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Career and Academic Paths | Academic Advising | Major Programs | The Bachelor of Arts in Dance | Dance Education | Regular Classes in Dance Technique | Gateway Course for Majors | Requirements for the B.A. in Dance | Minor Program (19 credits) | Special Opportunities | Student Organizations | Recognized UMBC Dance Alumni |
Associate ProfessorsDoug Hamby
InstructorSandra L. Lacy
Courses in this program are listed under DANC.
The dance department faculty brings extensive professional experience in various techniques and styles to teaching dance at UMBC. With a primary focus on modern dance and contemporary methods of work, the curriculum gives students opportunities to develop strong technique, composition and performance. By studying the history of dance and related courses, students also gain an understanding of the origins of dance, cultural traditions of dance and the changing world of contemporary dance. The program’s main focus is performance. Students have regular opportunities, both formal and informal, to develop their performance skills. Students generally perform in department concerts at the end of each semester, in dances choreographed by faculty, visiting artists or other dance majors. Students also may have the opportunity to choreograph for department concerts and to create self-designed projects through independent studies. Because dance is studied in an atmosphere with many opportunities for connection with the other arts, students also develop their awareness of potential influences and new possibilities in performance. The artist-in-residence program brings well-known contemporary choreographers and/or teachers to the UMBC faculty for a full semester each year. This offers students the opportunity to work intensively with established dance artists and to be exposed to different ideas and methods of choreography. The program further develops students’ versatility in different techniques and styles. Recent visiting artists have included Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello, Tonya Lockyer, David Rousseve, Adrienne Clancy, Mary Williford, Jeanine Durning and Gesel Mason.
Career and Academic Paths
Some graduates of the dance program dance professionally with major New York dance companies, including Pilobolus and Taylor 2, City Dance Ensemble, or in regional companies Students may become certified to teach in the public school system through course study coordinated between the dance department and the education department. Others teach in community studios or in their own studios. Some have pursued graduate study in dance or in related fields such as physical therapy or dance therapy.
Students entering the program are placed in classes appropriate to their level of previous training. Placement is determined through interview and observation of the student. If an instructor feels that a student has been placed in the wrong level, adjustments may be made during the add/drop period.
Students pursuing dance as a major course of study may receive either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Dance or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Visual and Performing Arts with a concentration in dance. Students in both majors must take courses under the visual and performing arts interdisciplinary core. This core of study is the center from which the dance student explores important relationships between dance and other forms that may be involved in the shaping of dance as a performing art. The curriculum is composed of sequences in contemporary dance technique, performance and choreography. Sufficient previous training may enable students to enter the sequence in technique at the intermediate or advanced level, subject to the approval of the chairperson.
The Bachelor of Arts in Dance
The focus of the B.A. in Dance is on performance, choreography and technology. Students take courses in dance technique, dance history, choreography and performance, dance and technology, core courses in the visual and performing arts, and electives chosen from a focused list of courses in dance and related disciplines. All candidates for the B.A. in Dance must complete the degree requirements.
Dance majors may obtain state certification as a dance specialist through a course of study designed by the dance and education departments. Contact the dance department directly for more information. Students can combine a major in dance with study in the field of education. Students interested in teaching as a career may choose dance as their major field of study as they pursue coursework in early-childhood, elementary or secondary education through UMBC’s Department of Education.
Regular Classes in Dance Technique
All dance majors are expected to enroll in technique classes every semester. The dance department highly recommends that students pursuing the B.A. in Dance take both ballet and modern dance technique every semester. Dance majors are required to enroll in a minimum of one technique course in ballet or modern dance each semester.
Gateway Course for Majors
This course has been designated as the “gateway course” for dance majors. This course must be passed with a grade of “B” or better for a student to continue on in either major.
Requirements for the B.A. in Dance
The requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Dance (approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission in summer 2001) consist of a minimum of 58 credits. A grade of “C” is the minimum acceptable for credit toward the major, with the exception of DANC 320: Intermediate Modern Dance Technique II, the gateway course for the major, which requires a minimum grade of “B.”
A. Dance Techniques (minimum 20 credits)
Modern Dance Technique
A minimum of 12 credits in modern dance technique, which must include the following courses:
A minimum of eight credits in ballet technique, which must include the following repeatable courses:
Students entering the program at a higher level of ballet may apply DANC 416: Advanced Ballet to this requirement.
B. Choreographic Process (9 credits)
C. Performance (5 credits)
D. Dance History (6 credits)
E. Dance and Related Disciplines (13-15 credits)
F. Technical Theater
One of the following courses:
G. Capstone Experience (3 credits)
Minor Program (19 credits)
One course in ballet technique at the appropriate level (Ballet I, II, III or IV) 
PLUS six credits in dance electives from the following:
*Prerequisite for DANC 310, which may be waived based on the student’s dance background and experience
The dance department produces six full-length dance concerts each year. Four of these concerts feature students only. Upper-classmen frequently are asked to work as apprentices with the Phoenix Repertory Dance Company, UMBC’s professional company in residence. The company performs throughout the region and has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The company runs an outreach program called Project REACH, in which company members and student apprentices perform lecture/demonstrations and workshops in area public schools.
Council of MajorsThe dance department has an active Council of Majors. This student-run group puts on benefit concerts, sponsors master classes and supports an annual trip to the American College Dance Festival.
Recognized UMBC Dance Alumni
UMBC dance alumni on the professional stage include:
Rebecca Marie Jung ‘87
A featured performer with Pilobolus
Robin Branch ‘93
Toured Africa with Taylor 2
Jennica Lee ‘02
Performed with Disney in Tokyo
Eileen Mitchell ‘02
Performs with City Dance Ensemble in Washington, D.C.
Ali Linthicum ‘04
Performs in a variety of venues in New York City
Renee Brozic ‘99
Received her M.F.A. from George Mason University and choreographs and performs in the Baltimore/Washington area
Sarah Seeley ‘99
Received her M.F.A. from Smith College and is currently Paul Taylor’s administrative assistant
Julie Peoples-Clark ‘95
Is an area representative for DARE America ®
and many UMBC alumni teach dance in public and private schools.