Middlebury Dance Program YouTube channel

The Dance Department offers a major or joint major, leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree; a minor, or the opportunity to take courses in dance for academic credit or as an auditor. Many other opportunities to dance arise each semester in guest artists’ master classes and in faculty- and student-choreographed concerts. January Term courses also provide intensive, interdisciplinary or other options to explore or extend your interest in dance.

Central to the Dance Department is the development of the creative artist and artist/scholar through critical study and regular practice in contemporary, world dance techniques; improvisation and choreography; history, theory, and cultural studies; experiential anatomy and kinesiology; and performance. Students are encouraged to follow their individual talents and interests into advanced, independent study of dance within the department and the broader college curriculum. The dance major is designed to provide a solid and extensive base of intellectual and experiential expertise in dance, applicable widely, as well as necessary flexibility to accommodate individual educational goals. Our faculty of four dance professionals, two musician/composers and a lighting designer/technical director is further diversified and extended by a robust calendar of guest artists and performances. In addition, a lively group of student-run clubs and associations responds to current interests in dance/movement.


The Middlebury Dance Department received a major grant from the Mellon Foundation. Starting in fall 2014, "Movement Matters" will connect movement research with traditional scholarship across the campus.


ARDV 0116 - The Creative Process 

The Creative Process
In this course, students will have the opportunity to dig deeply into their own creativity and explore the processes by which ideas emerge and are given shape in the arts. The experiential nature of this course integrates cognition and action, mind and body. Students will engage a range of modes of discovering, knowing, and communicating, which are designed to push them beyond their present state of awareness and level of confidence in their creative power. Practical work will be closely accompanied by readings and journaling, culminating with the creation and performance of a short project. (First- and second-year students only; Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1364) 3 hrs. lect. ART

DANC 0163 - From Africa to the Americas 

From Africa to the Americas: Moving from Our Core

This course is an introduction to dance emphasizing the influence of traditions from the African Diaspora on contemporary modern dance. Technique sessions incorporate styles from West Africa and Central and South America with performance work. Discussion of readings on the history and current practice of movement forms originating in Africa, as well as on the work of artists developing fusion styles, supports written and creative work. Compositional studies explore the intersection between technique, history/theory, and performance. (No previous dance experience required.) 2 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab ART PE

DANC 0261 - Improvisational Practices 

Improvisational Practices

In this course students will gain an embodied understanding of the practices and techniques needed to proceed to advanced improvisational work. Research into forms such as partnering, ensemble work, text, musical exercises, compositions, and scores/projects will focus on mapping the moving body in the moment. Readings, journals, and responses to video viewings and live performances contribute to the exploration of historical contexts, aesthetics, and cultural improvisations. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab ART PE

DANC 0284 - Modern Dance History in U.S. 

Modern Dance History in the United States: Early Influences to Postmodern Transformations

In this seminar we will focus on the emergence and development of 20th century American concert dance--especially modern and postmodern dance forms--from the confluence of European folk and court dance, African and Caribbean influences, and other American cultural dynamics. We will look at ways in which dance reflects, responds to, and creates its cultural milieu, with special attention to issues of gender, race/ethnicity, and class. Readings, video, and live performance illuminate the artistic products and processes of choreographers whose works mark particular periods or turning points in this unfolding story. Our study is intended to support informed critical articulations and an understanding of the complexity of dance as art. 3 hrs. lect./2 hrs. screen. AMR ART HIS NOR

DANC 0370 - Production Workshop 

Production Workshop

In preparing two fully produced dance productions for the stage, students will participate in and be exposed to professional production practices in all areas of dance technical design, including sets, costumes, props, lights, and sound. Students will be involved in planning, building, operating, lighting, documenting, striking, and publicizing fully produced dance program concerts. (6 hrs. lab) ART PE 

DANC 0380 - Dance Company

Dance Company of Middlebury

Dancers work with the artistic director, Christal Brown, and guest artist as part of the Dance Company to create original performance work. Participants can expect four to six rehearsals weekly. Appropriate written work, concert and film viewing, and attendance in departmental technique classes are required. All interested students must attend the pre-semester workshop.  Register Here.  Students are required to make a two-semester commitment for the fall and J-Term. One credit will be given for each term of participation. (DANC 0260; Approval required) 4 hrs. lect./4 hrs. lab ART PE

DANC 0460 Intermediate/Advanced Dance II: The Place of Dance

Intermediate/Advanced Dance III: The Place of Dance

In this course we will investigate three aspects of place in relation to dance: where we source movement, the relevance of dance in culture, and the effects of place on the moving dancing body. Material covered will include body systems dance technique at the intermediate/advanced level, improvisation and composition toward choreography and site specific work, readings and reflective writing, and performance viewing. The course culminates in formal and informal showings of performance work. The emergence of a personal philosophy and dance aesthetic will be engaged and formally articulated in writing. (DANC 0261; this course may be taken in any sequence with DANC 0360, DANC 0361, DANC 0461) 4.5 hrs. lect./2 hrs. lab. ART PE

Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2021


Dance Department

Mahaney Center for the Arts
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753