First-year Info

Dancing at Bates.

Dear First-Year Dancers and Soon-to-be Dancers,

This page is to help point you in the direction of the kind of dancing you want to do in your first semester at Bates. We have a friendly and open dance community that welcomes dancers of all levels and many styles.

First, you should join the dance list (, which is where news and announcements are posted. The Bates help desk can help you join this list. Also like our Facebook page Bates College Theater and Dance, where you can hear about upcoming workshops and dance events and communicate with others about what you are doing.

There are many ways to dance at Bates. You can be in clubs and perform in student pieces without taking academic credits in dance but the richer experience is to mix the technique, creative process, and the cultural context curriculum with many different kinds of performing opportunities.

Below is a list of the courses we offer this Fall. Please do consult with the dance faculty if you have questions – Carol Dilley or Brian J Evans Finding the right entry points and appropriately leveled classes and opportunities will get you the best start in dance in your first semester.



For beginners (or about-to-be dancers):

We have entry-level classes in Modern, Ballet, and Pilates, (Hip-Hop, Indonesian Dance, and Flamenco will also be offered in the winter), open to any level of dancer. We also have an entry-level choreography course, DANC 151 Making Dance I, that is for dancers, actors, and soon-to-be performance makers. This Making Dance I course is the entry point to our composition courses for choreographers of all levels.

For more experienced dancers:

We have intermediate and advanced courses in Modern, Musical Theater Jazz, and Ballet and advanced students can also take any of the mixed level courses mentioned above. This may be the perfect time to try a style of dance that you have not had the opportunity to explore before. DANC 270F Musical Theater Jazz will likely be performing in the Back to Bates Concert or Fall Concert. Ballet III is a high intermediate to advanced ballet class and you should expect to “audition” for this class.  We also have DANC 270D Repertory Styles (Rep Lite) and the companion to course DANC 253 Dance Repertory Performance (Full Rep). Full Rep is not recommended for first-years because of the 15-hour a week rehearsal time commitment but being in Rep Lite gives you access to the guest artists and a performing opportunity, as well as, sharing space with the most committed dancers in the Department. See below to learn more about Rep.


First-year performance piece!!!

Each year we do a first-year performance piece for the Back to Bates Concert in early October. We welcome all levels of skill and work together to create a cohesive piece in the rehearsal process. This year the piece was made by senior majors Isabel Honigman and Talia Kurlansky. The first-year piece cast will find they are often dancing together throughout the 4 years at Bates. This is an immediate way to get friendly with the other first-year dancers and have a crew to eat dinner within those early weeks. You do not need to be in a dance course to join this piece or perform in the Back to Bates Concert. For those interested please contact Isabel Honigman, , or Talia Kurlansky,

The Back to Bates Concert, as well as, the Short Term Show are concerts that include both course-based pieces and individual student initiatives. All are welcome as long as the pieces are well-rehearsed and you communicate with the organizers. If you are intrigued but want more info, please contact Carol Dilley at These concerts are an open call and really celebrates the diversity of dance styles that thrive at Bates.

The Marcy Plavin Fall Concert is made up of pieces developed in DANC 253 Dance Repertory Performance, the “lite” version DANC 270D Repertory Styles, and this year DANC 270F Musical Theater Jazz. In some years we also have thesis works or repertory works made in other studio classes.

Dance Repertory and Repertory Styles explained:

270 Rep styles is an advanced movement class that meets twice a week and is taught by the listed faculty and visiting guest artists who will be making pieces with DANC 253 Dance Repertory. You must talk to the faculty in charge, of DANC 253 in order to get into that course, Brian J Evans if you want to take this course in your first semester. There are many details to explain. The choreographers this year are: Brian J Evans  (faculty) Cameron McKinney and Noel Price (resident guest artists).

The Spring Dance Concert comes from our upper-level Dance Composition courses, 251 and 351 or 360, and senior thesis pieces. There are MANY opportunities in the Spring semester to be in student-made dance pieces. Each of the choreographers from these creative-making courses has a cast of dancers for their piece who they worked with throughout the semester. It is a big commitment to participate as a dancer in these choreographic research projects but this is where some excellent dance community is born. Keep your eye out for Open Dance Day, the first week of winter term, as this is the audition to participate in the spring concert.


There are also a number of dance clubs at Bates. This year we expect to see clubs representing Ballroom, Bollywood, 2 B.E.A.T.S. (Hip-Hop), various cultural and popular dance forms around the world. The international club also presents dance performances, Sangai Asia, Sankofa, Mosaic and Africana create a themed show each year, and the Dance Club and Bates Arts Society are two umbrella arts groups that help to coordinate efforts and create opportunities. For more information about dance-related clubs on campus, click here.


We look forward to having you join our dance community.

Carol Dilley – Director of Dance, Professor

Brian Evans – Assistant Professor