Students in a dance class perform a work choreographed by faculty Jennifer Smith. #

Academics > Majors & Minors > Dance



Jennifer Smith

Associate Professor & Chair of Dance

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Course Descriptions

DANC 132. Survey of Dance Forms. (1)

This course introduces dance as a performing art, focusing on the Western-European dance forms of ballet, jazz, and modern and their historical development and cultural characteristics. Additional course topics include a survey of global dance forms; concepts in viewing dance; the work of the dance artist in contemporary times; and dance as a reflection of social and cultural perspectives. This class is geared toward the student with little to no dance experience, however, all students who wish to learn about dance within its historical, cultural, social, and political context will also benefit greatly from this course. Students should expect to participate in both movement/dance class sessions as well as in lectures/discussions. ARTS; Offered annually; J. Smith; K. Ridlon;

DANC 145. Theory and Improvisation. (1)

Theory & Improvisation guides the student in exploring the elements of dance through spontaneous movement. Participants work with, define, and discuss principles of dance such as space, time, shape, and force. Students focus their concentrations and physical abilities as they create their own movements in response to specific kinesthetic problems. They work as individuals, in duets, trios, and larger groupings, learning to respond to and work with fellow dancers as well as follow their own impulses. ARTS; Prerequisite(s): some movement experience recommended, but not required; Offered annually, usually in fall; J. Smith; K. Ridlon;

DANC 152. Contemporary Dance I. (1/2)

An introduction to the elementary principles, concepts and practices within contemporary dance forms, with a focus on manipulating the connections between somatic practice and performance preparation. The course immerses students in a kinesthetic dance experience that focuses on experiencing and creating dynamic alignment and embodied movement exploration in order to define and articulate dance as a means for knowing and/or communicating movement as performance. ARTS; Prerequisite(s): Some dance experience is recommended for this course; May be repeated three times for credit; J. Smith; K. Ridlon;

DANC 221. Somatic Practice for the Performing Artist. (1)

This class will develop a basic understanding of the roots of the somatic approach; the relationship between the mind and movement; the kinds of results obtained with somatic techniques; and the causes of sensory-motor conflicts. The course will begin with the study of experiential anatomy and move into the analysis of both the theory and practice behind various somatic techniques. These techniques will include: the Alexander Technique, Body-Mind Centering, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals and Authentic Movement. Offered annually, usually in winter; J. Smith;

DANC 246. Dance Composition. (1)

Dance Composition focuses on applying the basic elements of dance into the creation of original dance compositions. Students enrolled in this course participate in weekly critiques that focus on learning how to articulate artistic thoughts and ideas in discussions while developing individual artistic goals and voices. Prerequisite(s): DANC 145; Offered annually, usually in spring; J. Smith; K. Ridlon;

DANC 248. Teaching Assistant. (1/2 or 1)

Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor; May be graded S/U at instructor's discretion; Staff;

DANC 252. Contemporary Dance II. (1/2)

This intermediate dance technique course is designed for students with some dance experience who are ready to refine their skills and undertake new kinesthetic challenges. The focus is on increasing range and efficiency of movement as a means toward greater creative expression in communication and performance. Students will engage with the history of noted dance works through analyzing the significance of meaning and metaphor in movement performance. Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor; May be repeated three times for credit; J. Smith; K. Ridlon;

DANC 260. Dance History & Contemporary Trends in Choreography. (1)

This course will examine the development of Western Theatrical Dance in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Students will develop an understanding of dance in context with visual and literary artists in societal, cultural, and historical settings. Coursework will include journal assignments, class discussions, writing assignments, two exams and two projects: Poster Presentation and a Performance/Exhibition of movement research. Students will meet for lectures and class discussions on Monday and Wednesday, and in the dance studio on Friday for a series of movement workshops designed to promote embodied learning. This course serves as the pre-requisite for the Chicago Dance Project (260A) where students experience dance in an urban setting. Offered every other year (alternates with DANC 262); K. Ridlon;

DANC 262. Cultural Perspectives in Dance. (1)

This is an interdisciplinary course that will introduce students to physical characteristics, aesthetics, and functions of dance in a variety of cultures. Course topics will include: dance as cultural identity, dance as expression of the individual, dance as worship, and dance as a representation of political power. Throughout the term, students will engage in interdisciplinary movement & lecture sessions and will provide opportunities to engage and collaborate with students enrolled in MUS 254: "Music of the African Diaspora". Students from both classes who choose to enroll in CS 262A: "Cultural Immersion: The Arts of Ghana" will travel to Ghana for a two-week study abroad program which will take place over the December break. Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level dance class and sophomore standing; DV; Offered every other year (alternates with DANC 260); J. Smith;

DANC 262A. Cultural Immersion: Drumming and Dance in Ghana. (1/2)

This course aims to provide an international, life-transforming learning experience, grounded in the study of music and dance, yet valuable to students majoring in programs across all disciplines. By focusing on the collaborative study of music and dance in Ghana, the course offers participatory strategies for intercultural understanding. A supplemental course fee will be required to cover travel and off-campus course expenses. Prerequisite(s): DANC 262 or MUS 254; DV; J. Smith;

DANC 295. Special Topics. (1/2 or 1)

Courses offered occasionally to students in special areas of Dance not covered in the usual curriculum. Staff;

DANC 341A. Dance Ensemble. (1/2)

Dance Ensemble offers advanced dance students intensive, practical experience in the performance process. Throughout the course, students work as a performing ensemble under the direction of different faculty and/or guest choreographers, with a focus on the process of creating, rehearsing, and performing multiple dance works. Students will learn different rehearsal and performance techniques, build ensemble skills, practice repertoire maintenance, and demonstrate a mastering of performance disciplines. This two-term course culminates with a fully produced performance of completed works. Prerequisite(s): sophomore standing and at least one 200-level dance technique class; DANC 341A and B may be repeated, but no more than a total of 2 credits may be earned through these classes; Offered every other year (alternates with DANC 343); J. Smith; K. Ridlon;

DANC 341B. Dance Ensemble. (1/2)

A continuation of DANC 341A. Prerequisite(s): DANC 341A; The grades for DANC 341A and B are awarded after the completion of 341B. DANC 341A and B may be repeated but no more than a total of two credits may be earned through these classes; Offered every other year (Alternates with DANC 343); J. Smith; K. Ridlon;

DANC 343A. Choreography Workshop. (1/2)

Choreography Workshop focuses on creating an intensive learning environment for dance students who have focused their dance studies on examining the choreographic process. Students work independently on developing dance works to be presented in a spring concert. Students are also required to write an artistic statement and proposal explaining what their goals are in creating their choreographic work, and they will participate in class sessions that focus on understanding how to communicate and collaborate with costume and lighting designers in creating a finished choreographic work, ready for performance. Prerequisite(s): DANC 246; and previous choreographic experience; The grade is awarded upon the completion of DANC 343B; Offered every other year (alternates with DANC 343); Staff;

DANC 343B. Choreography Workshop. (1/2)

A continuation of DANC 343A. Prerequisite(s): DANC 343A; The grades for DANC 343A and B are awarded upon completion of DANC 343B; Offered every other year (alternates with DANC 341); Staff;

DANC 345A. , 345B Community Outreach: Programming in the Arts. (1/2)

This course examines dance as a form of community engagement. Students will become aware of the personal, social, cultural, political and historical values of dance through participation in teaching and learning in the community outside of the classroom. Course work will include readings and discussions about Community Based Learning, Community Arts Education, and Dance in Education. The emphasis of the course will be based in movement and physical learning, though the programming template is applicable across a variety of disciplines. This is a full credit course with credit awarded over two-terms: Winter term(.5 credit) will focus on theory and foundations and Spring term(.5 credit) will entail team teaching self designed outreach projects in the community. Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level course from dance, theatre, or music and sophomore standing; K. Ridlon;

DANC 348. Teaching Assistant. (1/2 or 1)

Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor; May be graded S/U at instructor's discretion; Staff;

DANC 352. Contemporary Dance III. (1/2)

This advanced dance technique course focuses on crystallizing performance skills through refining individual movement vocabulary to clarify movement intention. The primary goal of this course is to teach students how to implement the education they received in Contemporary Dance I & II in order to combine sophisticated technical knowledge with critical assessment to become more fully realized performers of dance in aesthetic, personal and social contexts. Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor; May be repeated three times for credit; J. Smith; K. Ridlon;

DANC 395. Special Topics. (1/2 or 1)

Courses offered occasionally to students in special areas of Dance not covered in the usual curriculum. Staff;

DANC 399. Dance Senior Seminar/Capstone Project. (1/2 or 1)

In this course students will prepare, develop, and execute a final senior dance project in either Dance Theory, History, Performance, or Choreography guided by a faculty mentor. This capstone could include projects such as: A lecture/public presentation, a senior dance concert, an education/outreach program, or a major research paper. Students completing a dance capstone project must also participate in the winter term, weekly group seminar that will provide a forum for discussion topics that explore the role and function of dance in our lives and ways we may participate. This one credit course may be divided up as two half credits completed over the winter and spring terms. Prerequisite(s): DANC 341 or DANC 343 and faculty approval; J. Smith;

DANC 400. Advanced Studies. (1/2 or 1)

See College Honors Program. Staff;

A student dance performance.
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Printed on Monday, December 11, 2017

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