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Dance

Dance Performance & Choreography Major

Dance at Spelman is a critical and creative thinking laboratory that nurtures women of the African Diaspora. Students investigate intersections of experimental creative practices, cultural discourse, and technology. The curriculum centers on the choreographic process through the lens of black feminist theories, contemporary dance techniques, and interdisciplinary collaborative practice.  

The faculty includes globally recognized working artists who mentor and guide students through scholarship, artistic production, and entrepreneurial strategies. The department cultivates freethinkers and intelligent movers interested in becoming creators, innovators, writers, historians, and scholars within the evolving field of dance.

Learning Objectives

KNOWLEDGE & CRITICAL THINKING
Engage in dance as a mode of inquiry, knowledge production, and critical thinking through embodied creative process, theoretical research, literature, and performance.

HISTORICAL/CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES
Articulate-orally, in written form, and through embodied practice -historical and contemporary sociocultural contexts of dance practice.

CHOREOGRAPHIC PROCESS
Demonstrate high level choreographic skills to investigate, engage in, and develop creative processes.

PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION PRACTICE
Demonstrate ability to self-generate professional opportunities and creative spaces, and maneuver within various concert, commercial, and social communities locally, regionally, and internationally.

Major Requirements

The dance major consists of 50 semester credits. The major is divided into four areas: Technique, Theory, Choreographic Process, and Performance. Students majoring in dance are required to take seven technique classes, including Improvisation, all of the courses in the Theory and Choreographic Process areas, four semesters of Dance Performance-the academic frame for Spelman Dance Theatre (SDT)-and two major electives.

General Core Wellness Requirements
All 1 credit dance technique classes may be taken to fulfill the Wellness Requirement for non-dance majors and minors. For dance majors and minors, all 1 credit dance technique classes may be taken to fulfill the Wellness Requirement for dance majors after completion of your required technique credits.

All 1st & 2nd Year Dance Majors Must Take Arts Division Seminar (0 credits)


    Technique - (7 credits total)

    • SDAN 171 Improvisation (1)

      Choose 6 technique classes from the following list:
    • SDAN 111 Beginning Ballet (1)
    • SDAN 121 African Dance Forms (1)
    • SDAN 122 West African Rhythms & Dances (1)
    • SDAN 131 Beginning Contemporary Modern Dance (1)
    • SDAN 161 Principles of Jazz (1)
    • SDAN 202 Jazz Funk (1)
    • SDAN 215 Intermediate/Advanced Ballet (1)
    • SDAN 233 Intermediate Contemporary Modern Dance (1)
    • SDAN 252 Commercial Hip Hop (1)
    • SDAN 333 Advanced Contemporary Modern Dance (1)
     

    Theory - (19 credits total)

    • DAN 105 Dance Perspectives and Process (4)
    • DAN 203 Critical Writing for Dance (4)
    • DAN 206 Navigating the Business of Dance (3)
    • DAN 211 Dance, Community and Social Change (4) OR
      DAN 300 The Art of Teaching Dance (4)
    • DAN 241 Black Presence in American Dance (4)

    Choreographic Process - (12 credits total)

    • SDAN 201 Choreographic Process I: Solo/Womanist Theories (3)
    • SDAN 201L Choreographic Process I Lab (1)
    • SDAN 301 Choreographic Process II: Group/Art as Activism (4)
    • SDAN 401 Choreographic Process Ill: lnterdiscipl. Collaboration (2)
    • SDAN 494 Capstone Experience/Directed Studies (2)

    Performance - (4 credits total)

    • SDAN 200 Dance Performance (Spelman Dance Theatre) (1)

    Major Electives - (8 credits total)

    • SDAN 209 Contemplative Practices and the Arts (4)
    • SDAN 211 Dance, Community and Social Change (4)
    • SDAN 262 Dance for Camera (4)
    • SDAN 300 The Art of Teaching Dance (4)
    • SDAN 377 Women in Dance: Sexism, Sexuality and Subversion (4)
    • SDAN 396 Choreographing Lives: Women's Auto/biography and Dance (4)


    The following courses meet the Divisional Arts Requirement

    • (105) Dance Perspectives and Process (4)
    • (203) Critical Writing for Dance (also WI) (4)
    • (211) Dance, Community & Social Change (4)
    • (241) Black Presence in American Dance (4)
     

    Please refer to the latest  Dance Performance & Choreography Major Requirements for full requirements and course descriptions.

     

    Suggested Course Progression

    First Year

    Fall
    Spring


    African Diaspora & the World  (4)
    African Diaspora & the World  (4)
    World Language  (4)
    World Language  (4) 
    English Composition  (4)
    Creative Coding (Computer Science Req.)  - (4)
    First Year Experience  (1)
    First year Colloquia  (1)
    Dance Perspectives & Process  (4)
    First Year Experience  (1)
    Improvisation  (1)
    Black Presence in American Dance  (4)
    Division of the Arts Seminar  (0)
    Division of the Arts Seminar  (0)
    Total Credits = 18
    Total Credits = 18


    Second  Year

    Fall
    Spring


    Arts Requirement  (4)
    Humanities Requirement  (4)
    Natural Science  (4)
    Int’l/Women’s Studies Requirement  (4) 
    Sophomore Year Experience  (1)
    Sophomore Year Experience  - (1)
    Choreographic Process I + Lab  (4)
    Critical Writing for Dance (4)
    Dance Technique  (1)
    First Year Experience  (1)
    Spelman Dance Theatre  (1)
    Dance Technique  (1)
    Division of the Arts Seminar  (0)
    Spelman Dance Theatre  (0)
    Total Credits = 15
    Total Credits = 15

    Third  Year

    Fall
    Spring


    Math  (4)

    Navigating the Business of Dance  (3)
    Choreographic Process II  (4) 
    Dance Theory or Elective (Dance, Community & Social Change; or Choreographing Lives)  - (4)
    Dance Theory or Elective (The Art of Teaching Dance; or Dance for Camera)  - (4)
    Dance Technique  (1)
    Dance Technique  (1)
    Spelman Dance Theatre  (1)
    Spelman Dance Theatre  (1)
    Division of the Arts Seminar  (0)
    Division of the Arts Seminar  (0)
    Total Credits = 13
    Total Credits = 10

    Fourth  Year

    Fall
    Spring


    Social Science  (4)
    Elective  (4)
    Elective  (4)
    Elective  (4) 
    Elective (4)
    Dance Capstone  (2)
    Choreographic Process III  (2)
    Dance Technique  (1)
    Dance Technique (Wellness Credit)  (1)
    Dance Technique (Wellness Credit)  (1)

    Dance Technique  (1)
    Total Credits = 15
    Total Credits = 13

    Contact Us

    Dance Performance & Choreography Department
    350 Spelman Lane, Box 1499
    Atlanta, Georgia 30314-4399
    404-270-5471
    Mhawkin2@spelman.edu

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