Course Descriptions

An overview of course topics required for dance majors and minors


Perceiving the Performing Arts
Professional artists in the fields of dance, music and theatre introduce students to the fundamental concepts of their respective disciplines. Students go to Bay Area performances in each art form studied. Team taught.

Senior Project
During their senior year, majors in dance, music or theatre, under the supervision of a faculty member, are required to develop a project that demonstrates their expertise and creativity. The project may take the form of a solo performance, involvement with a performing arts group off campus, a substantive essay, or directing / designing / choreographing a student production. Written proposal must be approved by the appropriate program director prior to registration for the academic year in which the project will occur. Prerequisite: Completion of all lower-division major courses.



Dance and Movement Electives
Beginning through advanced studio instruction in Western styles: jazz, hip-hop, tap, ballroom/social dance; World traditions: African dance, Ballet Folklorico, Latin dance, Persian dance; Somatic studies, Pilates and yoga.

Dance Technique, Repertory and Choreography
Dance technique: beginning through advanced studio instruction in ballet and modern dance; Repertory: dance company rehearsals, faculty pieces, and guest artist rehearsals; Choreography: basic movement invention, solo and group work, site specific choreography.

Dance History I
This course covers the development of dance from its roots in European court dancing through the development of ballet into the beginning of the modern era. Students attend professional dance concerts in the Bay Area.

Dance History II
This course studies the development of modern dance from its roots in ballet to the innovations of the present including hip-hop and dances made for the camera. Students attend professional dance concerts in the Bay Area.

Dance in Performance
A course in dance analysis and criticism. Various aspects of dance as a performing art are studied through attendance at dance performances offered in the Bay Area by local companies and national troupes performing on tour. Prerequisite: Performing Arts 1

Dance Production
Rehearsal and technique class for the Saint Mary's College Dance Company, culminating in public performances. Permission of instructor required.

Production Management and Design for Dance
In these courses students learn the basics of dance lighting and the fundamentals of managing and producing a dance concert. The classes also teach students to: communicate effectively with lighting designers, stage managers and production crews; understand the elements of a dance production (including budgeting, marketing and publicity, and curating a concert); and develop and execute lighting and costume designs. This course culminates in an all-student mainstage dance concert.

For additional information on the requirements, see the Course Catalog.