This course centers on U.S. dance history, focusing on major developments and artistic shifts in U.S. concert dance. Students will analyze how race, gender, and politics intersect with various dance practices including Vaudeville, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, and Hip Hop. Particular attention will be paid to the influence of Asian, African American, and European dance on North American stage forms. Through readings, discussions, and assignments, students will develop their skills in thinking about how dance practices are shaped by historical context while also considering how dance has the capacity to impact broader society.


4 sh

Course Types

Expression; Advanced Studies


  • Spring

Course Outcomes

  1. At the end of this course, the student should be able to:
    • Identify and investigate major developments in U.S. concert dance, dance forms, and their impact on contemporary dance culture
    • Interpret how different cultures, historical epochs, contexts, and locations create distinct approaches towards training, choreography, and performance
    • Connect and articulate the interconnections of dance with social, cultural, and political forces of its time
    • Compare and contrast the climate of past cultural moments with the present and discuss how current attitudes and values have been shaped by the events, personalities, and values of specific moments in dance history
    • Speak about dance in classroom discussions and in writing in a thoughtful, creative manner, demonstrating analytical and conceptual thinking and improved oral, written, and electronic presentation skills
    • Analyze the nature, purpose, and methodologies of dance studies and related fields

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