Courses and Requirements

The goal of Hamilton's Dance Department is to help students find and develop their own voices and identities through classes, workshops, projects an productions that consider dance from creative, technical, historical and scientific contexts.

A concentration in dance consists of 201, 203, 205, 305, 307, 550 or 560, and four semesters of Martial Arts and Dance (208, 308) and/or Intermediate Technique (213, 215,216) and/or Advanced Technique (313, 315). The Senior Program in dance may be fulfilled through satisfactory completion of one of the following options: a Senior Thesis (550), which may be a research paper or a field study in movement behavior and its analysis/notation, or Senior Performance/Choreography (560), which may be a performance of dance works, choreography or both. No student who has completed the requirements and maintained at least a 3.0 (85) average in dance courses will be prohibited from selecting the performance/choreography option as his/her senior project. The department highly recommends that students qualifying for and electing Dance 560 (Senior Performance/Choreography) be enrolled in technique class during that semester. Students falling below the 3.0 (85) average will be required to register for an independent study as preparation for the project.

Beginning with the class of 2020, students concentrating in Dance and Movement Studies must fulfill the Social, Structural, and Institutional Hierarchies requirement by completing one of the following courses: Kinesiology (205), Ballet in the 20th Century (250W), Martial Arts and Dance (208/308), or Composition/Choreography (305/307).

Departmental honors may be earned through outstanding achievement in coursework, a history of distinguished contribution to the dance program and excellence in the performance, composition, research or production component of the Senior Program, as judged by the department.

A minor in dance consists of three course selected from 201, 203, 205, 305 and 307, and two semesters of Martial Arts and Dance (208, 308) and/or Intermediate Technique (213, 215) and/or Advanced Technique (313, 315).

112 F Elementary Contemporary Dance.
Fundamentals of contemporary dance incorporating technique, theory and criticism. No previous dance training required., not open to Seniors Maximum enrollment, 25. Stanton.

113 S Elementary Jazz Dance.
This course focuses on the basic movement principles found in contemporary jazz technique. The class will also focus on proper alignment and basic anatomical terminology. There will be several quizzes addressing the history of jazz dance as well as movement vocabulary. An introduction to critiquing dance works and several reviews of dance performances will be part of the grading criteria. Required Text: Jazz Dance, Giordano, Gus Maximum enrollment, 25. Elaine Heekin.

114 F,S Elementary Ballet.
Beginner-level study of classical ballet with a focus on ballet's basic vocabulary in both barre and center floor exercises, studio-stage directions and designations for the classical positions of the body in space. Work on such stylistic aspects of ballet as musicality, dynamics and use of the head. Readings in kinesiology pertaining to muscular alignment analysis. No previous dance experience required. Maximum enrollment, 25. The Department.

115 F Pre-pointe &Elementary Pointe Class.
Pre-pointe will include barre and center classical ballet work that stands to prepare the dancer for the rigors of elementary pointe Class. Dancers should be ready to purchase their own pointe shoes early on in the semester, after a professional fitting. Pointe shoes will then be worn for the bulk of studio work. This course will also explore the history, invention, use and construction of pointe shoes. Prerequisite, 2years ballet training and permission of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 20. Sandy Stanton-Cotter.

120 S Elementary Contemporary Dance II.
This course is designed for students with little dance experience who are curious to learn more about their dynamically moving selves and the genre of contemporary dance. Course material focuses on increasing individual kinesthetic awareness and personal artistry that emphasizes proper alignment and movement mechanics. Students refine their physical skills and develop artistic literacy through the learning of basic movement vocabulary, creative explorations, reading and writing assignments. Prerequisite, Any beginning level technique in the department. Maximum enrollment, 25. Elaine Heekin.

141/142 F,S Performance.
The study of dance through performance of a role in a main stage dance concert. Prerequisite, invitation of the department. One-quarter credit per semester. May be repeated for credit. The Department.

180 S Sound, Performance and Creativity.
An introduction to the development and use of sound in its relationship to performance. Topics include creation of original sound/movement structures, using vocal/body sounds as well as found objects; introduction to sound recording and the digital-audio workstation; aural analyses of music from a variety of genres to understand certain structures and aesthetics; analyses of group pieces developed in class workshops; creation of different types of non-traditional sound/movement scores;creation of audio recordings to be used in conjuncti0n with performances. Individual and group projects. No previous musical, dance or theatre experience required. Maximum enrollment, 14. Lloyd.

201 F History of Dance.
Study of the theatrical, social and ritual aspects of dance through cross-cultural comparisons among dance forms. Exploration and analysis of such historical issues as the evolution of dances, the struggle to preserve traditional dances and dance fusions in a global society. Lectures, discussions and films. (Writing-intensive.) No previous dance training required. Maximum enrollment, 18. Paris Wilcox.

[203] Movement Analysis.
Observing, analyzing and recording movement using Laban's principles. Emphasis on cultural and aesthetic concepts of movement as a system of communication. Investigation of alignment techniques, movement behavior and kinesiological principles. No prior dance training required. Maximum enrollment, 15.

204 S Pilates For Dance.
A focus on the basic exercises found in the Pilates method of body conditioning including various apparatus (mat, magic circle, reformer, barrel and cadillac). An overview of anatomy as it applies to the Pilates system will be addressed. The history and philosophical approach to the Pilates system will be included. The discipline focuses on the muscles that are the linchpin of good posture and a stable, strong core. Prerequisite, dance technique course taken within the department. Maximum enrollment, 16. Heekin.

205 F Kinesiology.
An investigation of the musculoskeletal system and use of biomechanical principles to improve efficiency of motor behavior. Emphasis on joint, muscular and alignment analysis. Lectures, discussions and practical application of movement concepts. No prior dance training required. Maximum enrollment, 30. Walczyk.

208 F Martial Arts and Dance.
An investigation into the relationship between martial arts and dance emphasizing the abstraction of movements of self-defense into dance. The study of many cultures that utilize body awareness and movement efficiency in their performance and fighting forms. A major component is the implementation of impact weapons such as olisi (Philippines/Malaysia) and the jo (Japan). Prerequisite, any dance, athletic or martial art experience. Maximum enrollment, 35. Walczyk.

213 S Intermediate Contemporary Dance.
The study of contemporary dance incorporating technique and theory. Emphasis on alignment and efficiency of movement focusing on increasing strength and flexibility. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite, Dance 112, 113, or 114 or permission of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 25. Heekin.

215 F Intermediate Ballet.
Continuation of the study of ballet. Technique classes are combined with studies in kinesiology, dance theory and dance criticism. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite, 114, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 25. Stanon, S/Wilcox, P.

[216] Intermediate Jazz Dance.
Prerequisite, Any dance training in contemporary, ballet or jazz. Developing the technical skill and comprehension of jazz vocabulary and history beyond the elementary level. Focusing on proper alignment and increasing strength, flexibility, endurance as applied to jazz technique. Maximum enrollment, 25.

217 S Intermediate Pointe and Classical Choreography.
This course is a continued study of classical ballet pointe work that includes a traditional barre and center. Students will research important and relevant classical ballet variations from some of the most notable classical ballets ever made and explore famous ballet choreographers from the past 100 years. Students will work with recorded and live music to choreograph and perform their own ballet variations. Prerequisite, 2 years pointe training and approval of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 20. Sandy Stanton-cotter.

[250] Ballet in the Twentieth Century.
Study of the history of ballet from the Imperial Ballet of the Tsars to the present. Study of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet of England and the Kirov and Bolshoi of Russia. Examination of aesthetic principles and their influence on the development of modern ballet. Study of dancers, choreographers, composers and visual artists associated with the ballet world. (Writing-intensive.) No previous dance experience required. Maximum enrollment, 18.

[305] Composition.
A study of the elements of choreography, emphasizing personal development in movement invention, phrasing and design. Improvisation, costume, set, props, music and technical theatre are introduced. Prerequisite, consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 15.

307 F Choreography.
The application of fundamentals from 305 to more complex choreographic work, incorporating set, props, costume and text. Exploration and analysis of other art forms as related to dance composition. Prerequisite, 305 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 15. Walczyk.

308 S Advanced Martial Arts and Dance.
A continuation of 208, emphasizing martial arts from Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia and South America. Students will study cultural background, history, philosophy and terminology along with practical application of movement theories. Prerequisite, 208 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 25. Walczyk.

[313] Advanced Contemporary Dance and Repertory.
The study of contemporary dance incorporating technique and theory. Emphasis on performance techniques and ability to comprehend the conceptual framework of movement. Supplemental training in Pilates, jazz and yoga. Guest artists invited each year to teach master classes. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite, 213 or consent of instructor. Required for students to perform in a faculty or guest artist's work for the Family Weekend Concert. Maximum enrollment, 25.

315 F Advanced Ballet.
The study of classical ballet emphasizing style and performance quality in addition to technical mastery of the ballet vocabulary. Meets five times weekly. While out-of-class assignments are minimal, daily attendance, effort and consistent improvement in the technical and stylistic aspects of this art form are of critical importance. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite, 215 or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 25. Stanton.

550 F,S Senior Thesis.
A research paper or a field study in movement behavior and its analysis/notation. Open to senior concentrators only. The Department.

560 F,S Senior Performance/Choreography.
A performance of dance works, the choreography of dance works or both. Substantial written component comprising research into the historical, theoretical and socio-cultural contexts of the chosen work. Following submission of the monograph and completion of production, each student will participate in the evaluation of her/his project with an evaluating committee. Open to senior concentrators only. The Department.

(from the Hamilton Course Catalogue)

Contact Information

Dance and Movement Studies Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4244 bwalczyk@hamilton.edu
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