Dance Minor

Dance is an expressive form of human movement rich in symbolism, cultural statements, and visual beauty that can deeply communicate stories of experiences and emotions in unique and impactful ways.

Within the Theatre Department at Saint Mary’s, dance is offered as a minor to complement other alternatives for personal expression and creativity within the performance arts. The dance minor complements the theatre major and provides opportunities for students in other majors. The dance minor offers courses in Dance Techniques, Dance History, Dance Composition, Nutrition, Dance Pedagogy, and Anatomy and Kinesiology.

The department produces at least two dance productions on the Winona Campus annually, putting these concepts into actual live performances and all that they entail. Dance students also have the chance to experience on-campus events which bring several professional performing companies and artists to Saint Mary's each year.

Career Options

Graduates may choose to pursue further studies in this area, but they all gain skills that further their appreciation for this art form, making dance part of their personal repertoire of life experiences and serving as a healthy activity and form of entertainment.

High School Preparation

Theatre; English; Literature; Dance; Music

Enhance Your Experience

Students who minor in dance oftentimes pursue a major in biology pre-physical therapy, music, music performance, or theatre

 

Degree Requirements

A. All of the following courses:

DA280 Anatomy and Kinesiology for the Performing Artist (3 cr.)

This course explores the human body and how it functions in relation to the performer's body. Students learn through readings, lectures, class discussions, and in-class projects. There is a special focus on muscular and skeletal systems, prevention and care of injuries, and conditioning.

DA370 Dance Composition (2 cr.)

This course explores basic choreographic methods with an emphasis placed on improvisation as a vehicle to creating movement phrases. Students also learn through readings, lectures, class discussions, and in-class projects.

DA380 Dance History (3 cr.)

This course provides an in-depth survey of the history of concert dance forms, including ballet, modern dance, jazz dance and tap dance. Discussion, assignments and text provide background concerning the influences of social and world dance on these ever-changing dance forms. A research paper is a requirement for this course.

PE165 Nutrition (0 cr.)

As a requirement for graduation, students must complete two physical education classes. Courses are offered for no credit and are graded pass/no credit.

B. 2 credits from:

DA230 Modern II (2 cr.)

This course continues to build students' modern dance technique. Students are introduced to the principles of improvisation, blend of techniques including fall and recovery, and contraction and release.

DA330 Modern III (2 cr.)

This course provides an intermediate level of modern dance technique and vocabulary furthering the exploration of improvisation.

DA430 Modern IV (2 cr.)

This course provides an advanced level of modern dance technique with a strong concentration on improvisation, choreograph and artistry.

C. 2 credits from:

DA240 Ballet II (2 cr.)

The course builds the beginning ballet vocabulary, furthering the acquisition of placement and technique, ballet terminology, and ballet as an art form.

DA340 Ballet III (2 cr.)

An intermediate level of classical ballet, concentrating on extended vocabulary and the advancement of technique.

DA440 Ballet IV (2 cr.)

A fast intermediate level of classical ballet, providing the continuation of placement and technique.

DA450 Ballet V (2 cr.)

An advanced level of classical ballet, providing the continuation of placement and technique while focusing on artistry. This course includes the opportunity to study pointe technique.

DA455 Ballet VI (3 cr.)

An advanced level of classical ballet, providing the continuation of placement and technique, while focusing on artistry. This course includes the opportunity to study advanced pointe technique.

DA460 Ballet VII (3 cr.)

An advanced level of classical ballet providing the continuation of placement technique, while focusing on advanced artistry. This course includes the opportunity to study advanced pointe technique.

D. 4 credits of tap or jazz dance:

DA110 Tap I (0 or 2 cr.)

This course introduces a dance style not only seen but heard as the rhythmic structure unfolds. It is designed to explore the rudiments of tap dance techniques as an entertaining form of dance. No dance experience necessary.

DA120 Jazz I (0 or 2 cr.)

This introduction to the stylization of Jazz dance emphasizes the basic technical work of isolations and an overview of the development of jazz dance from its origin. No dance experience necessary.

DA210 Tap II (2 cr.)

This course continues to build student's knowledge of tap terminology and offers an intermediate level of tap technique.

DA220 Jazz II (2 cr.)

This course continues to work toward building the vocabulary of jazz technique, isolations, and extended rhythmical phrasing.

DA310 Tap III (2 cr.)

This course offers an intermediate level of tap dance technique. Students are introduced to syncopation and performance styles, and continue to build a strong tap dance vocabulary.

DA320 Jazz III (2 cr.)

This course offers an intermediate level of jazz dance technique. Students are introduced to rhythmical phrasing and continue to build a strong jazz dance vocabulary.

DA410 Tap IV (2 cr.)

This course provides an advanced level of rhythm tap with a strong concentration on technique, syncopation and performance styles, including the exploration of improvisation and choreography.

DA420 Jazz IV (2 cr.)

An advanced level of jazz dance providing the continuation of strong techniques as well as developing artistry and performance qualities through the exploration of choreography.

E. 5 elective dance credits

(not used to satisfy A–D above):

DA110 Tap I (0 or 2 cr.)

This course introduces a dance style not only seen but heard as the rhythmic structure unfolds. It is designed to explore the rudiments of tap dance techniques as an entertaining form of dance. No dance experience necessary.

DA120 Jazz I (0 or 2 cr.)

This introduction to the stylization of Jazz dance emphasizes the basic technical work of isolations and an overview of the development of jazz dance from its origin. No dance experience necessary.

DA130 Modern I (0 or 2 cr.)

This is an introductory course in modern dance technique. Students learn a blend of techniques including fall and recovery, and contraction and release. No dance experience necessary.

DA140 Ballet I (0 or 2 cr.)

This is a beginning course offering the basic theory and practice of classical ballet and ballet terminology, emphasizing the use of placement. No dance experience necessary.

DA203 Irish Ceili (0-1 cr.)

This course introduces student to ceili dances which form part of the Irish dance tradition. Ceili dances are social group dances intended for general participation. A few basic dance steps are learned which become the foundation for numerous group dances. No dance experience is required. Graded pass/no credit.

DA210 Tap II (2 cr.)

This course continues to build student's knowledge of tap terminology and offers an intermediate level of tap technique.

DA220 Jazz II (2 cr.)

This course continues to work toward building the vocabulary of jazz technique, isolations, and extended rhythmical phrasing.

DA230 Modern II (2 cr.)

This course continues to build students' modern dance technique. Students are introduced to the principles of improvisation, blend of techniques including fall and recovery, and contraction and release.

DA240 Ballet II (2 cr.)

The course builds the beginning ballet vocabulary, furthering the acquisition of placement and technique, ballet terminology, and ballet as an art form.

DA250-259 Special Topics in Dance (1–3 cr.)

This course deals with specialized topics, including those relevant to the dancer or choreographer. Topics may include: Ballroom Dance, Men's Class, Fosse, Jerome Robbins Choreographic Approach, Classical or Contemporary Repertory, Clogging, Pilates/Yoga, Dance Fitness, etc.

DA310 Tap III (2 cr.)

This course offers an intermediate level of tap dance technique. Students are introduced to syncopation and performance styles, and continue to build a strong tap dance vocabulary.

DA320 Jazz III (2 cr.)

This course offers an intermediate level of jazz dance technique. Students are introduced to rhythmical phrasing and continue to build a strong jazz dance vocabulary.

DA330 Modern III (2 cr.)

This course provides an intermediate level of modern dance technique and vocabulary furthering the exploration of improvisation.

DA340 Ballet III (2 cr.)

An intermediate level of classical ballet, concentrating on extended vocabulary and the advancement of technique.

DA365 Musical Theatre Dance (2 cr.)

This course is designed to enhance students' understanding of and ability to perform dances of the modern American musical stage. Students learn techniques and styles of contemporary dance as it is specifically applied to musical theatre, emphasizing theatre dance styles from the 1920s to the present. The course also encompasses research of the styles of major musical theatre choreographers and performers noteworthy for their musical dance innovations.

DA410 Tap IV (2 cr.)

This course provides an advanced level of rhythm tap with a strong concentration on technique, syncopation and performance styles, including the exploration of improvisation and choreography.

DA420 Jazz IV (2 cr.)

An advanced level of jazz dance providing the continuation of strong techniques as well as developing artistry and performance qualities through the exploration of choreography.

DA430 Modern IV (2 cr.)

This course provides an advanced level of modern dance technique with a strong concentration on improvisation, choreograph and artistry.

DA440 Ballet IV (2 cr.)

A fast intermediate level of classical ballet, providing the continuation of placement and technique.

DA450 Ballet V (2 cr.)

An advanced level of classical ballet, providing the continuation of placement and technique while focusing on artistry. This course includes the opportunity to study pointe technique.

DA455 Ballet VI (3 cr.)

An advanced level of classical ballet, providing the continuation of placement and technique, while focusing on artistry. This course includes the opportunity to study advanced pointe technique.

DA460 Ballet VII (3 cr.)

An advanced level of classical ballet providing the continuation of placement technique, while focusing on advanced artistry. This course includes the opportunity to study advanced pointe technique.

DA470 Dance Pedagogy and Application (3 cr.)

This course is designed to prepare the dancer for teaching jobs outside of school. Students understand the appropriate progression of dance levels, criteria for promotion and how to design a balanced class within this progression. Students are introduced to the various professional associations for teachers of dance and are exposed to literature on the teaching of dance.

DA499 Graduation Project (1-3 cr.)

This course allows students to apply compositional concepts, principles of choreographic structure, critical thinking and coordination skills in the development of a final dance project. This is a capstone course for dance minors only.

Please Note:

The minor cannot include more than 4 credits of tap dance and not more than 4 credits of jazz dance.