This course explores dance history from a cross-cultural perspective, focusing on the ways in which dance functions in different societies. We will examine the histories, theories, and aesthetics of various theatrical, religious, and social dances from around the globe. With an emphasis on contextual analysis, students will investigate how historical and cultural constructions of gender, power, sexuality, class, and race impact dance practices worldwide. Through this course, students will expand their understanding of dance as an activity that creates meaning through the dancing body.


4 sh

Course Types

Expression; Advanced Studies


  • Fall

Course Outcomes

  1. At the end of this course, the student should be able to:
    • Articulate how dance reflects cultural heritage and is a key to understanding diverse societies
    • Understand that dance not only reflects culture but also produces and shapes culture
    • Connect and discuss the influences of social and cultural factors, such as politics, economics, and religion, as they impacted the development of dance and dance artists
    • Critically analyze dance in relation to theories of gender and historical power dynamics
    • Become familiar with historical dance studies methodologies
    • Speak about dance in classroom discussions and write about dance in a thoughtful, creative, and
    respectful manner, demonstrating analytical and conceptual thinking

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