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Educational Goals

Senior work has been integral to the dance curriculum since inception of the major in 1983-84. It is intended to provide a capstone experience tailored to the individual student’s area of interest and educational goals.

Our core curriculum provides all our majors, regardless of individual educational goals, experience in: 

  • the creation and performance of original contemporary dance
  • contemporary and traditional dance techniques
  • creative process across the arts
  • dance history and cultural study
  • scientific, place-based, and experiential anatomy and kinesiology
  • seeing, thinking, and articulating about dance, art and related issues as writers and speakers

Our curricular tracks are designed to support our students’ interests in deeper study of particular aspects of the dance field. Through electives within the program and in the greater college curriculum, together with individualized mentoring, students are able to complete advanced work in:

  • Choreography and Performance
  • Production and Technology
  • Dance Studies

Our graduating students, regardless of curricular track, are expected to acquire the following:

  • an intermediate/advanced level of proficiency in contemporary dance techniques and choreographic methods, including improvisation;
  • the ability to pursue scholarly and experiential/creative research in dance;
  • an embodied understanding of their potential for creativity and agency in the world;
  • an appreciation for historical and cultural values expressed through dance;
  • the ability to contextualize their own and others’ work within the broad spectrum of dance as art and culture;
  • the ability to discuss dance, both analytically and accessibly, with others familiar or unfamiliar with the field. 

Graduates should be ready for advanced university study in their area of interest or for entrance into the world of professional dance.  History assures us that our graduating students are also prepared to carry their experience in dance into apparently unrelated fields, applying their whole educational experience to a variety of pursuits from psychology and social work to neuroscience, medicine and education; in short, wherever they wish to go.  

Dance Department

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