knowledge with the current best practice for teaching dance technique. Dance majors only. Prerequisites: junior level standing or above; only PreK-12 Dance Concentrations Majors must have completed DANC 201.

DANC 263 DANCE DESIGN AND PRODUCTION (3)

Costume, lighting, make-up, management, scenery, safety, sound and rigging techniques and practices. Not open to students who successfully completed THEA 263.

DANC 304 MODERN AERIAL REPERTORY (3)

Students learn original aerial repertory (a dance) from the instructor, collaborate on the creation, and perform this work during the semester. Prerequisite: DANC 104.

DANC 310 JAZZ DANCE III (2)

A continued study of contemporary jazz technique with emphasis on performance of styles used on the concert stage, television and motion pictures. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 316 JUNIOR CREW (1)

Informal crew work, including experiential training in the set-up, operation and strike for non-TU Dance Company mainstage productions. Prerequisite: DANC 216.

DANC 321 RESPONDING TO DANCE (3)

Advanced writing course using a variety of dance eras, genres, and cultures. Requires grade of C or better to fulfill Core or GenEd requirement. Prerequisites: junior/senior standing; ENGL 102 or ENGL 190; TSEM 102. Core: Advanced Writing Seminar or GenEd I.D.

DANC 323 LEVEL II BALLET (3)

Continued study of classical ballet technique: emphasis on exploring and embodying a particular world view; including intermediate level enchainments, shifting weight, physically and musically connecting movement sequences, sequencing combinations designed to develop both strength and flexibility. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisite: dance majors only, special permit required.

DANC 324 LEVEL II BALLET (3)

Continued study of classical ballet technique: emphasis on exploring and embodying a particular world view; including intermediate level enchainments, shifting weight, physically and musically connecting movement sequences, sequencing combinations designed to develop both strength and flexibility. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisite: Dance majors only, special permit required.

DANC 327 LEVEL II MODERN (3)

Continued study of intermediate modern dance technique; emphasis on exploring and embodying a particular world view, including expanded movement vocabulary involving sequences of greater complexity-kinesthetically, spatially and musically. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisite: Dance majors only, special permit required.

DANC 328 LEVEL II MODERN (3)

Continued study of intermediate modern dance technique; emphasis on exploring and embodying a particular world view, including expanded movement vocabulary involving sequences of greater complexity-kinesthetically, spatially and musically. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisite: Dance majors only, special permit required.

DANC 335 DANCE COMPOSITION II (2)

Focuses on metaphor and memory embodiment with an introduction to compositional structures. Attention to showing artistic works that support craft concepts while interviewing choreographers and introducing risk taking. Prerequisites: DANC 235 and Department Consent required.

DANC 336 DANCE COMPOSITION III (2)

Focuses on content/intent/form: Metaphor and memory embodiment continues with activity on the construction/deconstruction/reconstruction of material in an atmosphere of risk taking and collaborative investigation. Prerequisites: DANC 335 and Dance Department Consent required.

DANC 341 POINTE TECHNIQUE I (2)

Basics of pointe (toe) work essential to students whose interest is in total comprehension of the elements necessary to the performance of classical ballet. Includes work to strengthen the ankles and insteps, and acclimation of body weight and placement sur les pointes. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisite: DANC 223, DANC 224.

DANC 342 POINTE TECHNIQUE II (2)

Continuum of Pointe Technique I with emphasis on tempi, allegro combinations, enchainments au milieu, and barre supported adage. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

DANC 343 MEN'S BALLET TECHNIQUE (2)

Continued study of classical ballet through the lens of male technique: emphasis on exploring and embodying a particular world view, including skills and vocabulary. Can be repeated for a maximum of 8 units.

DANC 345 SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR MOVEMENT II (2)

Continued study of the anatomical, biomechanical, developmental and qualitative principles of human movement and applying these principles to increase movement function and expression for dance. Not open to students who have successfully completed DANC 421. Prerequisites: Majors only, special permit required.

DANC 346 SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF ANALYSES OF MOVEMENT III (1)

Designed to reintroduce and reinforce the student's somatic principles learned in DANC 345 and enhance the integration of this material into the student's intermediate / advanced technique course work. Prerequisites: DANC 245 and DANC 345.

DANC 350 METHODS OF TEACHING DANCE (3)

A developmental approach to the teaching of creative movement and dance to children grades K-12. Includes lesson and unit planning, observation, peer teaching, assessment and reading and writing in the content area. Prerequisite: DANC 201.

DANC 370 SPECIAL TOPICS IN DANCE (1-3)

Workshops and courses designed for study of special topics in dance not available in existing courses. Examples: Principles and Practices of Auditioning, Dance Repertory, Seminar in Dance Education, etc. Will be offered depending on student and faculty interest and availability. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits provided a different topic is covered.

DANC 383 MODERN DANCE REPERTORY (3)

Concentrated study of historical and current repertory in modern dance, culminating in (a) performance(s). May be repeated for a maximum of 12 units.

DANC 384 BALLET REPERTORY (3)

Concentrated study of historical, current, or new repertory in ballet, culminating in (a) performance(s). May be repeated for a maximum of 12 units.

DANC 423 LEVEL III BALLET (3)

Continued study of classical ballet technique; advanced level enchainments, standard classical divertissement and style distinctions including progression of technical complexities and approaches to contemporary ballet stylizations. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units.

DANC 424 LEVEL III BALLET (3)

Continued study of classical ballet technique; advanced level enchainments, standard classical divertissement and style distinctions including progression of technical complexities and approaches to contemporary ballet stylizations. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units.

DANC 427 LEVEL III MODERN (3)

Continued study of advanced modern dance technique utilizing complex movement and sequences. Focus on interpretation and performances. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units.

DANC 428 LEVEL III MODERN (3)

Continued study of advanced modern dance technique utilizing complex movement and sequences. Focus on interpretation and performances. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units.

DANC 436 DANCE COMPOSITION IV: FOR THE PROSCENIUM (2)

Focusees on the creation and production of a collaborative work for the stage: attention to risk-taking and combining movement with sound/text/light. Not open to students who have successfully completed DANC 435. Prerequisites: DANC 336 and Department Consent.

DANC 437 DANCE COMPOSITION V: FOR THE CAMERA (3)

Focuses on the creation andn production of an interdisciplinary and collaborative work specific to movement for the camera. Not open to students who have successfully completed DANC 435. Prerequisites: DANC 336 and Department Consent. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

DANC 450 METHODS OF TEACHING DANCE: POLICY AND ADVOCACY (2)

Examination of strategies for dance arts advocacy and dance education policies in public school contexts. Prerequisite: permission of instructor by special departmental permit.

DANC 480 SENIOR PROJECT: SEMINAR (2)

Focuses compositional tools that create choreography on dancer(s). The students draft a product for adjudicated feedback from the dance faculty. Preparation for producing a dance concert or lecture-demonstration includes planning, programming, technical production, box office management, budgeting, publicity, and documentation. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: DANC 263, DANC 316, DANC 336; senior Dance major standing; and Department Consent.

DANC 481 DANCE COMPANY (3)

Study and performance of advanced compositions, including works by professional guest choreographers in ballet, modern, and jazz/musical theatre style culminating in a performance(s). Course may be repeated for a maximum of 24 units.

DANC 490 INTERNSHIP IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (6)

Ten to twelve weeks, full-time, in public school classrooms under the guidance of master teachers. Conferences with the university supervisor. Graded S/U.

DANC 491 SENIOR PROJECT: CONCERT/LECTURE DEMONSTRATION (3)

Student-directed concert and/or lecture-demonstration production; publicly produced in the spring semester of the senior year. Students are required to perform and choreograph as part of their senior capstone experience. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: DANC 480, Dance Majors only, and Department Consent.

DANC 492 PRACTICUM IN DANCE TECHNIQUE (1-6)

Student directed studio course work in dance technique at a departmentally approved professional training school or program. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 hours.

DANC 493 PRO-SEMINAR IN THE TEACHING OF DANCE (1)

Critical analysis of curriculum, instruction, and assessment procedures related to the promotion of literacy with movement and dance education in the context of the student internship. Prerequisites: Taken concurrently with DANC 391 and DANC 392; Dance majors only; special permit. Graded SU.

DANC 494 INTERNSHIP IN SECONDARY SCHOOL (6)

Practical experience in observation, participation, and student teaching in public school situation. Graded S/U.

DANC 495 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN DANCE (1-3)

Self-directed study of an academic or creative project designed to focus on a specialized area of dance. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units.

Interdisciplinary Studies Courses

IDFA 201 AMERICAN VISION: BALTIMORE VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS (3)

American culture through experiencing visual and performing arts of Baltimore. Includes field trips. GenEd II.B.1.

IDFA 203 CREATIVITY IN THE FINE ARTS (3)

An application of the creative process through the arts. GenEd I.E.

IDFA 207 APPLIED ETHICS AND AESTHETICS IN FINE ARTS AND COMMUNICATIONS (3)

Ethical issues and dilemmas encountered by consumers and practitioners of the arts and communication, specifically music, dance, theater, art, electronic media, film, mass communication and communication studies. Not open to students who successfully completed IDFA 205. GenEd IIB3.

IDFA 401 MOTION DESIGN (3)

Directed lab experience on the computer in concept and application of design for broadcast design, motion graphics and multimedia. Prerequisites: ART 217 or EMF 275.

IDFA 470 INTERDISCIPLINARY FINE ARTS SPECIAL TOPICS SEMINAR (3)

An in-depth study in a selected area dependent upon faculty and student interest. May be repeated for a total of 9 units provided a different topic is taken. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

IDFA 480 TOPICS IN ARTS, MEDIA, COMMUNICATION, AND SOCIAL ACTION (3)

A multidisciplinary and collaborative service-learning seminar that explores complex problems of the Baltimore metropolitan region. Includes creative projects and fieldwork with civic, community, and/or non-profit organizations. Topics vary and could include homelessness, domestic violence, drug abuse, disabilities, housing, education, health issues, and welfare. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units when a different topic is covered. Prerequisites: junior/senior standing or consent of instructor.

IDFA 493 INTERDISCIPLINARY FINE ARTS INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-6)

Directed study through readings, projects, papers, and/or seminars. May be repeated for a total of no more than 12 units. Graded S/U.

Faculty

Professors: Mary Susan Kirchner (Chairperson), Jaye Knutson, Susan Mann

Associate Professors: Trudy Cobb Dennard, Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, Catherine Horta-Hayden, Sandra Perez, Vincent Thomas

Lecturers: Runqiao Du, Nancy Wanich-Romita