Academic Program

The Department of Theater and Dance offers a major and a minor in dance. Integrating both theory and practice within the framework of a liberal arts education, the curriculum develops an understanding of art and culture through the lens of dance. With a variety of performing, choreographic, and individualized study opportunities, the dance program nurtures artistic independence, interdisciplinarity, and above all, a strong supportive community.

Major Requirements


Written and Portfolio Capstone/Thesis a total of 11 credits is required.
Performance and Choreography Thesis a total of 12 credits is required.

1) Creative Process.
Students undertaking a written thesis in dance complete at least two courses from this list. Students undertaking a choreographic thesis complete at least three courses from the list, one of which must be DANC 351 or the equivalent, completed before the thesis is begun. Students engaging in a performance thesis complete at least three courses from this list including DANC 253, taken twice.
AV/TH 221. Performance Art.
DANC 151. Making Dances.
DANC 251. Making Dances II.
DANC 253. Dance Repertory.
DANC 351. Composition Seminar.
DN/ED s29. Tour, Teach, Perform.

2) Cultural Context.
Two courses from the following:
AF/DN 252. Contemporary Issues in Dance.
DANC 250. Dance History.
FYS 437. Arts in Performance.
INDS 305. Art, Power, Politics.
INDS 342. Performance, Narrative, and the Body.

Note: The following courses can be used to fulfill either 1) Creative Process or 2) Cultural Context:
DANC 245. Dance Pedagogy.
DANC 262 Embodying Activism: Performing a Living Definition
DN/TH s13. Body/Site/Create: Site-Specific Performance.

3) Physical Practice.
Must include courses in at least three different forms (e.g., DANC 240; 270: modern, jazz, ballet, improvisation, hip hop, flamenco, partnering, pilates, etc.)

4) Production and Design.
One course in theater production or design from the following (THEA 232 is recommended):
THEA 130. Introduction to Design.
THEA 132. Theater Technology.
THEA 232. Lighting Design.
THEA 233. Costume Design.
THEA 236. Pattern Drafting and Draping.
THEA 295. Stage Management for the Performing Arts.

5) Arts Elective.
One to three additional credits additional credit in dance, theater, music, art and visual culture, or EDUC 265, Teaching through the Arts.

6) DANC 300. Bates Dance Festival. Majors undertaking a thesis capstone must participate in at least one Bates Dance Festival, a three-week residential dance immersion that takes place during the summer. Students are encouraged to participate more than once. DANC 300 is optional for students undertaking a capstone portfolio.

7) Thesis Capstone Portfolio. One of the following:
a) Capstone portfolio (no [W3] credit)
b) Written thesis
c) Performance thesis
d) Choreographic thesis

8) Performance participation in a minimum of four faculty, guest artist, or thesis dance pieces at the college or at the Bates Dance Festival. DANC 253 also satisfies this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to confirm the completion of this requirement.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

The use of the pass/fail option is restricted to one course within the major.

Study Abroad


Dance majors who intend to study abroad should consult with their advisor well in advance of their junior year.

Minor Requirements


1) Creative Process.
Two of the following:
AV/TH 221. Performance Art.
DANC 151. Making Dances.
DANC 251. Making Dances II.
DANC 253. Dance Repertory.
DANC 351. Composition Seminar.
DN/ED s29. Tour, Teach, Perform.
THEA 261. Beginning Acting.

2) Cultural Context.
One of the following:
AF/DN 252. Contemporary Issues in Dance.
DANC 250. Dance History.
FYS 437. Arts in Performance.
INDS 305. Art, Culture, and Politics.
INDS 342. Performance, Narrative, and the Body.

Note: the following courses can be used to fulfill either 1) Creative Process or 2) Cultural Context:
DANC 245. Dance Pedagogy.
DN/TH s13. Body/Site/Create: Site-Specific Performance.

3) Physical practice (2 credits)
Must include courses in two different forms (e.g., DANC 240; 270: modern, jazz, ballet, improvisation, hip hop, flamenco, partnering, pilates, etc.)

4) One additional course in dance, theater, music, or art and visual culture, or EDUC 265, Teaching through the Arts. Participation in the DANC 300, Bates Dance Festival, is strongly recommended.

5) Performance participation in a minimum of two faculty, guest artist, or thesis dance pieces at the college or at the Bates Dance Festival. DANC 253 also satisfies this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to confirm the completion of this requirement.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

The use of the pass/fail option is restricted to one course within the minor.