DAN-125, 126, 127 Course Syllabus

DAN 125, 126, 127

Health, Physical Education, and Dance

Professor: DAN 125, 126, 127 – Advanced Beginning Modern Dance I, II, III

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Course Description:

This course covers the technique and the theory of Advanced Beginning Modern Dance. Emphasis is placed on low intermediate modern dance techniques and the application of movement principles essential to the training of the dancer. In this course, different styles of modern dance will be presented with an emphasis on improving anatomical awareness and alignment, developing rhythmic sensitivity, and using dance as a form of expression.


Curricula For Which This Course Is Required:

Dan 125, 126 127 is an advanced beginning level course with a prerequisite of Beginning Modern Dance or permission of the instructor. It fulfills a requirement for the dance major degree program.


Educational Objectives:

Educational Objectives
Educational Objective Brief description of course activities which help students to meet each of the educational objectives
A. Communicate effectively through viewing dance, writing, listening, and speaking Students are required to attend a dance concert and write a two to three page paper in response to the concert.
B. Work collaboratively in diverse groups directed at accomplishing learning objectives Students will be paired with their peers in the classroom and instructed to give each other feedback on corrections discussed in class.
C. Apply aesthetic and intellectual criteria in the evaluation or creation of works in the humanities or the arts Students will be given various techniques in modern dance that they will perform in the class.
D. Integrate knowledge and skills in their program of study. Each class culminates in a longer phrase that allows students to integrate the techniques learned in class as well as achieve an in depth knowledge of the course material while also working on performance quality.

Course Objectives: Desired Student Learning

  1. Students will have an increased body awareness and improved alignment.
  2. . Students will understand and execute basic modern dance vocabulary.
  3. Students will gain body and mind coordination
  4. Students will increase their rhythmic sensitivity working in 3/4 and 4/4 meters.
  5. Students will gain an appreciation and understanding of modern dance performance.
  6. Students will learn how to look at, discuss, and write about modern dance performance.
  7. Students will learn to use and identify the qualities of weight and suspension.
  8. Students will demonstrate self-awareness and awareness of others when performing and engaging in group activities.
  9. Students will learn to initiate movement from a specific body part and to sequence movement fluidly through their bodies
  10. Students will learn to move in and out of the floor
  11. Students will learn to jump and land safely
  12. Students will learn to dance with a range of movement energies/dynamics.
  13. Students will learn to change directions efficiently.
  14. Students will learn to express themselves through their dancing
  15. Students will be able to learn and perform movement sequences more quickly

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Objectives
Course Objective Learning Outcomes
1. Students will have an increased body awareness and improved alignment. A. Students will be able to find their correct anatomical alignment for increased balance and coordination B. Students will be able to find anatomical connections within the body, such as head/tail connection. C. Students will practice GYROKINESIS or Bartenieff Fundamentals exercises and modern dance exercises that help them develop this anatomical awareness.
2. Students will understand and execute basic modern dance vocabulary A. Students will perform modern dance vocabulary in response to verbal and physical instruction. B. Students will discuss modern dance exercises using appropriate terminology.
3. Students will gain body and mind coordination. A. Through class activities, students will find internal connections in the body and the ability to stay present in the moment. B. Students will increase their range of motion and coordination through GYROKINESIS exercises and dance exercises
4. Students will increase their rhythmic sensitivity working in 3/4 and 4/4 meters. A. Students will be able to identify ¾ rhythm and 4/4 rhythm. B. Students will be able to integrate their movement with the music.
5. Students will gain an appreciation and understanding of modern dance performance. A. Students will be able to incorporate performance quality into their dancing.
6. Students will learn how to look at, discuss, and write about modern dance performance A. Students discuss (in class) and write about (for an outside assignment) modern dance on an integrated and comprehensive level.
7. Students will learn to use and identify the qualities of weight and suspension A. Students will perform movement sequences demonstrating the qualities of weight and suspension. B. Students will discuss these concepts verbally.
8. Students will demonstrate self-awareness and awareness of others when performing and engaging in group activities. A. Students will be able to move through space with other dancers using spatial awareness. B. Students will be able engage with their peers and dance in synchrony with them
9. Students will learn to initiate movement from a specific body part and to sequence movement fluidly through their bodies. A. Students will perform movement phrases that initiate with specific body parts and sequence movement fluidly through their bodies. B. Student will describe verbally where given movement phrases initiate and how they sequence.
10. Students will learn to move in and out of the floor. A. Students will perform movement sequences that move in and out of the floor efficiently. B. Students will describe verbally how to move in and out of the floor efficiently.
11. Students will learn to jump and land safely. A. Students will perform safe jumping and landing. B. Students will describe verbally how to jump and land safely
12. Students will learn to dance with a range of movement energies/dynamics. A. Students will perform movement phrases in which they demonstrate a range of movement energies/dynamics.
13. Students will learn to change directions efficiently. A. Students will perform movement phrases with directional changes that initiate from different body parts and take place at different speeds.
14. Students will learn to express themselves through their dancing A. Students will perform movement phrases with personal expressiveness.
15. Students will be able to learn and perform movement sequences more quickly A. As the semester progresses, students will learn movement phrases with less demonstration from the instructor. B. Students will explain various methods of learning and retaining movement material.

Summary of Main Topics Covered in the Course:

  • Anatomical Alignment
  • Internal Body Connections
  • Body/mind Coordination
  • GYROKINESIS Exercises or Bartenieff Fundamentals
  • Increasing Range of Motion
  • Technique
  • Musicality/Rhythmic Sensitivity
  • Modern Dance Vocabulary
  • Modern Dance Performance
  • Movement Learning and Retention
  • Changing Levels
  • Changing Direction
  • Expressivity
  • Jumping Mechanics
  • Falling Mechanics
  • Initiation and Sequencing
  • Weight and Suspension
  • Classroom Etiquette/Dancing with Others

Course Policies:

Attendance Policy:

Attend classes. Be on time. Attendance is extremely important to your individual growth, progress in dance skills and understanding of the class material. Each student is allowed one absence that will not affect his/her grade. After that each absence lowers the amount of points a student receives for this evaluation category. Students with 7 or more absences will fail the course- no exception! Arriving late and/or leaving early or coming to class unprepared will result in a lower final grade. Note: Remember that lateness is a sign of disrespect of you and me. Be on time. Be prepared with your dance attire. Otherwise, two late arrivals and/or two non-participations of any kind (i.e. no dance attire) will count as one absence- no exception!


Attendance Scale
Absence Points
0-1 100
2 90
3 80
4 70
5 60
6 50
7 fail the course

Note: All absences will be considered in the final grade, however, for extreme emergencies (i.e. extended hospital stay) an “Incomplete” grade will be considered and discussed with the student. Save your absences for when you really need them. The development of the body instrument and the material in class accumulates. Learn to enjoy the discipline and weekly demands of attendance. Furthermore, the material learned in class cannot be replicated outside of class. It is not possible to make up any missed classes.


Tardy and Observation Policy Tardiness will not be tolerated. Two tardies equal one absence. If you leave class early it will be counted as a tardy. The class is structured to build and prepare the body for movement. Missing the warm-up could result in injury. If you are ill or have an injury you may observe class. However, two observations equal one absence. If you develop a serious injury or illness during the semester you should withdraw completely from the class.


Required Dance Attire:

Students must wear appropriate dance attire. Leotards and tights or dance pants and a fitted top must be worn in every class. The professor must be able to see the alignment of the dancer. No loose hair! If you have long hair, it must be pulled back! No Jewelry!


Class Etiquette

  • No outside shoes allowed on the dance floor. All shoes must be taken off before entering the studio. Only approved dance shoes, such as ballet shoes/jazz shoes, are allowed on the floor in the studios. No sneakers allowed in room 113. Sneakers to be used for dancing in room 214 must be designated as studio only sneakers and should not be won outside of the dance studio.
  • When you enter the studio, take off your shoes, turn off your cell phone, and place your belongings neatly in the cubbies or on the bleachers. Find a space in the room and quietly begin to prepare for class.
  • Any physical problems, past or current, should be discussed with the instructor.
  • The studio is a quiet zone starting ten minutes prior to the start of class in order to allow students to prepare mentally and physically for class. If your class has finished, please be mindful of this time frame for the students in the class following yours.
  • When the Professor is giving corrections, look the Professor in the eye as he/she is talking. Afterwards, physically do the correction so that you can feel it in your body and say thank you for the correction.
  • Do not leave the studio during class/rehearsal unless an explicit break has been given to do so. This means you will need to use the bathroom between classes.
  • Spend time incorporating technique notes from technique class to any and all other classes/rehearsals. This may require a substantial amount of time outside of class/rehearsal.
  • Turn your phone completely off or on airplane mode during class/rehearsals. NOT ON VIBRATE. Do not use your phone during water breaks. Do not look at your phone until the class/rehearsal is completely over. If there is an emergency reason that you need to receive calls or messages during class notify the instructor. Otherwise, the phone should be put away until the class or rehearsal is complete.
  • Never mark in class/rehearsal unless the Professor or rehearsal director says to do so. In such a case, do not mark your arms, timing, or spacing. Your arms, timing and spacing must be full, correct, and accurate to the best of your ability.
  • While the Professor or rehearsal director is working with another student/cast member pay attention as this correction or material may well apply to you. If the Professor has 6 stated that this issue does not apply to you, do not use that time as a break. Instead, use that time to work on your own corrections or material.
  • Review all of the new material, notes and corrections from the previous class/rehearsal prior to the following class, so that the Professor/rehearsal director will not have to backtrack and the class can continually move forward.
  • Gossiping or laughing at other students will not be tolerated. Everyone must be treated with respect.
  • It is customary to applaud for the accompanist and for the instructor at the end of each movement class.

Student Assignments/Assessments

1. Studio Exams A. Midterm Exam The midterm class will start with a warm up as usual. The center combinations will be new material. You will have to pick up movement phrases quickly and perform them in small groups. The midterm will be videotaped, and you will have a chance to view yourself after the midterm. The midterm will be evaluated in terms of technical skill, growth, expressivity, musicality etc, You must schedule a meeting with the Professor to look at the video and discuss the midtmer with the Professor. This will be a good time to reflect on your progress and renew/revise your goals for the remaining part of the semester. If you do not meet with the Professor it will detract credit from your midterm. B. Final Exam The final class will start with a warm up as usual. The center material will be a repetition of the material we will have been working on for the previous few weeks. The movement combinations will be performed in small groups, videotaped and evaluated for technical skill, expressiveness, musicality and growth.


2. Written Assignment You are going to see a professional modern dance performance and respond to it in writing. Your response will be in two steps. FREE WRITING - The first step will be a free writing about the performance. Free writing means you are going to sit down AS SOON AS YOU CAN AFTER YOU SEE THE SHOW and write down everything you can think of about one piece that engaged you the most-- What you liked, What you did not like, What was confusing, What was funny, What connected to dance material you have seen or done before, What was totally new and surprising, What was beautiful, What was grotesque etc. Try to use language as much as you can to describe what happened in a way that someone who was not there could get an image of it in his/her mind. Some areas you might pay attention to: the way the choreographer integrated movement vocabularies (ie African and modern etc) the way the movement appeared effortful or effortless

the way the choreographer integrated the use of props, text, other theatrical elements the musicality of the choreography the movement of groups of dancers around the space the movement of dancers in and out of the floor the performance presence of the dancers the movement skills/technique of the dancers the message/meaning/ intention of the choreography the use of gestures in the choreography the use of virtuosity in the movement the use of partnering and weight support in the choreography the use of focus and eye contact in the choreography the use of familiar or unfamiliar (to you) movements in the choreography (These are just starting points. There are an infinite number of topics you could think up in relationship to the performance you saw.) The free writing assignment does not need to be organized like an essay. Please include the name of the choreographer and/or company and the name of the show and/or piece somewhere in the assignment for my reference. It is a chance for you to just brainstorm with all the different things you think about the show. It could be a bulleted list, or written out in sentences. Just get your thoughts down.


RESPONSE PAPER

Now you have some writing about what you saw and what interested you in it. This is the heart of your paper. Something either interested you, moved you, annoyed you, gave you questions, entertained you or in some way got a response from you. This is what you want to organize the paper around. Remember the experience of viewing a dance is subjective. There are no right answers. What you saw is as valid as what another person saw. It is the artist’s job to communicate with you. It doesn’t matter what they intended for you to see. What matters is what you saw. Please include the name of the company and or choreographer and some kind of background about where you saw the performance in the introduction of the papers. (Was it a Movement Research at Judson church show? Was it at Lincoln Center?) Papers should be 2 to 3 pages typed and double spaced.


General points to cover

  1. I saw this show. (What? Who? Where? When?)
  2. This is the part that interested me/ moved me/ confused me/excited me etc. the most.
  3. This is what I saw in the performance. Describe it as best as you can. What were the textures? Tempos? Energies? Spatial patterns? Levels? Facings? Styles? Costumes? Narratives? Abstractions? What movement did they use? What props/text/ music/ sets/ choreographic devices etc. (Not every piece will use all of these things but I am just suggesting some.)
  4. This is what I felt the artist was doing. This is what got me interested/excited/ confused etc., and this is why.
  5. This is what I take away from the show – what I learned or what I will remember most.

3. Reflective Journal Assignment Each student will keep a reflective journal as part of this course. The journal is a place to formalize your thinking about the material in the course and reflect on your experience in class and in practice outside of class.

You are required to do at least two entries per week in the journal. After each class meeting I will give you a prompt to stimulate your thinking for the journal. Your response for that day could relate to my prompt, but it also may include other issues from that class including – corrections you received, things you are working on, notations about approaches to an exercise that helped or didn’t, discussions about difficulties with an exercise, specific vocabulary, new steps or sequences that you need to remember or practice etc. Even if you miss class or class meets only one time in a week, you must write two times per week. You should be practicing class material outside of class, so you can write about that experience.

The journals will be collected at midterm and before the finals. They will be graded on the basis of their content. I am looking for discussion that is thoughtful, honest and reflects a true commitment to the process of developing dance skills. I am not concerned with the writing being formally structured. This is a place to play with ideas. I do need to be able to read it, so it should be in legible and comprehensible English. I will not however, take points off for grammar errors or spelling errors. It can be typed or written by hand, but it needs to be legible. Also this is not a personal life journal. This is a journal about your modern dance class. Please limit your discussion to things relevant to your building of your dance skills.


Methods By Which Student Learning Will Be Evaluated:

  1. A. Attendance and participation - 20%. Remember each late or observation is equal to half an absence. (See scale above in attendance policy section.)
  2. B. Growth, Progress, and Development – 20%
    Be energetic and interested in your class. Take corrections and work on them inside and outside of class. Your technique should progress from class to class. Ask for help and clarification when you need it. At this level you should be able to self-correct.
  3. C. Free Writing and Performance Response Paper – 10%. See Guidelines Above
  4. D. Reflective Journal – 10%. See Guidelines Above
  5. E. Midterm Exam – 20%.
  6. F. Final Exam – 20 %.

Grading Standards:

A grade of A is given for superlative work that demonstrates a profound commitment to the course material, and further, that goes on to employ this material as a springboard for independent thought and work.

A grade of B is given for very good work that completely fulfills all the requirements of the course in a conscientious and dedicated manner, and that demonstrates mastery of the course content.

A grade of C is given for work that fulfills all the requirements of the course in a satisfactory manner, but that falls short of demonstrating rigor and mastery.

A grade of D is given for work that is unsatisfactory.

A grade of F is given for work that fails to fulfill the requirements of the course as listed


USE OF TOUCH PLEASE NOTE: During the teaching process, in order to engender correct alignment and coordination, it may be beneficial to the student for me to touch the student at various body parts: arms, hands, chest, lower back, abdomen, neck, legs, feet, etc. If you do not wish to be touched, please inform me at the beginning of the semester and your wishes will be respected.

Academic Integrity:

Forms of Academic Integrity Violations

Violations of academic integrity can occur in a number of ways. Acts of academic dishonesty include (the complete listing with definitions and examples is included in the main body of the QCC Academic Integrity code):

  1. Plagiarism – the inclusion of someone else’s words, ideas or data as one’s own work without acknowledging the source.
  2. Fabrication – the use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings.
  3. Cheating – an act or an attempted act of deception by which students seek to misrepresent that they have mastered information on an academic exercise that they have not mastered.
  4. Academic Misconduct – any act to gain an undue academic benefit for oneself or to cause academic harm to another.

Any other serious violations as determined by the instructor.

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