2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Dance: Body, Culture and Behavior

Last Updated: 12/11/2008

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty: Amy Cook biology, animal behavior, physiology, Kabby Mitchell dance, African American history and culture

Faculty Signature Required: Winter quarter

Major areas of study include dance, anatomy, physiology and anthropology.

Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 50% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

Accepts Winter Enrollment: This program will accept new students in winter quarter as space in the program allows. Interested students should contact faculty by email. New students should expect to complete some catch-up work during the December break.

Dance is a complex mix of human physiology, emotion, and culture. The term “dance” has also been used by animal behaviorists to describe movements animals do as part of courtship and other social interactions. In this program we will explore dance from these various perspectives. Students will develop the skills necessary to do dance but will also gain a better understanding of what is behind the movements – both in terms of anatomy and physiology and in terms of what dance means to us as humans. We will examine and perform dance, not simply within categories like ballet or modern, but from a broader perspective of movement and culture including African and African-American dance.

In fall quarter we will begin to examine the anatomical and physiological basis of dance. Through labs, lectures and workshops we will look at the structure of the musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system and respiratory system and how these systems function both independently and together to allow us to do anything from walking across the street to performing the complex movements of dance. These ideas will be reinforced in weekly dance workshops and students will be encouraged to learn through paying attention to what is happening in their own bodies.

In winter quarter we will continue our examination of the physiology of dance and integrate energy, metabolism, balance and coordination with cultural studies. Students will continue to develop and hone their movement and dance skills in workshops and work towards a final performance in which they will be asked to show what they have learned in the program and bring together the major program themes. We will also look at the activities that animal behaviorists call dance and compare them to dance in humans. What are animals trying to communicate in their dances? Is there any evidence of individuality or creativity in animal dance? Students will be encouraged to think deeply about what dance is and whether it is unique to humans.

In taking an interdisciplinary approach to dance we hope to attract both students who have a long-term interest in dance as a career and students who have never before thought about learning to dance but are interested in human physiology and culture and would like to be involved in a creative approach to learning the major concepts of these fields.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 46

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Special Expenses: $50 per quarter for performance event tickets.

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in dance, cultural anthropology, behavior, writing, education and medicine.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen, Environmental Studies, Expressive Arts

Program Revisions

Date Revision
December 11th, 2008 Winter enrollment details added.