Dance 131

DNCE 131: Beginning Modern Dance

Credit Hours: (1) Four hours technique

Fundamentals of movement, rhythm, form and design. Technique and compositional studies progressing in difficulty.

Note(s): May be taken for a total of six semester hours of credit.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the field of modern dance--its terminology, movement vocabulary, and aesthetic values. The student masters modern dance skills on a beginning level, develops the ability to move rhythmically, and experiences creative endeavor. Acquisition of dance skills may be accomplished through such means as:


1. Introduction of basic techniques for training the body to dance, founded in a recognized system such as Graham, Limon, Cunningham, Horton, or Humphrey-Weidman, or elements selected from those systems.


                    a. Warm-up exercises to develop strength, flexibility, and coordination.
                    b. Locomotor patterns to introduce students to traveling movement in a dance context.
                    c. Combinations of movements to develop the student's ability to use dance vocabulary.


2. Composition of dance phrases, by either the instructor or the student(s), to understand the creative (i.e., compositional and performance) element of modern dance.

3. Development, by either the instructor or the student(s), of composition into brief examples of choreography that may investigate:


                    a. Factors related to movement in space and time
                    b. Elements of rhythm
                    c. Compositional form
                    d. Improvisation
                    e. Emotional motivation for movement



Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

A professional approach in which the fundamentals of modern dance are introduced to the adult beginner. Movement objectives of the course will be explained verbally and demonstrated physically.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the conclusion of the course, the student will:


1. Demonstrate an intellectual and physical understanding of fundamental principles of dance technique.
2. Be able to reproduce in studio performance extended movement combinations that reveal sensitivity to rhythm, physical form, and spatial design.
3. Possess some knowledge of the history of American modern dance.


Assessment Measures

The student may be measured through direct observation by the instructor, Digital/video taping for analysis, practical and written exams, and class attendance.


Other Course Information

At the instructor's discretion, the student's basic and traditional dance education may be supplemented by such aids as viewing videos of modern dance, attending live dance performances, and keeping learning logs.

Last date of Revision: October, 1991


Review and Approval

March 24, 1998 Review Margaret Devaney, Chair
September 12, 2001 Review Margaret Devaney, Chair
July 14, 2005 Review Margaret Devaney, Chair

June 20, 2015