Sequence of Study

Students who entered Goucher before fall 2015 may either complete the requirements set forth here or complete those included in the Academic Catalogue for the student's entrance year. In instances where a course is no longer offered, a substitute course will replace the previously required course in order that a student may successfully graduate.

All dance majors must complete 41-43 credits of coursework.  Students complete a core course of study and then select from the technical and theoretical studies to complete their course of study.

Required Core Courses:

  • DAN 193 (Light Design for Dance) - strongly suggested taken your freshman year
  • DAN 194 (Technical Application for the Stage)  - strongly suggested taken your freshman year
  • DAN 263 (Anatomy for Dancers) - taken your sophomore year
  • DAN 251 (Dance History II) - taken at any point during your undergraduate study
  • DAN 260 (Composition I) - taken fall semester of your sophomore year.  Prerequisite: skill level DAN 215 or 221
  • DAN 225 (Dance Seminar) - taken your sophomore year or immediately upon major declaration
  • DAN 440 (Dance Capstone) - taken fall semester of your senior year

All dance majors are expected to include dance technique classes in their schedule throughout their four years. All students are required to reach the 400 level of either ballet or modern dance and the 300 level of the other.

Additional course required by both the college and the major: a choice of a dance-related internship or dance-related international experience.

NOTE: All dance majors have the opportunity to perform in and present choreography. During the semester in which a student performs, he or she must be enrolled in a dance technique class in the genre in which they are performing. Prerequisites must be obtained in order to present choreography.

In addition to the above core courses, students must select courses from the technical and theoretical studies to complete their course of study:

Technical Studies

Students must complete two or more courses from the courses listed below.  (2-3 cr.)  NOTE: Only one course in Pointe, Jazz, and Pilates may count towards this requirement but may be repeated up to three times for credit.

  • DAN 101 (Pointe I) (1 cr.), DAN 201 (Pointe II) (1 cr.), OR DAN 302 (Pointe III) (1 cr.)
  • DAN 204 (Partnering) (1 cr.)
  • DAN 203 (Variations/Repertory) (1 cr.)
  • DAN 140 (Jazz Dance Technique I) (2 cr.) OR DAN 141 (Jazz Dance Technique II) (1.5 cr.)
  • DAN 146 (African Dance and Drumming) (1 cr.)
  • DAN 105 (Men's Technique) (1 cr.)
  • DAN 102 (Pilates Method of Body Conditioning I) (1.5 cr. ) OR DAN 202 (Pilates Method of Body Conditioning II) (1.5 cr.)

Theoretical Studies

Students must complete a minimum of two courses, one of which must be at the 300 level.  (7-8 cr.)

  • DAN 283 (Dance Pedagogy) (4 cr.)
  • DAN 284 (K-12 Dance Education) (4 cr.)
  • DAN 284L* (Optional Dance Education Fieldwork) (1 cr.) * Must be taken simultaneously with lecture course and may not count as one
  • DAN 296 (Introduction to Dance Therapy) (3 cr.)
  • DAN 361 (Advanced Choreography and Production) (4 cr.)
  • DAN 391 (Dance and Community Outreach) (4 cr.)
  • DAN 389 (Dance Notation) (4 cr.)
  • DAN 395 (Special Topics in Dance) (4 cr.)

Students are encouraged and may elect to take independent work in any area that they wish to further investigate.  This requires working directly with a professor and developing a course of study and requirements for completion of the independent work. Courses that are considered independent: DAN 243, DAN 295, DAN 281, DAN 382, DAN 383, and DAN 384.

Students are required to take the senior capstone course and achieve a grade of B- or better to be granted writing proficiency in the major.  

Related Emphasis:

Secondary Education Certification:

Students pursuing certification to teach dance must complete the dance major and one of the dance education courses offered in the department.  In addition, see the Education Department for specifics regarding secondary education courses.  Be aware that a ninth semester student teaching in the school system may be required at the undergraduate level, or students may engage in the 4 + 1 Accelerated Degree option available through the Graduate Programs in Education.

Concentration in Arts Administration:

Students who wish to pursue a concentration in arts administration must complete a dance major.  Additional courses are required in business management and are designed to give students a fundamental knowledge in the content areas of business, arts administration, and economics.  Students must complete the following courses: BUS 110 (3), BUS 120 (3), BUS 170 (3), BUS 229 (3), BUS 270 (3), BUS 375 (3), and EC 100 or EC 101(3).  See details under Business Management.

Science with Dance Concentration

See the Biological Sciences Department for details.

Students may double major or choose to take specific courses, listed below, in preparation for successful entry to graduate or professional programs for identified careers in dance:

Dance/Movement Therapy:

To practice dance/movement therapy one must obtain a masters degree.  At the undergraduate level, students may major in dance and gain knowledge in the content areas of psychological theory, human development, multicultural perspectives, group process, behavioral research, psychopathology, psychodiagnosis and assessment skills.  This program of study is designed to fully prepare a student to enter a masters program in dance/movement therapy and requires the following psychology courses: PSY 111 (intro), PSY 112 (intro lab), PSY 244 (developmental), PSY 219 (diversity), PSY 230 (social), PSY 252 or 255 (methods), and PSY 271 (abnormal).

Dance and Science with entry to physical therapy programs or dance science graduate programs:

Students will major in dance and take additional courses in the sciences that are designed to give students a fundamental knowledge in the content of biology and chemistry. 

The following courses have been identified as requirements for successful application to physical therapy programs: BIO 104 (4), BIO 105 (4), BIO 210 and 214 (4), BIO 260 (4), BIO 261 (4), CHE 111/112 (4), CHE 151/152 (4), Statistics 141 or 125 (4), PSY 111/112 and PHY 115 or 125. 

Students opting to pursue entry to a dance science graduate program will major in dance and select appropriate courses in the sciences for specific graduate programs as requirements for each program vary considerably.

Honors in the Major

Students can earn honors in the major by completing a senior thesis with a grade of A or A-.

Multiple Failed Courses

It is the department's policy that students majoring in dance must receive at least a C- in every course taken toward the completion of the major.



All students are placed in technique levels by audition at placement classes during fall orientation or by faculty evaluation.


Dance Major and Minor Review

Each year prospective and declared dance majors and dance minors are required to participate in a ballet and a modern dance technique class that will determine the ability of the student to achieve the required level of technique to complete the dance major or dance minor. Students struggling with the technical requirement of the department may be advised to find an alternative major while continuing their studies in the Dance Department.


Progression through Dance Technique Levels

Advancement is determined by the student's technical proficiency.


Repeatable Dance Technique Courses

The following courses are repeatable up to four times for credit:

DAN 146 and DAN 295

The following courses are repeatable up to three times for credit:

DAN 101, DAN 102, DAN 104, DAN 105, DAN 115, DAN 121, DAN 140, DAN 141, DAN 201, DAN 202, DAN 203, DAN 204, DAN 215, DAN 221, DAN 302, DAN 316, DAN 320, DAN 415, DAN 421


Senior Thesis in Dance (DAN 450)

The senior thesis is an opportunity for students completing a B.A. in dance to present an extensive project that reflects a cumulative knowledge of the experiences in the program's curriculum.

The senior thesis is the product of scholarly or scientific research or artistic work of high academic quality. The character of the work leading to the senior thesis is expected to be more advanced than normal course work and should involve an unusually high level of initiative, independence, organization, and effort.

The senior thesis may take any one of a wide variety of forms suitable to the disciplines(s) concerned. In all cases, the thesis should demonstrate excellence, originality, and dedicated effort by the student.

Senior thesis work carries eight credits and ordinarily involves two sequential courses of four semester credit hours each, directed by a faculty adviser selected by the student.

Thesis Options in Dance:

1.     Scholarly or Scientific Research

Written documentation (at least 40 pages long) based on research within one of the following areas: dance therapy, dance education, dance science, technical theory and pedagogy, dance history, dance criticism.

2.     Original Choreography

To be eligible, student must successfully complete DAN 361 by thesis proposal submission.

This thesis option generally entails a lengthy movement laboratory, which culminates in the presentation of either one lengthy dance work, or several pieces of new, interrelated choreography (length/quantity to be determined by faculty adviser). The recommended length is a shared evening concert, or 3-4 pieces of new choreography. This option must be accompanied by documentation of research topic(s) used, description of context, the creative process, evaluations, and a formal presentation/performance of the work(s).

3.     Re-construction of Renowned Existing Choreography

To be eligible, student must successfully complete Labanotation and have completed or be concurrently enrolled in DAN 316 and/or DAN 320 by thesis proposal submission. This option includes extensive research on the choreographic artist of the chosen reconstruction(s), what is intrguing about the artist and the selected work(s), documentation of the process of acquiring the work, the rehearsal process, consistent evaluations by faculty and professionals, and a formal presentation/performance of the work(s) reconstructed.

For more information and thesis requirements and eligibility, contact the department chair.