DAN-230, 231, 232 Course Syllabus

Intermediate Ballet I, II and III

Course Description:

This course covers the technique and the theory of Intermediate Ballet. Emphasis is placed on intermediate/advanced ballet technique and the application of movement principles essential to the training of the dancer. In this course ballet technique and vocabulary will be explored. Emphasis on flow, anatomical awareness, efficient alignment, line, phrasing and musical sensitivity will expand the dancers’ ability to use dance as a form of expression.

Curricula For Which This Course Is Required:

DAN 231 is an intermediate level course with a prerequisite of Advanced Beginning Ballet 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 will write a paper explaining their personal goals for the course and a paper that assesses their progress in the course in light of those goals.
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 ballet that they will perform in the class.
D. Integrate knowledge and skills in their program of study. Each section (adagio, waltz, petite allegro, grand allegro) of the class culminates in a phrase that allows the 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 ballet vocabulary
  3. Students will be able to accurately apply ballet terminology in written and oral communication.
  4. Students will increase their musical sensitivity.
  5. Students will gain an appreciation and understanding of ballet performance.
  6. Students will set personal goals and evaluate their progress in writing.
  7. Students will demonstrate self-awareness and awareness of others when performing and engaging in group activities.

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes
Course Objectives 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 heel/sits bones and xiphoid process/pubic symphysis on their own. Students will develop a sense of moving from their center.
2. Students will understand ballet vocabulary. A. Students will learn the terms and meaning of ballet movements in French and English.
3. Students will be able to accurately apply ballet terminology in written and oral communication. A. Students will be able demonstrate correct ballet movements when explained only verbally in French. B. Upon demonstration, students will be able to orally identify ballet movements in French and their meaning in English.
4. Students will increase their musical sensitivity. 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. C. Students will be able to change the quality of their movement to match the quality of the music .
5. Students will gain an appreciation and understanding of ballet performance. A. Students will be able to incorporate performance quality into their dancing.
6. Students will set personal goals and evaluate their progress in writing. A. Students will be able to discuss dance technique and artistry verbally and in writing.
7. 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.

Summary of Main Topics Covered in the Course:

  1. Anatomical alignment
  2. Ballet Vocabulary
  3. Ballet Barre Exercises
  4. Ballet Center Exercises
  5. Ballet Traveling Across the floor Exercises
  6. Technique
  7. Musicality/Rhythmic Sensitivity
  8. Ballet Performance
  9. Moving through space
  10. The Life of a dancer

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

Attendance Scale
Number of Absences Grade Percentage
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. Students are also required to wear ballet shoes or athletic socks designated for ballet class only and washed regularly. 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 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 and barre 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 on video the week after the midterm. This will be a good time to reflect on your progress and renew/revise your goals for the remaining part of the semester. You are required to meet with me to go over midterm.

B. Final Exam

The final class will start with a warm up and barre 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 Papers

Guidelines for Personal Goals and Self Evaluation Papers

For this class you will do two writing assignments. Each should be one to two pages, typed and double spaced.

A. Personal Goals
Each dancer has her/his own individual path of development. This writing assignment is aimed at focusing your work in this class (and your other movement classes this semester) so that you can get the most out of the experience. You are going to pick either two or three dance skills that you would like to improve on this semester and explain them for the reader. Your paper should start with an introduction. This is where you can explain any background information about your training history, injuries, ambitions etc.

The introduction will be followed by the body of the essay. In the body you will thoroughly explain what dance skills you plan to focus on. You can use corrections you have received in this class or previous classes as guidelines or you can choose areas you personally feel you need improvement from your own observations. You can meet with me to discuss the video material taken in the second class or get my general input to prepare for this paper. Some possible areas of focus include:
Developing core support and moving from your center
Correcting alignment issues (such as head forward, pelvis tilted forward or back, hyperextended knees, feet sickling, spine tilted, ribs forward, sitting into a hip etc.)
Developing flow
Coordinating upper and lower body
Maintaining spinal alignment in plié
Finding power to move through space in the plié
Increasing musical sensitivity
Improving spatial awareness
Moving boldly across the floor
Developing turn out support
Improving balance
Improving balon (elevation in jumping)
Clarifying line
Integrating your visual focus with your dancing
Developing power in the upper body
Releasing unnecessary tension
Picking up movement phrases more quickly
Many others that you may think of

In the body of the essay completely explain which skills you plan to focus on. If you will do special work on this area outside of class explain this. To conclude your essay, explain how these skills will impact your overall dancing.

B. Self Evaluation
In this essay you will reflect on your work over the course of the term. You will use your areas of focus from your personal goals writing assignment as a starting point in this discussion. Did you work on those areas? What specifically did you do in class and outside of class to address those skills? What have you experienced yourself doing in class that lets you know if you did or did not make progress with those skills? Were there other ways in which your dancing grew over the semester? Does the class leave you with goals for continued growth in your next dance classes? You will get a lot of information from your journal that will help you shape this essay if you are writing regularly and reflecting honestly.

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 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.

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 ballet class. Please limit your discussion to things relevant to your building of your dance skills.

Methods By Which Student Learning Will Be Evaluated:

A. Attendance and Participation is worth 20% of your grade. Remember each late or observation is equal to half an absence. See scale on page 3

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.

C. Personal Goals and Self-Evaluation Papers – 10% See Guidelines Above

D. Reflective Journal – 10% See Guidelines Above

E. Midterm Exam – 20%

F. Final Exam – 20 %

Important Dates Personal Goals Essays Due First Journal Collection Midterm Exam Self Evaluation Papers Due Final Exam

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


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 of as determined by the instructor

Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable academic accommodations if determined eligible by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSSD). Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student’s eligibility from the OSSD. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate contact with the OSSD staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

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