This major is designed for students who want to explore movement from all possible angles.
In our program, you’ll engage with dance on multiple levels—creative, intellectual, and physical. Guided by our outstanding faculty, you’ll receive conservatory-caliber training in a small class setting. As a Dance Studies emphasis, you’ll immerse yourself in the historical, theoretical, and cultural roots of dance, while also learning and performing a variety of styles and choreography. You’ll have the opportunity to attend shows throughout the Bay Area and work with a diverse range of guest artists. Your studies will culminate with a self-generated project that demonstrates mastery in your chosen field.
Our students grow tremendously in their critical thinking, writing, and verbal communication skills, all valuable skills for any future career. Some of our graduates head for careers in dance, theatre, and the arts. Many continue onto graduate studies. Others put their critical and creative skills to work outside of the arts, in education, health care, and beyond.
Myriad possibilities await you, and we are here to prepare you for them!
The Dance Program at Saint Mary’s College aims to:
- CONSTRUCT a healthy attitude toward dance and the value of diverse dance forms including cross training in different styles and Somatic disciplines, following a holistic view of the human body which allows assessment and reflection without judgement both in the studio and on stage;
- DEMONSTRATE individual artistic choices and promote self-authority and agency to express individual thought and creativity outside of rigid, dominant and binary world views both experientially and in writing;
- DISTINGUISH technical terms and theories used in dance studies, influenced by aesthetics, anatomy and science, Somatics, pedagogical and performance theories; and employ this terminology appropriately when discussing and writing about specific works and/or assessing one's practice;
- RECOGNIZE the cultural context of a work of art or style of movement in the studio and in writing. Frame creative challenges within larger historical/theoretical questions to locate one’s own place in history by recognizing the dance lineage that shape us in our search for defining the dancing identity necessary in today’s world;
- ENGAGE in critical discourse to explore how social identities are constructed, constrained, reinforced, and treated with inequality by systems of power, including within the field of performing arts by analyzing issues of access, representation, exclusion, and inclusion in the field in both creative practice and on paper;
- FORMULATE an intersectional perspective through the lenses of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, ability, age, and culture; strengthening our sense of how socially conscious bodies are able to see and take action towards social diversity in relationship to the SMC community, the Bay Area, the country and beyond when assessing one’s practice.
Saint Mary's Testimonials
“I got both of my jobs as a dance instructor and professional dancer through professors and resources I met through the Saint Mary’s College Dance Program. I truly would not be doing what I am today without them.”
Katie Lawson-Gill, Class of 2020
In GradReports' 2020 Top 25 Colleges