The Department of Dance provides exemplary liberal arts educations for students who desire professional and personal engagement with dance as cultural practice, art form, and interdisciplinary subject.
Dance works in support of four goals:
- Inspire creativity and intellectual growth in students as future artists, teachers, scholars, and global citizens through degree and certificate programs in dance.
- Contribute knowledge in bodily practices to the broad range of skills needed to achieve career goals, commit to life-long learning, and enrich quality of life.
- Model professionalism, diversity, and mutuality through faculty achievement, curricula, and departmental culture.
- Provide meaningful and inspiring opportunities for dance students and university and local communities through public performance of artistry and scholarship and community partnerships.
Dance degree study includes courses in diverse dance practices, among them modern dance, contemporary dance, classical and contemporary ballet, vintage and contemporary jazz, and dance practices from West Africa, Latin America, and India; improvisation; choreography; performance; digital skills for artists; dance history; anatomy; ballet pedagogy; and music and writing for dance. In partnership with the professional dance company, Charlotte Ballet, the Department offers a Professional Training Certificate in Dance for advanced ballet training.
The unique research interests, expertise, and professional connections of our faculty provide extraordinary opportunities for our students. By audition, students perform in concerts featuring original works by faculty and guest choreographers, as well as re-staged masterworks.
In 2018-2019, our guest artists include Claudia Lavista and Janet Schroeder. Lavista, renowned co-director of the Mexico-based company, Delfos Danza Contemporánea, has more than 25 years of international dance experience. She has collaborated with Iranian composer Shamou, director of music for the Department of Dance, to create a new version of her Prow, an emotionally charged and physically challenging work that uses sound and movement to address themes like migration, immigration, alienation, and identity. Janet Schroeder is a percussive dance artist, scholar, and teacher, with particular interests in tap dance, Appalachian clogging, and body percussion. She will create a tap work with students during Spring 2019. Recent guest artists have included dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker Marcus White; contemporary dance choreographer Netta Yerushalmy; Taylor 2 Dance Company; and AGA Collaborative.
Students interested in dance scholarship receive mentoring in research and writing and support through our Charlotte Research Scholars program. They present work at university and department symposia and regional and national conferences. Faculty also nurture student choreographers, who may present their choreography on stage for credit and through student groups like MOVE and Range of Motion.
Graduates may move directly into the profession as performers, choreographers, and teachers, attend graduate school, or combine their dance backgrounds with complementary areas of study to pursue many distinctive career paths.