Most of us come to Bryn Mawr having experienced dance in the studio or on the stage. Dance is art, but it is also play, ritual, social practice, courtship, culture, politics, and more. The Dance Program offers a selection of courses that both introduce students to this multi-layered notion of dance and engage a variety of approaches ranging from the analytic to the experiential. These courses explore the creative, critical, and conceptual processes of dance and help students understand how dance can be the focus of research and inquiry.
The Dance Program generally offers one or two lecture/seminar courses per semester. These courses are open to all students although some upper level courses recommend or require a prior lecture or seminar course in the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences.
Our core courses include:
Approaches to Dance: Themes and Perspectives (open to all students but required for the dance minor and major and offered every other year.)
Dance History I: Roots of Western Theater Dance
Dance History II: A History of Contemporary Western Theater Dance
Arts Teaching in Community and Educational Settings
Dance: Close Reading
Anthropology of Dance
Practical Anatomy: muscles, bones, and movement
Performing the Political Body: Dance and Power
Bryn Mawr also engages visiting professors who teach lecture/seminar courses within a specialized topic or that explore dance forms and cultures beyond traditional Western theatre dance. A few of our recent courses have included: Dr. Toni Shapiro-Phim — Dance, Migration and Exile and Dr. Laura Vriend — Performing the City: Theorizing Bodies in Space. This Fall Lela Aisha Jones will teach Diasporic Bodies, Grounding Freedom: The black/African Dancing Body, Restoration, and Activism. In addition, students can utilize an independent study option in dance. Past student work has included a variety of final projects ranging from field research to scholarly papers.