Minor inDance

Minoring in Dance involves studying the history, theory, science and technique of dance forms. Focusing on modern dance, jazz, and tap, you’ll explore dance as an art form that integrates the body, the mind and ultimately the spirit through the rigors of both theory and practice as you take 24 credit hours toward a dance minor in conjunction with a different bachelor’s degree major.

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Dance Curriculum Overview

Focusing on modern dance, jazz, and tap, you’ll explore dance as an art form that integrates the body, the mind and ultimately the spirit
through the rigors of both theory and practice as you take 24 credit
hours toward a dance minor in conjunction with a different bachelor’s
degree major.

Required: 24 Credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
THR - 160 Introduction to Dance 2
THR - 201 Dance for Musical Theatre 2
THR - 262 Modern Dance Technique 3
THR - 263 Jazz Dance Technique 3
THR - 364 Tap Dance Technique 3
THR - 365 Dance History 3
THR - 366 Choreography/Composition 3
THR - 367 Ballet Technique 3

This course will examine the fundamental principles, practices, and vocabulary of the basic movement skills of dance, introducing it as both an art form and exercise activity. The basics of modern, ballet, and jazz dance movement will be incorporated to provide a wide overview of dance history and practical technique through readings and studio movement participation. Students will be introduced to each dance style with a focus on body awareness and alignment. Warm ups and across the floor movement are incorporated to develop strength, flexibility, musicality, and coordination.

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Through the study and practice of the various styles of dance used on the musical theatre stage, such as ballet, modern, jazz, and tap, this course will focus on dance technique, character development through movement, and performance skills. Execution and exploration of choreographed pieces from musical theatre repertoire will be taught and performed in a final Student Showcase. Students will be introduced to a wide dance vocabulary as well as to the major contributors/choreographers of Musical Theatre. Prerequisite: May be repeated once as an elective which may count as a general elective or be credited to a theatre major.

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Students will be introduced to the basic movements, concepts, and technique of modern dance with a focus on breath, strength, alignment, and flexibility. Students will learn about the pioneers of modern dance (Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Doris Humphrey, Martha Graham) as well as the current contributors to the dance form, regarding their stylistic contributions and differences. Reading assignments and quizzes will be given in addition to the technique class. Students will learn and perform a modern dance piece during the semester and perform in a final student showcase.

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This course will introduce and practice the basic movement, dance terminology, and style of jazz dance technique, focusing on stretch, strength, body awareness, rhythmic ability, and coordination. An appreciation and study of the origins and evolution of jazz dance, along with its major contributors, will be emphasized. The technique class will focus on jazz dance vocabulary and steps, isolations, center combinations, and across the floor patterns. Students will learn a choreographed jazz dance and perform in a final student showcase.

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This course is an introduction to the fundamental vocabulary and technique of tap dance, its history as an art form, and its major contributors to the style. Students learn a basic technical foundation, with an emphasis on the building block steps (spank, shuffle, flap, cramp roll, Shim Sham, Maxie Ford) while also concentrating on proper articulation and execution of movement. Students work on a choreographed routine and perform in a final student showcase.

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A survey of dance history from origins in ancient civilizations up to the twentieth century, this course will examine the function of dance in a social, political, religious, and cultural context. Through text reading, research projects, and viewing, students will analyze the development of dance, its significance and role in history.

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This course will explore the process of dance making, by studying the principles of composition and the thematic development and organization of movement material. Students will work on and study basic choreographic elements and principles (rhythm, space, time, dynamics) using movement exploration, improvisation, and other creative skills to develop compositions, with a concentration on solo or small group dances, which will be performed in a final student showcase.

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This course will introduce the basics of classical ballet. Students will learn the basic positions of the feet and arms, fundamental ballet steps, and French terminology, through barre exercises, center floor work, and across the floor patterns. This class will also emphasize ballet vocabulary and style, proper body alignment, strength, flexibility, and musicality. Students will learn a choreographed ballet piece and perform in the final Student Showcase.

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An academic minor normally consists of 20 to 24 credits taken in courses in one area or related areas of study prescribed by the faculty.

Meet Your Professors

Jan Puffer Term Faculty in Theatre and Dance

Jan Puffer is a teacher, choreographer, and actress, recently cited by the 2008 City Pages as Best of the Twin Cities.

Career Potential

You’ll also have real opportunities to learn beyond the classroom, as the program culminates in a special performance for the public that will showcase your work. Because we design our dance program to be responsive to the exact needs of the marketplace, it will be a relevant major if you’re considering a career as a dancer, choreographer, actor, athlete or other performance-related professional.

  • Actor/Actress
  • Art Director
  • Choreographer
  • Costume Designer
  • Dancer Director
  • Lighting Designer
  • Multimedia Artist and Animator
  • Playwright
  • Scene Shop Supervisor
  • Set Designer
  • Stage Manager
  • Technical Director
  • Theatre Manager

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