Course Schedule and Descriptions

LEAP class schedules are offered in an online delivery model in order to recognize and accomodate the unique challenges of students' professional schedules.  Rather than asking students to attend on campus courses in a traditional college structure and format, the LEAP program brings the courses to the dancers.  LEAP is committed to meeting students where they are, and offering an education that is intentionally designed to travel with the touring artist and flex around the rehearsal schedules that would otherwise disconnect students from a shared learning environment. All Saint Mary’s core courses are offered online, with a combination of live video class sessions (via Zoom) and discussion board engagement between students in each class.


The LEAP Core Curriculum is structured in a three-term semester format (Fall and Spring, and Summer). This allows for a part-time but year-round course of study. Students typically enroll with a part time student status and take one full-credit course and challenge one additional major course per term, which typically allows them to complete all 10 core courses and all 10 courses for the major (70 units) in 3 1⁄2 years.  Depending on their individualized plan of study, students may take additional terms to complete the remaining 56 units, through transfer credit and/or prior learning assessment credit, and meet the degree requirements. 

Please see the sample plan of study below which illustrates the course sequencing for the ten LEAP Core Courses and ten Additional Courses for the Major.


Core Courses

Additional Courses for the Major

Total Units per Term

Fall 1

SEM 102:

Western Tradition

PERFA 194:

Dance in Production I

7 units
Spring 1

BIO 080:

Human Biology

PERFA 194:

Dance in Production II

7 units
Summer 1

ENGL 005:

Argument and Research

PERFA 194:

Dance in Production III

7 units
Fall 2

SEM 104: Global Conversation:

20th and 21st Centuries

PERFA 170-177:

Applied Dance 1

7 units
Spring 2

MATH 010:
Art and Practice of Math

PERFA 170-177:

Applied Dance II

7 units
Summer 2

LEAP 100:

Personal and Professional Assessment

PERFA 170-177:

Applied Dance III

7 units
Fall 3

ANTH 001:

Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

PERFA 182:

Dance History I

7 units
Spring 3

TRS 189:

Wealth, Poverty, and Economic Justice

PERFA 183:

Dance History II

7 units
Summer 3

PERFA 184: Dance In Performance

PERFA 115:

Music in Performance

7 units
Fall 4

PERFA 198: Senior Capstone Project

PERFA 033:

Art of Acting

7 units


35 units

35 units

70 units




Course Descriptions


LEAP Core Courses

SEM 102- Western Tradition 

This first seminar develops skills of critical thinking, critical reading and writing, and shared inquiry that are foundational to Collegiate Seminar. Students will read, write about and discuss a selection of classic and modern texts from the Western tradition. The reading list is current but subject to modi cation. From some texts only excerpts are read. 

BIOL 080 - Human Biology

This is a course to connect basic biology concepts using the human as an illustrative example. Basic scientific processes and the concepts of human biology will be explored through lecture. Topics will include science and society, the chemistry of living things, structure and function of cells, genetics, anatomy and physiology of the organ systems, reproduction, cancer, aging, evolution, human impacts and environmental issues.  

ENGL 005 - Argument and Research

Students continue to develop the rhetorical and critical thinking skills they need to analyze texts and to structure complex arguments. In addition, students practice evaluating sources, exploring arguments through library research, and supporting original theses with appropriate evidence. Through a scaffolded process, students write and revise two or more essays, at least one of which is a substantial research essay of 8-12 pages that presents an extended argument. This course prepares students for the Writing in the Disciplines courses that they will encounter in their major. It requires the completion of at least 5,000 words of formal writing, and an additional 2,500 words of informal writing practice. A grade of at least C- in English 4 is prerequisite to enrollment in English 5. A grade of at least C- in English 5 is prerequisite to enrollment in Writing in the Disciplines courses. 

LEAP 100 - Personal and Professional Assessment (PPA)

The exploration of the learning cycle, from reflection on experience to construction and application of knowledge. This analytical and self-reflective process is recorded in an Experiential Learning Portfolio, a collection of essays and supporting documentation, which may be further evaluated for transcripted academic credit.

ANTH 001 - Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

The course examines the nature of culture and the diversity of societies worldwide. It focuses on cultures in Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Americas, and introduces the beginning student to some of the main topics of anthropology including kinship, gender, the world system, field work, magic and religion, race and ethnicity, social change and the political system of societies throughout the world.  

MATH 010 - The Art and Practice of Mathematics

A reflective examination of basic mathematical ideas and patterns. Through participation in the discovery and development of mathematical ideas the student will view the subject as a vehicle for human creativity. The course traces the historical and contemporary role of appropriate mathematical topics.  

SEM 104 - The Global Conversation of the
20th and 21st centuries

Building on the Western tradition explored in the
second and third seminars, readings focus on the Great Conversation of the modern world, which includes the West but also includes important intercultural and global voices. The course focuses on issues of signi cant relevance for a 21st century student, as well as texts that allow for integrative thinking across the entire Collegiate Seminar sequence. The last portion of the course will include student reflections on what they have learned and how they have grown, revisiting the steps of their intellectual development in a capstone experience. 

TRS 189 - Wealth, Poverty and Economic Justice

Global issues of wealth, poverty and socio-economic justice are explored through the lens of various sacred texts which have had a profound infuence on religion, art, politics, and culture for over two thousand years. Focusing on the Torah and Gospels, this course will teach students to employ critical and scholarly tools for reading and interpretation.


This course examines dance from a critical and intersectional perspective through the lenses of power and privilege, using the medium of dance to explore race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, ability, age, etc.

PERFA 198 Senior Capstone Project 

The Senior Capstone is an individualized course of study designed for the student to embark on the independent research that leads towards a culminating project that allows students to demonstrate their expertise, and creativity and synthesizes the learning they have experienced within the LEAP Program.



Additional Courses for the Major

PERFA 194 Dance in Production (3 courses)

Onstage and backstage preparation for the fall and spring dance concerts including all informal showings, technical and dress rehearsals, and final performances both on and off campus.

PERFA 170/175/176/177: Applied Dance (such as Advance Ballet, Choreography, etc., 3 courses)

Advanced studio instruction in dance including, Jazz, Tap, Hip-hop, Ballroom, and Social Dance as well as advanced instruction in non-Western traditions including but not limited to West African Dance, Ballet Folklorico (Mexican Folk Dance), Chinese Dance, and Latin Dances.

PERFA 033 - Principles of Performance/Acting I

An introduction to the theory, history, and styles of acting with emphasis on the development of a character, script analysis, and the dynamics of performance.

PERFA 182 - Dance History I

This course explores the ways in which we each are a product and conduit of dance history through our own embodied knowledge and lineages.

PERFA 183 - Dance History II

A study of the history, tradition, and the recent developments of the various global dance styles, practices, and techniques.

PERFA 115 - Music in Performance

This course emphasizes the history and aesthetics of music. Students hear music from all historical periods from Baroque to Jazz.