CASSIE

Frequently Asked Questions

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

1. Do I need to audition to participate in the Dance Program?
2. How can I take a tour of Bryn Mawr?
3. Can I observe/participate in a dance class?
4. How many dance studios are there?
5. How big are the dance classes?
6. What kind of Dance courses does Bryn Mawr offer?
7. Is there live accompaniment for dance classes?
8. Who can take a dance course?
9. How many dance majors or minors are there?
10. How many faculty members are there?
11. Are there performance opportunities?
12. Does Bryn Mawr provide career counseling?
13. What do dance majors do when they graduate?
14. What about the summer?

Information for ENROLLED STUDENTS, POTENTIAL MAJORS, MINORS, and PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

1. How do I register for dance courses?
2. Can I take a dance course to satisfy my physical education requirement?
3. How many dance classes can I take per semester?
4. How is level determined in technique classes?
5. Can I audit a dance class?
6. What's being offered in the coming semester?
7. How do Haverford or Swarthmore students enroll in classes?
8. Is there any financial support for outside classes, workshops, summer internships or courses of study?

ANSWERS. . .

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

1. No. After checking course descriptions or conversing with director, Linda Caruso Haviland, or associate director, Madeline Cantor, you place yourself in the appropriate level. We use the first week of classes as a trial week to see if everyone is placed in a level that accommodates her or his skill level. We do encourage prospective students with prior training to send video tapes or DVDs of dance activity in performance or class. These do not have to be high quality media; you just need to be visible and include clear indication of who you are (on the media or in an accompanying text), e.g. "In the first piece, I'm the dancer in brown who enters second from stage left." If you have had a fair amount of training, we also encourage you to include a dance resume or a short paragraph describing your training and experience.

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2. To take a tour of Bryn Mawr contact the Admissions Office. We’d love to chat with you so, if your schedule permits, please indicate to Admissions that you’d like to speak with Linda or Mady in the Dance Office and/or that you’d like to see the Dance studio, watch class, take class.

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3. Yes, you can call or email us in advance or on the day of your visit to check out the schedule of classes and either we, or a dance student, or your tour guide can take you to the studio.

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4. Our primary studio is Pem Studio which is equipped with barre, mirrors, piano, small dressing room and bathroom. It is a multi-use studio with a marley floor and is equipped with lighting and sound equipment for studio performances. Denbigh Studio is our second space and accommodates smaller classes. Both spaces as well as the Goodhart Music room are used for rehearsals. Haverford has a multi-pupose room, with mirror and barre, that is used for classes that are placed at Haverford as well as for their student club use. The floor is a finished wood surface that can be reserved for some rehearsals but is not suitable for ballet, tap, flamenco.

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5. Beginning level classes such as Ballet I or Modern I are capped at 25, intermediate and advanced levels are capped at 20 but usually range from 8-18. Open level classes such as Hip-hop or Flamenco are capped in a range between 25 and 30 depending on the studio space. Ensembles and Outreach are by audition or invitation and can range from 4 to 15 depending on the choreographer’s demand.

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6. We offer three levels of modern and ballet (with a half hour of pointe practice for qualified students after the evening ballet class which meets twice a week), two levels of jazz, African, intro tap, a ballet workshop (usually rep or classes that address particular elements of ballet performance), improvisation, and conditioning (e.g. Pilates matwork) every year. We alternate every other year between Flamenco and Classical Indian (at present, BharataNatyam) and we also sponsor a rotation of courses including social dance (ballroom), Hip-hop, Latin, and Swing. We are doing a pilot project this year in intro to pointework for students in level II or III ballet. 5-8 Performance Ensembles are offered each year and enrollment is determined through auditions. One ensemble- the Dance Outreach Project- tours a lecture-demonstration program and a choreographed work to schools. Choreography is addressed through three levels of courses, the last of which is a directed, individual tutorial. We also offer a slate of academic lecture/seminar courses and a praxis course in Arts Teaching in the classroom and community.

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7. Ballet, modern, and African use live music; Flamenco and Kathak use pre-recorded music but usually have a class or two with live music; Jazz and the social forms use pre-recorded music.

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8. Anyone can take any course that is appropriate for her/his interest, schedule, and skill level or experience. We support complete beginners through pre-professional students. If you fulfill your PE requirement or one of your divisional academic requirements through dance classes, you can still continue to take courses until the day you graduate! Some courses DO close out early in registration, so students are advised to register early for courses such as Hip-hop or Flamenco.

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9. The minor option (six courses within a department or program), in general, is fairly popular at Bryn Mawr and Dance is no exception. We usually have 3-8 students who minor each year with majors that range from Chemistry to English. There are three required courses (one from technique/performance, Dance Composition I, and Approaches to Dance.) and three that are selected with advisement from the Dance Program. If you think you might be interested, you should contact us when you arrive on campus. The major is directed through the Independent major program to which a student submits a plan of study for approval. It is more complicated and students do need to be capable of self-direction. We have both single majors in Dance or Performance and we have double majors as well, e.g. a double major in Dance and Anthropology or Dance and Physics. We generally have 2-4 majors in the program in any year.

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10. Our faculty are arranged, in a sense, in a series of concentric circles. At core are Mady Cantor, the associate director, and Linda Caruso Haviland, the director. In the next ring are adjuncts who have an ongoing relationship with the program. They may teach one or two courses every year in their area of expertise. In the next ring are adjuncts who rotate through our staff position every other year or so depending on the curricular offerings. The outer ring consists of adjuncts who are new to the area and who present exciting teaching or choreographic possibilities as well as guest choreographers who are brought in for a semester to set work on students. In any one year we will have 12-15 faculty teaching courses.

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11. You can perform through: the Fall Student Concert (student run); the Dance Outreach Program (which tours a lec-dem and choreographed work to schools); the Spring Dance Concert (Dance ensembles choreographed by resident or guest choreographers and works from advanced choreography students); and Tabitha (a dance group organized by intermediate and advanced dancers under the leadership of an upperclass dance major or minor). There are also several Bryn Mawr, Bi-College, and even Tri-College extracurricular dance groups such as Rhythm and Motion or Scottish Country Dance. Several campus groups such as the Sisterhood or South Asian Women also produce cultural concerts each year that generally includes student initiated performances.

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12. The Dance Program gives advice and counseling to dance-interested students on internships, summer programs, and post-graduation possibilities. Our Career Counseling Center is also helpful for these sorts of inquiries.

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13. We do have had students go on to dance professionally; to teach Dance in a variety of settings ranging from professional schools to community centers; to teach at the college or university level; to become Dance critics; to become Dance therapists; to become Arts management personnel; to research and write about dance. Many of our students retain their life-long interest in Dance but go on to become doctors, lawyers, anthropologists, market analysts, writers, editors, English professors, to name just a few of our former dancers who come to mind.

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14. Although Bryn Mawr does not offer Dance courses during the summer, we do offer support each summer to 2-3 Bryn Mawr or Haverford students to continue their technique study in approved programs.  See a fuller explanation below.

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Information for PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS, ENROLLED STUDENTS, POTENTIAL MAJORS, MINORS

1. Dance technique classes and ensembles MAY be taken for Physical Education credit. Bryn Mawr students will register on-line via Virtual Registrar for PE courses. We advise first year students to take technique/ensemble courses for Physical Education credit during their first semester on campus.  Haverford students can register at the Haverford Athletics Office when they arrive on campus. Swarthmore students should call or email Mady or Linda at 610/526-5208 or lcarusoh@brynmawr.edu. NEW THIS YEAR…if you want to add or drop a course for PE credit you MUST do so via Virtual Registrar or the Registrar’s Office.

In addition to Dance Composition and Lecture/Seminar courses, the intermediate and advanced levels of technique and most Ensembles may be taken for academic credit.  Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore students who are taking a technique or ensemble course for academic credit or taking a Composition or lecture/seminar course should just proceed through academic registration procedures at your school.

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2. Undergraduates must complete eight units/credits of physical education and successfully pass the swim test or a swim course. Beyond the swim requirement and the Wellness requirement, you can fulfill all or any of your PE credits through Dance. Also, students may earn up to two credits for a pre-approved independent study in an accredited studio or with an accredited instructor in the area if a particular field of study is not offered as part of the curriculum or if you need more classes at an intermediate or advanced level.

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3. Students can take as many courses as they want with the proviso that they continue to take their full academic schedule and workload into account. Here is some useful information:
--We advise first year students to take technique and ensemble courses for PE credit. You need the credit anyway and it eliminates the worry about grades and your academic record.
--If you are a dedicated dancer and want to dance everyday or several days a week, you may have to mix and match classes. Register for those courses that you will attend on a regular basis. If you have to add additional classes, you can do so as an audit (the instructor will add you to the list), after checking in with the Dance Program.  e.g. if you want to add an additional Ballet II class but you have a Tuesday lab, you can take Ballet II on Thursdays as an audit. Feel free to contact us with any questions about working out your Dance schedule.

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4. After checking course descriptions or conversing with director, Linda Caruso Haviland, or associate director, Madeline Cantor, you place yourself in the appropriate level. We use the first week of classes as a trial week to see if everyone is placed in a level that accommodates her or his skill level. General guidelines:  Level 1 = beginning students, students who have not danced since childhood, students who have not danced in 4-5 years and need half a semester to get back in shape, students returning from injuries, etc.; Level 2 = students who have 1.5 - 2 years in the technique, more experienced dancers who are trying a new style or technique; Level 3 = students with a minimum of 3 - 4 years in a technique, or permission of the instructor.  Open level classes, e.g. African or Hip-hop accommodate both beginners and those taking returning to take the course again.  It is possible for more advanced dancers to mix and match classes if there is a schedule conflict, but you need to check with the Dance office first.

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5. If there is space and if you can make a commitment to come to the class in a reasonably consistent manner which means…on a weekly basis even if you’re only coming to one of two class sessions offered each week.

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6. Click here for the 2010-2011 Schedule

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7. Click here to return to question 1 above for more information.

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8. There is a SMALL fund available to help students during the academic year to offset the cost of approved outside classes in techniques or levels not available within our program. In exchange, students are expected to contribute to the program in ways that can be agreed upon in advance, e.g. talking to a class about a particular technique, participating in Outreach or ensembles, etc.

We are able to fully or partially support 2-3 students each year who apply for intensive study in dance technique in approved summer programs through the Summer Dance Study Grant established by BMC alum, Edith Aviles Kostes. Students can also apply for support for dance related research or projects or internships through the Summer Arts Internship that is administered by the Deans Office and is competitive among students. However, several other Summer internships are also available for Arts-interested students. Check out the SSG and the SAI and other opportunities at the Dean's Summer Grant Opportunity page.

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