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B.A. in Dance

Contact Person:
Leslie Delosh, Department Secretary,
(315) 267-2556,

James W. Pecora
238 Satterlee, (315) 267-2547,

35 credit hours required. Plus 9 credits of cognates.

All courses must be passed with a grade of 2.0 or higher to count towards the major.

The SUNY Potsdam Dance Program is housed in the Department of Theatre and Dance. A Bachelor of Arts degree is available to students who have a strong interest in dance and choose the dance major. Students may also choose to minor in dance, while pursuing another major or a double major. The goals for the B.A. program focus on preparing students for careers in the dance professions as artists and teachers, and to pursue graduate study. We strive to develop dance artists and educators who possess an integrated knowledge of the aesthetic, critical, historical, cultural, choreographic, and performance dimensions of the discipline of dance.

Through our close alignment with the Theatre Program students broaden their experiences and expand their interests in such areas as acting, technical theatre, and design. Every three years the Department of Theatre and Dance joins the Crane Opera Ensemble for a musical production: Cabaret (2002), Working (2004), and Urinetown-The Musical (2007).

Dance at SUNY Potsdam also allows for a wide variety of combinations of interdisciplinary work in such areas as theatre, music, psychology, community health, archeology, anthropology, history, business, and communication. These combined courses of study prepare students for further investigation and work in such fields as dance therapy, nutrition, fitness, dance ethnology, arts administration, and private studio ownership.

Students in the major program focus on two tracks: Technique and Composition. The dance curriculum is enriched through the study of such topics as improvisation, repertory, Laban Movement Analysis, dance education, history, Pilates-based conditioning, and yoga. Students' technique levels are determined during a placement class.

Interested students, regardless of major, are also invited to join the Student Government Association organization, Dance Ensemble. Dance Ensemble sponsors student-choreographed productions, travel to the American College Dance Festival and other dance events.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted. Credits are divided as follows:

Required Courses 17
DANC 211 Dance Improvisation  
DANC 311 Dance Composition I  
DANC 319 Movement, Theory and Notation  
DANC 321 & 322 Modern Dance II (2 @ 4 credits)  
The Technique Courses: chosen from the following 6
DANC 234 & 235 Intermediate Ballet (2 @ 2 credits)  
DANC 421 & 422 Modern Dance III (2 @ 4 credits)  
DANC 441 & 442 Modern Dance IV (2 @ 4 credits)  
Note: Only 4 credits of Intermediate Ballet will apply toward the Major.  
The Composition Courses: chosen from the following 6
DANC 312 Dance Composition II  
DANC 325 New Repertory (1 credit)  
DANC 390 Special Projects: Dance Composition (1-3 credits)  
DANC 411 Group Forms  
DANC 498 Senior Project (1-3 credits)  
Note: All students are required to have 1 credit of DANC 325.  
The Enrichment Courses: chosen from the following 6
DANC 130 Understanding Dance (4 credits)  
DANC 205 Production Techniques in Dance/Drama/Music (Lecture and Lab)  
DANC 302 Dance Education and Performance for Children (4 credits)  
DANC 320 20th/21st Century Dance History (3)  
DANC 391 Special Projects: Dance History (1-3 credits)  
DANC 450 The Teaching of Dance  
DANC 490 Special Projects in Teaching  
DANC 491 Special Projects in Movement, Theory and Notation  

Note: Special Projects courses are not regularly offered. They are intended for students who have completed requirements at an exemplary level and wish to continue with personalized work with an individual faculty member. Requires instructor approval.

Required Cognate Courses 9
DRAM 235 Introduction to Acting  
PHIL 320 Aesthetics  
MULH 110 Music Through the Ages  

Special Notes

  1. An interview is recommended to declare a dance major. An audition is not currently required.
  1. Appropriate technique levels for students are determined during a placement class. Only credit from the above-listed technique courses will be applied toward the fulfillment of the required technique track of the major. The focus of the technique track is modern dance. The academic adviser or program chair will determine applicable credit hours from other dance genres, such as ballet.
  1. Students in the major are expected to focus their studies on technique and composition courses. They will continue their studies with enrichment courses in history, repertory, movement theory, and/or dance education.
  1. A minimum of 16 credit hours for the major must be taken at the upper-division level.


Dance Majors are required to:

  1. Attend all dance auditions.
  1. Perform in a minimum of 1 faculty or guest artist concert work.
  1. Attend all workshops and classes of visiting guest artists.
  1. Attend all required Department of Theatre and Dance productions.
  1. Participate in an end-of-year assessment interview with adviser or other members of the dance faculty.


Dance Major Policies on Student Grades and Performing

  1. Any student receiving a grade of 1.0 or less for any course offered through the Department of Theatre and Dance will be ineligible for casting in any student directed or choreographed production during the semester immediately following the semester in which the failing grade is issued. Eligibility in faculty directed or choreographed productions will be left to the discretion of the directing faculty member and the Department Chair.
  1. To participate as a choreographer (for the Student Choreographers' Concert or Senior Chorographers' Concert) a student?s overall GPA must be at least a 2.0, and the GPA in dance courses must be at least a 2.3 during the semester preceding the concert.