The mission of the Dance Department is to link critical thinking, historical perspective and creative discovery with the distinct movement skills derived from studio practice and stage performance. Students develop a deeper understanding of dance and how it has emerged as an art form. They learn to recognize and distinguish the ways in which culture and society influence dance and, conversely, how dance embodies and expresses the human experience. Ultimately, they emerge with a more complete understanding of how dance will impact and influence their lives.
Students work toward proficiency in the major through a combined course of study, which includes intensive dance technique, dance history/criticism, theoretical, improvisation and composition classes. The dance major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree, preparing students for a career in the fields of performance, choreography, dance education, dance therapies, arts administration, and dance criticism. Dance majors and minors are encouraged to investigate related areas of study, and many of our majors combine the dance major with other areas of interest. Recent graduates have earned degrees in both dance and Exercise Science, Art History, English, Theater, Computer Science, Psychology, Government, Neuroscience and Biology (pre-med).
The Dance Department has five full-time and six part-time dance faculty, two full-time dance musicians, and a full-time technical director of the Dance Theater. Guest artists are regularly invited to choreograph original works for our concerts, offer workshops, master classes, performances and lectures for the campus community and general public. Our long and rich history of guest artists includes Deborah Hay, Kenneth Topping (Skidmore Alumnus and former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company), Kirsten Simone, Dwight Rhoden, Robert Battle, Erika Pujic, Brian Brooks, Summer Lee Rhatigan, Susan Kikuchi, Leah Cox, Marc Mann, The Bill T. Jones Company, The Martha Graham Company, The Jose Limón Company, Taylor 2, Sydney Skybetter and many other artists of note.
The Skidmore Dance Department encourages individual growth and development, supporting our graduates’ ability to benefit from the diverse dance opportunities available today. Our alumni are members or directors of professional companies, dance therapists, arts administrators, lighting designers, stage managers, physical therapists, writers, choreographers and teachers. We are proud to have produced both a wide range of performing artists, and those who continue to have the performing arts as a part of their professional lives. We welcome you all.