Details for Fall 2020 Dance Courses

Dear Dancers,

I thought it might be helpful to make a help sheet for DANCE courses since things are a bit different this year. My calendar is kept up so if you find a time that works for you I would love to catch up face to face. There has been a lot going on this summer and we will have plenty to talk about. 

Here are answers to some of the questions you might have: 

Studio dance classes numbers 270 with a letter are .5 credit classes that concentrate primarily on the physical practice in a particular style. This semester we have modern I /improv (combined), ballet I, ballet III, hip hop, and musical theater jazz course,  and an intermediate advanced class called Repertory styles that runs through both of the modules and works with guest artists.

DANC 270a – Modern I and DANC 270i – Improvisation are going to be merged this semester. We were short a teacher and short a space and there is much overlap in the two areas anyway so I am putting them together into one course.  Sorry about any inconvenience for people signed up for both – you will be able to do only one or the other.  Please contact if you need to talk about alternatives. 

All of the studio classes will have some in person time (in masks and socially distances) and outdoor time so we can take off masks and sweat a bit. There will also be individual work on your own time with both watching and practicing. We are trying to be flexible and above all safe in the studio. 

Below are some of the content changes and logistical details for the 3 full credit courses this Fall.  I am putting expanded descriptions in here because the catalog has very generic descriptions that were made before the world turned upside down this Spring and Summer

I am just putting out there as well that if you have a dream or a great idea or something you passionately want to do instead of a requirement to fill for your major or minor – talk to me. There is no point in pretending that we are going to replicate normal so let’s use this opportunity to step out of the box and find what we find. I would love to think with you about what excites you  in learning through dance.

DANC 151: Making Dances: For Screens and People – taught by Vanessa Anspaug (new)

 (new name and new ideologies for Intro to Comp. It will fulfill all of the same requirements)

*Note to students who have taken 251 or 351.  We are using it to create community for those who are doing creative processes even if they have more experience. It is a place for those in 251 who did not get to finish their pieces and are interested in making something again with the support of a community,  If you have taken 151 before you will be able to take this again as an independent study because it will be a very different course.

Making Dances: For Screens and People- Extended description from Vanessa Anspaug 

No prior experience in any particular kind of dance is needed. This is an intro level course on the art and practice of creating dance and body based performance, (in the time of Covid). Working in response to the moment we are in, we will embrace these limitations as opportunities for deepening our avenues of personal and collective expression intended for the stage, the screen, as well as public and private spaces (in our homes, parks, streets, etc).  Students will generate movement material drawing from their own cultural embodied histories (both dance, and or pedestrian) as well as well as other contemporary dance techniques. We will be using imagination, improvisation and source exploration; manipulation of movement using principles of composition; creation and performance of short movement and video studies. We will also spend time in deep observation, critical analysis of material, and self-reflection in spoken, written and abstracted forms. Students will utilize an approach of creative inquiry toward their own movement processes. This approach provides opportunities and challenges that stretch the imagination about what they can explore, say, represent, and ask through dance and the movement of bodies in space and on the screen. Assignments will encourage the wellbeing of the whole person through the physical, intellectual, and affective activity of self-expression and group interaction that occurs through art making and building a dance making community. Methods of learning include, guided warm-ups and simple technique conditioning, guided improvisations, solo and small group presentations, written assignments, lots of video performance viewings, observation, and class discussion. As a part of this course, students will also learn basic camera and video editing skills intended to support their movement based creations. Students will develop an understanding of the choreographic/creative process and its relevance to other areas of study while also investigating what it means to be making dance in this unprecedented moment in our global and US history. How can we use dance as a form of resistance, connection, as well as personal and collective healing? 

DANC 251 Dance History –  (formerly Early Modern Dance History) – with Carol Dilley 

I scrapped my outline from last year to start this year in the present with this moment of deep learning that is erupting around us in real time in all of its rawness and beauty. I had already changed the name in the catalog to decentralize concert dance or modern but now we are changing everything!

We will be tracking current discourses on decolonizing the art form, honoring and highlighting the labor of black artists, scholars, archivers unfolding around us in real time but also moving back through time to other key moments of disruption and innovation through the last 100 years: the 80s; with Aids and the explosion of hip hop into an international form; 60’s 70’s Black Arts Movement, and the Judson church,  disco; the 30’s 40’s national theater and dance projects, rise of modern as a form and as part of higher ed, art collectives for social change;  the 10’s 20’s with Harlem Renaissance/ Swing Era, abstraction.

Through this reverse sequence we can discuss important questions of access, exclusion, racism, appropriation, power, kinds of dance and the value systems that support them, and some of the individual artists and scholars who contributed both innovative and problematic ideologies into the field.

I am accepting any students who took this course before with me or someone else and wants a fresh look. It will count as a unique cultural context course for the major or minor for those who want to repeat 251 this year only. Please talk to me if you have taken 251 but are intrigued to take this dive into the NOW of history making. 

DANC 270D Repertory Styles (rep Lite) and DANC 253 Dance Repertory Performance

I am gathering from the questions and from what I can now also see on line that there is mixed information about Rep and Rep like or DANC 253 and DANC 270D. I am working with the registrar to get it all sorted out.  See below for details on what it should end up as. Currently there is a time conflict  4-4:40 but we will have that fixed in time to register. We should be starting at 4:45 (5 if need be) to eliminate that conflict. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.  We will also look out for dinner time options and work with that since that is new territory as well. 


DANC 270 D Repertory Styles – taught by Carol – begins in A for DANC 270D to get back in our bodies, figure out how to be in the studio, meet Brian and Kendra, who will be making pieces in Mod B. We use Mod A to be ready to jump in with both feet in B. DANC 270D will go through both Modules, MW for 2 hour classes in the 4:45-7 block ( to be clarified) in A and then continuing into Mod B but with a shorter meeting time so that there is more time for rehearsal.

In Mod B, we add DANC 253 Dance Repertory Performance – taught by Brian Evans.  There will be two creative processes, one with Brian and one with Kendra Ross (remotely because we can’t bring guests in person). It is all staying in the 4:45-7 timeslot with ensembles and athletics and it is still 1.5 credits if you do full Rep. 

For those in DANC 270D It is still .5 credits and you can be in one piece instead of 2 when we add DANC 253 creative processes into the mix in Mod B

For those who have done Rep in any form before, it will be as the same as it was but with only 2 creative process options instead of 3 or 4 and both are in Mod B