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Undergraduate Catalog 2013



View Faculty Details


Carol Hess

Associate Professors

Doug Hamby
Elizabeth Walton


Sandra L. Lacy

Courses in this program are listed under DANC.

For updated and current information, visit our department Web site:

The dance department faculty brings extensive professional experience in various techniques and styles to teaching dance at UMBC.  Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (, the curriculum fosters growth in skills, artistry, and creative inquiry.  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 focuses on performance and choreography. Students have regular opportunities, both formal and informal, to develop their performance and choreographic skills. Students 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 courses.  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. Past visiting artists have included Tzveta Kassabova, Susan Rethorst, Scott Rink, Gesel Mason, Helanius Wilkens, Adrienne Clancy, Jeanine Durning, Tonya Lockyer, Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello.

Career and Academic Paths

Some graduates of the dance program dance professionally with major dance companies in New York, the Baltimore/Washington area and beyond, including Pilobolus, Taylor 2, CityDance Ensemble and Dakshina.  Others have performed in regional companies and a variety of venues including the Goodspeed Opera House, Jubilee in Las Vegas, and Disney in Tokyo. Graduates who pursued education certification teach in public and private schools.  Many graduates teach in community studios or own private studios. Some pursue graduate study in dance or in related fields such as physical therapy or dance therapy.

Academic Advising

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.

Major Programs

Students pursuing dance as a major course of study receive a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Dance. The major includes courses that explore important relationships between dance and other disciplines that are involved in the shaping of dance as a performing art. The curriculum is composed of sequences in contemporary modern dance technique, ballet, 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 and choreography. Students take courses in dance technique, dance history, choreography and performance, dance and technology, and may choose electives in dance and related disciplines. All candidates for the B.A. in Dance must complete the degree requirements.

Education Certificate

Dance majors may obtain state certification as a dance specialist through a course of study designed by the dance and education departments.  Students can combine a major in dance with study in the field of education. Contact the dance department directly for more information. Students interested in early childhood or elementary education may choose dance as their major field of study as they pursue coursework in 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 contemporary every semester. Dance majors are required to enroll in a minimum of one technique course in ballet or contemporary each semester.

Gateway Course for Majors

DANC 320 Intermediate Contemporary Dance Technique II [3]

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 as a dance major.

Requirements for the B.A. in Dance 

The requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Dance 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)

Contemporary Dance Technique

A minimum of 12 credits in modern dance technique, which must include the following courses:

DANC 310 Intermediate Contemporary Dance Technique I [3]

DANC 320 Intermediate Contemporary Dance Technique II [3]

DANC 410 Advanced Contemporary Dance Technique I [3]

DANC 420 Advanced Contemporary Dance Technique II [3]

Ballet Technique 

A minimum of eight credits in ballet technique (including repeatable courses) from the following:

DANC 216 Intermediate Ballet [2]

DANC 316 High Intermediate Ballet  [2]

Students entering the program at a higher level of ballet may apply DANC 416 Advanced Ballet to this requirement.

B. Choreographic Process (10 credits)

DANC 230 Improvisation [3]

DANC 290 Independent Projects in Choreography [1]

DANC 330 Dance Composition I [3]

DANC 331 Dance Composition II [3]

C. Performance (5 credits)

DANC 350 Dance Workshop [2]

DANC 450 Repertory [3]

D. Dance History (6 credits)

DANC 201 History of Dance I [3]

DANC 202 History of Dance II [3]

E. Dance and Related Disciplines (11 credits)

DANC 240 Music for Dance [2] 

DANC 315 Beyond Technique: The Body and Motion [3] 

DANC 325 Dance and the Contemporary Arts [3] 

DANC 340 Dance and Technology [3]

F. Technical Theater

DANC 399 Dance Practicum [3]

G. Capstone Experience (3 credits)

DANC 475 Senior Projects [3]

Minor Program (19 credits)

Core Courses:

One course in the history of dance (either DANC 201: Dance History I OR DANC 202: Dance History II) [3]

DANC 230 Improvisation [3]

DANC 310 Contemporary Modern Technique I [3]

DANC 350 Dance Workshop [2]

One course in ballet technique at the appropriate level (DANC 116, 216, 217, 316, 317) [2]

PLUS six credits in dance electives from the following:

DANC 201 OR DANC 202 (if not selected as a core course) [3]

An additional course in ballet technique (DANC 216, 316, or 416,) [2]

DANC 220* Beginning Modern Technique II [2]

DANC 260 Introduction to African Dance [3]

DANC 320 Intermediate Contemporary Technique II [3]

DANC 301 Special Studies in Dance [1-3]

DANC 330 Dance Composition I [3]

DANC 331 Dance Composition II [3]

DANC 399 Dance Practicum [3]

DANC 390 Dance Production Workshop [3]

DANC 399 Dance Practicum [3]

DANC 450 Repertory [3]

*Prerequisite for DANC 310, which may be waived based on the student’s dance background and experience

Special Opportunities

The dance department produces eight full-length dance concerts each year. Six of these concerts feature students and student choreography. Talented upper level students may be invited to work as apprentices with the Baltimore Dance Project, 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 may present lecture/demonstrations and workshops in area public schools.

Student Organizations

Council of Majors

The 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 active in the field include:

Robin Masella ‘07
Performer in musical theater productions across the U.S.

Alicia Ritgert  ‘06
Performed with Disney cruises

Eileen Beth Mitchell Schwartz '02
Former performer with CityDance Ensemble with her own private studio.

Jennica Lee ‘02
Performer in Disney Tokyo and Jubilee in Las Vegas 

Renee Brozic Barger ‘99
Coordinator of the Dance Program at Howard Community College

Eric Jenkins ‘94
Teacher at Broadway Dance Center in New York City

Robin Branch ‘93
Toured Africa with Taylor 2

Rebecca Marie Jung ‘87
A featured performer with Pilobolus

Many UMBC alumni currently teach in public and private schools in the Baltimore area and beyond.