Dance Courses


Take a Virtual Dance Class This Spring
Students in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance share what they like best about taking dance classes virtually.

The Radical Imagination

FRS 144 · Spring 2021

FRS 144 · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

How does the use of one’s imagination spark social and systemic change in the world? What does it mean to devote one's life to this kind of work? Blurring the lines between the creative and political experience, students will be introduced to the radical contemporary practices that interdisciplinary artists use to build creative, impactful lives. Our texts will include live and recorded performances, as well as historical and theoretical secondary sources. Every other week the class hosts an artist talk series featuring pioneering artists.


DAN 206 / MTD 206 / THR 206 · Spring 2021

U01 · Tuesdays + Thursdays, 1:30 - 2:50 PM

Instructors: Aynsley Vandenbroucke

The writer Annie Dillard says that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. With school as we know it upended, we have a unique opportunity to develop daily habits that contribute to lifelong independent learning and creating. We will look at practice as both verb and noun, paying special attention to the ways we embody the work (and change) we want to see in the world. Through somatic activities, talks with invited guests, projects, and readings (across the arts, sciences, philosophy, religion, and activism), we'll revel in the interplay between process and product, solitude and community, structure and freedom, life and art.

Introduction to Contemporary Dance

DAN 213 · Spring 2021

U01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:30 - 2:20 PM

Instructors: Alexandra Beller

This course offers a broad, embodied introduction to the breadth of contemporary dance. We will be moving, reading, watching, and writing about dance. Contemporary issues, such as Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and American exceptionalism will be viewed through the lens of contemporary dance. We will try on the styles of essential creators in the field in an effort to understand their POV. We will create work ourselves (no experience necessary) to learn about the expressive and communicative potential of dance. We will be moving and meditating to release tension, increase personal awareness, and boost authenticity.


DAN 221 / THR 222 · Spring 2021

U01 · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Aynsley Vandenbroucke

In a universe filled with movement, how and why and where might we find relative stillness? What are the unique aesthetic, political, and daily life possibilities while school as we know it is on pause? We’ll dance, sit, question, and create practices and projects. We’ll play with movement within stillness, stillness within movement, stillness in performance and in performers' minds. We’ll look at stillness as protest and power. We’ll wonder when stillness might be an abdication of responsibility. We'll read widely within religions, philosophy, performance, disability studies, social justice, visual art, sound (and silence).

Introduction to Hip-Hop Dance

DAN 222 / AAS 222 · Spring 2021

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Joseph Schloss · Raphael Xavier

This introductory survey course gives equal weight to scholarly study and embodied practice, using both approaches to explore a range of hip-hop dance techniques, as well as the cultural and historical contexts from which these dances emerged. Special attention will be given to breaking – the most prominent hip-hop form – as a foundation for exploring other forms of movement. By critically exploring these physical and historical connections, individuals will adapt and apply their own philosophies to dance in order to develop a personalized style.

Experiential Anatomy

DAN 224 · Spring 2021

U01 · Tuesdays + Thursdays, 12:30-2:20 PM

Instructors: Sasha Welsh

This course introduces students to human anatomy using movement, drawing, and dance practices. We will study the structure and function of the body from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a focus on relationships between cognition, the nervous system and movement.

Introduction to Breaking: Deciphering its Power

DAN 225 · Spring 2021

U01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Raphael Xavier

This introductory course gives equal weight to scholarly study and embodied practice, using both approaches to explore the flow, power and cultural contexts of Breaking. This course will focus on developing a clear foundational Breaking technique in order to build a strong basis for exploring other Hip-Hop forms. By critically exploring this form physically and historically, individuals will adapt and apply their own philosophies to dance in order to eventually develop a personalized style.

Making Work

DAN 226 / THR 226 · Spring 2021

C01 · Mondays, 12:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Miguel Gutierrez

This course is a laboratory space for intentional community where we focus on the creative process in making movement-based performance and dance. I offer prompts for you to make short performances and then we reverse engineer your process through a series of questions. We are interested in understanding how our work sits inside of the contemporary context. We will critique, absorb and discard inherited notions of dance in the service of creating pieces that come from a vital and necessary place. Reading ranges from artist statements to critical theory and you will watch works on video that reframe ideas of the choreographic.

Body and Object: Making Art that is both Sculpture and Dance

VIS 300 / DAN 301 · Spring 2021

U01 · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Martha Friedman · Susan Marshall

Students in VIS300/DAN301 will create sculptures that relate directly to the body and compel performance, interaction, and movement. Students will also create dances that are informed by garments, portable objects, and props. Works will be designed for unconventional spaces, challenge viewer/performer/object relationships, augment and constrain the body, and trace the body's actions and form. The class will consider how context informs perceptions of the borders between performance, bodies, and objects. A lecture series of prominent choreographers and artists will accompany the course. This studio course is open enrollment.

Performance in Extraordinary Times: Documenting and Analyzing the Present

DAN 314 / AMS 335 / ANT 356 / THR 314 · Spring 2021

S01 · Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Judith Hamera

Performance and crisis have always been partners: entangled in epidemics, state violence and resistance, and austerity regimes, as well as the crisis ordinariness of settler colonialism and structural racism. This seminar examines performance in our extraordinary present using autoethnography, ethnography, and interviews.

Choreography Studio

DAN 317 · Spring 2021

U01 · Fridays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Susan Marshall

This seminar is designed for junior dance certificate students to investigate current dance practices and ideas. Part study and discussion of the processes, aesthetics and politics involved in dance making and viewing — part independent creative practice and critique — this course invites students to a deeper understanding of their own art making perspectives and to those of their classmates.

Moving Writing: Memoir and the Work of Dance

DAN 329 / AMS 329 / GSS 433 · Spring 2021

S01 · Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Judith Hamera

What can memoirs teach us about navigating the demands of a life in dance, and about the ways these demands are profoundly intersectional: shaped by racial, gender, and class hierarchies and economies? This seminar examines memoir as an activist project and mode of performance illuminating the work of dance. Readings include works by Carlos Acosta, Misty Copeland, Li Cunxin, Mark Morris, Jock Soto, and others. Theories of personal narrative theory and autobiography guide our discussions. Students will conduct oral history interviews and investigate personal papers in local archives as forms of memoir. Emphasis on dancers in the Americas.

Performance as Art

VIS 354 / DAN 354 / THR 354 · Spring 2021

U01 · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Colleen Asper

This studio class will explore a broad range of approaches to art-based performance: from instruction pieces and happenings, to the body as language and gesture, to performance as a form of archiving

Approaches to Contemporary Dance and Movement Practices

DAN 408 · Spring 2021

C01 · Mondays + Wednesdays, 4:30 - 6:20 PM

Instructors: Kyle Abraham

This advanced studio course compares diverse approaches to contemporary dance, improvisation and black diasporic forms to explore how dance training fuels individual development, choreographic process and aesthetic research.

Ballet as an Evolving Form: Technique and Repertory

DAN 432 · Spring 2021

C01 · Mondays, Wednesdays + Thursdays 4:30 - 6:20 PM

Instructors: Tina Fehlandt

A studio course in Contemporary Ballet technique for advanced dancers, with explorations into neoclassical and contemporary choreography through readings, viewings, and the learning of and creation of repertory. Through visits with prominent guest artists, including Sonja Kostich and Stella Abrera, Theresa Ruth Howard, and Phil Chan, students will examine the shifts that "Ballet" is making to stay relevant and meaningful as a "21st" century art form.