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    Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalogue 
2023-2024 Catalogue

Belhaven University Dance Handbook

Table of Contents




Welcome to the Dance Department at Belhaven University. We have prepared this handbook to ease your transition into our department. It contains general information you will use throughout your time as a dance student and answers many commonly asked questions. Please use this handbook in consultation with your dance faculty advisor who will guide you through your program of study at Belhaven. We believe this year holds new and exciting opportunities for you in dance and liberal arts studies. The Belhaven University Dance Department encourages you to embrace all that God has for you in this journey.


Krista Bower's signature.

Krista Bower, MFA

Chair and Professor of Dance




Vision, Mission Statement, & Goals

Belhaven University prepares students academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Belhaven University affirms the Lordship of Christ over all aspects of life, acknowledges the Bible as the foundational authority for the development of a personal worldview, and recognizes each individual’s career as a calling from God.  Each academic department is committed to high academic goals for its students and clarifies the implications of biblical truth for its discipline. Belhaven upholds these commitments in offering undergraduate or graduate programs, by conventional or technological delivery modes, and in local, national, and international venues. The University requires a liberal arts foundation in each undergraduate degree program in order to best prepare students to contribute to a diverse, complex and fast-changing world.

By developing servant leaders who value integrity, compassion, and justice in all aspects of their lives, the University prepares people to serve, not to be served.




Vision, Mission Statement, & Goals


The mission of the dance department is to prepare students technically, artistically, academically, and spiritually to move into the world of dance and affiliated careers in adherence with the mission of the university.


The goals of the dance department are clearly derived from our mission statement and thus categorized. Although they are articulated separately, these goals are interdependent. Our objectives explain what steps are taken to apply these goals, which collectively educate the whole student in measurable terms.

  • Goal 1: Criticism, Evaluation, and Spiritual Integration - Students will develop and integrate a Christian worldview into their dance studies, and be able to critically assess their environment from such a perspective.
    • Objective 1: Students will participate in peer feedback, written and oral criticism of dance performances, and personal evaluation of artistic endeavors as portions of selected dance courses like improvisation, composition, performance techniques, and variations.
    • Objective 2: Students will learn to interact with others in the giving and receiving of art criticism, growing to function as a community of informed artists tackling problem solving.
    • Objective 3: Students will be able to research, create, lead, and manage their senior projects while interacting with faculty mentors. Students will demonstrate and articulate personal growth and development in a culminating subject. These will be presented for assessment.
    • Objective 4: Students will be trained to understand and compare different worldviews as they learn about dance history and the development of Christian thinking and practice in western cultures and world communities.
    • Objective 5: Students will consider both the process and the product of dance making and its capacity to communicate various worldviews, including a Christian worldview.
    • Objective 6: Students will learn to study and analyze historic and contemporary dance forms, examining them from a spiritual viewpoint that builds on the university core curriculum value of integrating faith and learning.
    • Objective 7: Students will learn to recognize the source of their gifts, so that they will be empowered and motivated to be good stewards of those gifts, in the light of a worldview that is informed by a Christian perspective.
  • Goal 2: Technique and Performance - Students will develop skills in technique and performance interpretation in ballet, modern, and world dance forms.
    • Objective 1: Students who are dance majors will take both ballet and modern dance for credit or audit their freshman year in order to gain skill in both classical and contemporary techniques, and to aid the faculty in determining BFA candidates by second year of study.  Students will continue to develop technical skill in further coursework in ballet and modern dance dependent on their degree tracking.
    • Objective 2: Students will be given opportunity to take courses in world dance forms and experience performance and/or workshops in world dance forms.
    • Objective 3: Students will have opportunity by audition to work with a diverse offering of guest artists, perform in varied venues, and collaborate with outside resources, aiding in the creation of versatile dancers.
    • Objective 4: Students will receive guidance and critique in their quality of dance performance through performance coursework, final assessments in selected dance courses, and in the presentation of student choreography.    
    • Objective 5: Students will grow in risk-taking, problem solving, application of correction, versatility in movement style, personal artistry over imitation, and individual growth. Students will gain the ability to teach themselves while continuing to learn from others.
    • Objective 6: Students will receive guidance through peer and teacher feedback, criticism, and final assessment of their work in the areas of technical execution, performance interpretation, and performance level.
  • GOALS OF THE DANCE DEPARTMENT - Students will gain an understanding of dance and its influence in past and present culture and how to communicate theoretical instruction proficiently.
    • Objective 1: Students will gain an understanding of the past, present, and potential future influences that inform dance thought and practice, through research, formulation of ideas, and oral and written presentations.
    • Objective 2: Students will learn about past and present dance works through experiential learning (reconstruction of historical works, watching and learning to analyze current works). Within this process of learning, students will examine how Christian thinking has influenced dance history and informs current dance practice.
    • Objective 3: Students will receive instruction in primary and secondary dance pedagogy and teaching methods. This understanding will offer skills in technical methodologies, vocabulary, and articulation of this knowledge.
    • Objective 4: Students will research the structural and financial environment of a variety of dance communities.
    • Objective 5: Students will develop and apply skills in lighting design, sound, and video technologies.
  • Goal 4: Artistry and Craft - Students will develop their artistry, craft, and voice through the exploration of communicating of ideas and the developing of skills in dance composition.
    • Objective 1: Students will work to express their own individual motivation and ideas, discovering how to express an internal perspective through creative problem solving.  
    • Objective 2: Students will be guided to apply their knowledge from improvisation courses to composition and choreography coursework as a foundation for dance crafting.
    • Objective 3: Students will develop skills in working with elements of movement (space, shape, time, and energy) along with the collaboration with other disciplines, text, props, weight sharing, among other aspects of dance improvisation and dance crafting.
    • Objective 4: Students will explore the development of an idea in dance through a range of communication (literal to abstract) and discuss the outcome in terms of its ability to authentically convey a worldview.  Within this exploration students will discover the capacity to communicate from a worldview in dance.
    • Objective 5:  Students will learn and practice form and design, dynamics, elements of dance crafting, and the process of creating solo work and group work.  
    • Objective 6: Students will receive guidance through peer and teacher feedback, criticism, and final assessment of their work.




Attire Guidelines


  • Leotards (any color; a black leotard will be needed for any formal dress code).
  • Proper foundations that remain neatly covered.
  • Flesh-toned tights (pink, bronze, brown, etc.), worn under the leotard; footed tights are required and worn inside the shoes.
  • Leotards and tights with holes or runs are not allowed.
  • Flesh-toned soft ballet shoes with the elastic properly attached.
  • Pointe shoes are required for Pointe Technique, Ballet Variations, and Pas de Deux. They must be brought to every class meeting and appropriate rehearsal.
  • Students working on pointe must always have a 2nd pair of pointe shoes available.
  • Consult instructor about wearing skirts in Pointe courses.


  • Solid color leotards and black footless tights (full or capri length), leggings, and/or fitted yoga pants; biker shorts are also allowed but must be mid-thigh length; consult instructor for specific preferences.
  • Proper foundations that remain neatly covered.
  • Dancers should be prepared, in every way, to dance barefoot.
  • Warm-up attire is allowed with the permission of the instructor.


  • A nude leotard (clear removable straps preferred), nude bra, neat pair of pink canvas ballet shoes, makeup kit, & black jazz shoes (only needed if taking a Jazz course) are required for every dancer
  • Sweat pants and other bulky garments may be worn in rehearsal only with the permission of the instructor.
  • Class/rehearsal garments must be clean and neat (visitors often observe classes), and they should permit the instructor’s clear observation of body lines.
  • Students are required to cover dance attire in modest clothing at all times when outside the walls of the Dance Department.
  • All dancers are to neatly secure their hair off the face and neck.
  • Jewelry is not permitted with the exception of engagement/wedding bands and post earrings.
  • Unless the temperature in the studio is 65° or below, students are required to remove all “warm up” clothing before class begins.
  • Please consult syllabi concerning specific class requirements regarding attire, hair, and shoes.




Attire Guidelines


  • Black tights (no runs or holes are allowed).
  • A snug black or white T-shirt or leotard (worn under tights).
  • Dance belt (one black, one nude).
  • Waist band or belt to hold up tights.
  • Black soft ballet shoes with elastics appropriately attached.


  • Snug solid color t-shirts
  • Footless tights or leggings (make sure that the garments are of the appropriate size and quality so they do not appear sheer while wearing).
  • Yoga pants or biker shorts (shorts must be at least mid-thigh length).
  • Dancers should be prepared, in every way, to dance barefoot.
  • Warm-up attire is allowed with the permission of the instructor.


  • Two pairs of canvas ballet shoes (1 white, 1 black), black jazz shoes (only needed if taking a jazz course), and a makeup kit are required for all dancers.
  • Sweat pants and other bulky garments may be worn in rehearsal only with the permission of the instructor.
  • Class/rehearsal garments must be clean and neat (visitors often observe classes), and they should permit the instructor’s clear observation of body lines.
  • Students are required to cover dance attire in modest clothing at all times when outside the walls of the dance department.
  • All dancers are to neatly and appropriately secure their hair off the face and neck.
  • Jewelry is not permitted with the exception of wedding bands and post earrings.
  • Unless the temperature in the studio is 65° or below, students are required to remove all “warm up” clothing before class begins.
  • Please consult syllabi concerning specific class requirements regarding attire, hair, and shoes.




Production Jobs

Students registered for DAN 243/244, DAN 343/344, DAN 443/444, DAN 148, or DAN 190/290 are required to participate in the production crews that semester. Each student is required to fulfill the duties of (1) Production Job. Additionally, students taking DAN 147 are required to fulfill the duties of (1) Production Job. Production Jobs are regulated by class standing (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, Senior). Students are encouraged to participate in the different aspects of production and to take on leadership roles as they rise in class rank. This allows students to gain practical experience by assisting with duties related to the production process of our concerts. It also allows the Belhaven University Dance Department to produce professional-quality performances. Students are responsible for keeping their own calendar and being prompt, prepared, and properly dressed at calls. Anyone who is not properly attired will lose credit and will be sent home to change. Proper attire includes closed-toe, non-marking shoes for all calls and black clothing for show calls. Students should use their best judgment when selecting clothing for work calls and show calls. If a student does not fulfill the requirements for the Production Job (including promptness and full participation in the work) s/he will not be awarded credit for that Job.


  • Stage Manager
  • Assistant Stage Manager
  • Board Operator
  • Gel Crew
  • Stage Hands
  • Dressers
  • House Manager
  • Box Office Manager
  • Assistant Box Office Manager
  • Ushers
  • Load-in/Load-Out Crew
  • Chair/Riser Crew
  • Costume Shop

If you are unsure of the requirements of a position, feel free to speak to the Director of Production prior to signing up.

Credit for production jobs will be awarded after students have completed the task or position. If a student is late for a call, and does not contact the Director of Production, s/he will be docked credit for that job. If a student does not attend a call, s/he will not earn credit for that job.

If a student must have a substitute for one or more nights of a call, it must be approved by the Director of Production before signing up, and both members are responsible for attendance. If a substitute misses a call that s/he is covering, both students will fail the production point requirement.




Studios & Scheduling

No food or drinks, except water in capped containers, may be brought into the studios. Smoking is strictly forbidden, as are chewing gum and the use of baby powder and rosin on the Marley floors.

Students wishing to schedule a rehearsal in a studio on a regular basis must submit a completed request form by Thursday at noon for space the following week. Campus Security will be certain the studio is unlocked.

Students wishing to use the studios for rehearsal need to fill out a Google form found here. You can also access this form by scanning a QR code posted on the Call Board.

Rehearsals may not interfere with previously scheduled events or classes. 

Course projects / assignments have precedence over non-graded endeavors when studio space is requested. Please communicate conflicts with the dance office.

Only rehearsals pertaining to the departmental course work and productions may be scheduled in the dance studio unless special permission has been given by the Chair of the Dance Department.




Studio Rooms


Students are expected to enter the studios in their practice clothes. Street clothes and street shoes may be removed in the dressing room and left in a locker. Do not leave any valuables in the dressing rooms, unless locked, or in the hallway.


Students may request a combination locker located by the dance studios.  Please make your request in the dance office. Note there are other lockers available in the locker rooms, and students must provide their own locks.





Class participation is important, and students missing more than 20% of classes will fail the course and receive an F (except in the case of unique medical or family extenuating circumstances to be considered in consultation with the Registrar). The maximum absences allowed include: 

  • A maximum of eight absences for a class that meets three times a week.
  • A maximum of six absences for a class that meets two times a week.
  • A maximum of three absences for a class that meets once a week.
  • Three tardies are counted as one absence.

All reasons for absences (for example: illness, representation for University activities, emergencies, and late registration) are included in these standards. The only exception is required department sponsored dance activities, such as DME and chapel performances or dance festivals, which are arranged and approved by the dance faculty. Individual dance commitments, such as outside auditions or Senior Project travel are NOT excused absences.

Students who are required in a guest artist’s rehearsal from 4-6pm and 7-9pm have the option to be excused from their technique class of the opposite genre on the day(s) of those rehearsals.

Example: A student cast in a modern guest artist’s work would still attend his/her modern technique classes, but may be excused from his/her ballet technique classes. Students must communicate with faculty in-person or via email to receive the excused absence.


Students are permitted to observe class, however choosing to do so will result in an absence for the day.


If you come to class after the attendance is taken, you will receive a tardy. Three tardies will count as one absence. For safety reasons, as well as discipline, you may not begin class after the first movement exercise and you may not leave early. If you do, it is considered an absence.

If you have an injury that prevents you from participating in class, you are expected to make an appointment in the dance clinic to work towards rehabilitation. Prolonged illness or injury will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.





Attendance on assigned Midterm and Final Movement Evaluation dates is required. A missed movement evaluation will result in a “zero,” unless the instructor receives an email explaining an extenuating circumstance / emergency within 24 hours of the missed evaluation. In the case of an extenuating circumstance followed by prompt communication by the student, the instructor will develop a plan for the student to complete the evaluation. This may involve the student filming and submitting midterm or final movement phrases to the instructor by a specified date/time. If this deadline is not met, the student will receive a “zero”.





Students will meet with their dance faculty advisor every semester to plan and register for courses for the subsequent semester. Sophomores and Juniors receive Progress Evaluations during their Fall advising meeting, and Freshmen receive Progress Evaluations during their Spring advising meeting. This is an important time in the academic year for individual feedback from the faculty regarding the student’s progress and potential. The objective of the faculty is to aid the student in focusing vision and energy, while clarifying objectives through review, evaluation, advisement and encouragement. It is the faculty’s desire to help in the process that enables the student to attain their highest potential and goals.




Late Work

Assignments submitted late will be subject to a 30% reduction for each day they are late up to two days and will not be accepted late after two days. Due dates are posted to the assignments. If there is an extenuating circumstance, the student must email the instructor within 24 hours of the missed assignment.





Prolonged illness or injury are assessed on a case-by-case basis. A Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer (ATC/PT) is on staff in the Dance Clinic to serve you when you have healthcare needs. The Dance Department’s Athletic Trainer is able to provide most care on-site, and can refer you to other qualified healthcare providers when necessary.
When you receive an injury it is your responsibility to report it to your professor and to consult the Dance Department’s Athletic Trainer for evaluation and treatment. This will help you best care for the body God has given you. Please see posting of clinic hours on the call board.
After initial evaluation by the Athletic Trainer, if your injury is sufficiently severe you will be given an appropriate care regimen and follow-up instructions. Dancers will be asked to sign a treatment agreement form to ensure that the treatment and rehabilitation instructions provided by the Dance Department’s Athletic Trainer are understood and followed. All clinic appointments are to be kept unless you contact the Athletic Trainer one day in advance to change an appointment. Failure to comply with these policies will affect the student’s participation grades of their main technique course.
As part of your treatment, you may be required to either participate with restrictions or not to participate in class and rehearsals. In any case, you still must be present in your dance classes and rehearsals. If your class activity is limited, the Athletic Trainer will give you either a red slip (no activity) or a yellow slip (restricted activity) to present to your dance professors. In order to return to unlimited activity in your classes, you must obtain a green slip from the Athletic Trainer.
Students who are restricted from full activity in a dance class also will be restricted from participation in rehearsals. At each follow-up clinic visit you will be given further treatment, rehabilitation instructions, and necessary limitations as determined by the Athletic Trainer. If you are under a red or yellow slip, the Athletic Trainer will then determine the timeframe in which you will be able to return to activity. If you have missed the allotment of absences in class based on university policy due to an injury/red slip, you will need a medical drop for all necessary courses. If limitations in class through a yellow slip reach a total of four weeks, you will also need to drop those corresponding courses.
This procedure is designed to encourage you to become an active participant in the rehabilitation of your body as you work with healthcare practitioners and professors and to help you learn to be wise in decision making about the well-being of your body when it is injured.





Mental health conditions that result in missed classes need to be communicated to dance professors. Students should demonstrate they are receiving appropriate treatment and report consistent follow-up care to the Dance Department by the mental healthcare professional.  Mental health issues resulting in more than 20% of missed classes will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, to be considered in consultation with any treating health care professionals, Department Chair, Provost, and Registrar. Please see the Mental Health Policies and Procedures in the Dance Clinic Handbook. The BU Dance Department takes a proactive approach to mental health concerns by adding the mental health questionnaire to the new and returning dancers’ pre-participation documentation. At-risk dance students identified through the PPE MH screening may be provided an additionally detailed questionnaire. The certified athletic trainer will determine the need for further evaluation by a member of the mental healthcare team. For specific details regarding policies and procedures, please refer to the Dance Clinic Handbook.





A well-balanced and healthy diet is essential for every dancer. Dancers should be aware that they make extraordinary demands on their bodies and should treat them accordingly with sound health and nutrition habits. The faculty are able to recommend counselors and/or physicians for health care upon request.




Department Meeting

DAN 105 - Fridays 2:30-3:30PM

Dance majors and minors who are registered for a technique class are required to enroll in DAN 105 and to attend the weekly department meetings each semester. Students must bring their Student ID card to scan in attendance at each meeting. If you miss more than two meetings in a semester, you will receive an “Unsatisfactory” grade on your transcript, and you may be asked to meet with dance faculty to discuss your participation in the department.




Department Meeting

The DAN 105 Dance Department Seminar Canvas shell is used to share announcements, updates, and reminders with dance majors and minors. Please also join the Belhaven Dance Announcements Facebook group for updates.

Students are expected to check their University email account daily.  Everyone enrolled in dance courses should stay up to date for information disseminated through this medium.

All dance majors and minors are required to check the dance bulletin boards (located outside the dance studios) daily for announcements, special information, rehearsal schedules, crew assignments, etc. Students wishing to post information on the dance bulletin boards should secure permission from the Chair or Administrative Assistant. Student notices are placed on the student board located between Studio 2 and 3.




Degree Tracks


Liberal arts degree with a focus on the study of dance within a broad spectrum of general studies. The Bachelor of Arts in Dance meets a minimum of 124 credit hours to include: A minimum of 58 credits in dance with a minimum 22 credits of technical studies, 7 credits of performance/choreography studies, and 29 credits of dance studies (history, theory, body sciences, and career preparation). Students must achieve and maintain Ballet or Modern Level II or better by one semester prior to graduation. Students are encouraged to enroll in 2-3 credits of dance technique each semester.



Professional degree with concentrated coursework in dance technique, performance, and choreography. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree meets a minimum of 128 credit hours to include: a minimum of 85 credits in dance with 34 credits of
technical studies, 21 credit hours in performance/choreography studies, and 30 hours in dance studies (history, theory, body sciences, and career preparation). BFA students must reach Level IV in Ballet or Modern technique by one semester prior to graduation. Students are encouraged to enroll in 4-5 credits of dance technique each semester.



Encompasses 24 credit hours of dance courses, including Orientation to Dance, Performance Practicum, Improvisation I, and Ballet or Modern Level I or higher.

Please refer to the catalogue of your year of entry to Belhaven University for additional details, or, if you choose to adopt its new graduation requirements, to the current catalogue. If a student desires to adopt a new catalogue date, please receive counsel and permission from the department chair.




Degree Tracks


The status of Dance Minor does not preclude a student from pursuing a Major in Dance. Students with current Minor status may audition to be considered for the Dance Major. The faculty will evaluate the student’s technical progress, motivation, and the potential for achieving graduation requirements within a reasonable time frame.  


All students will be assigned, by faculty, an appropriate level for Ballet and Modern Dance Technique. Only students who demonstrate the skill necessary for the next level of work upon completion of a studio technique course will be permitted to enroll at the next level. If not, they will continue at their level of technique until they are ready to advance. Advancement is determined by the student’s technical proficiency, artistry, effort, work integrity, and his/her annual evaluation. The student must obtain an above average grade in the technical portion of the course in question.  Also, the student must show a potential to succeed in the aspired level.




Degree Tracks


Recommended to take Ballet and Modern technique in the Fall and Spring. Pointe is optional and requires faculty approval. Freshmen will work with their advisors to determine the appropriate number of dance technique credit hours.


Five (5) days a week / 3 credits of technique in area of concentration for credit every semester. Three (3) days a week / 2 credit of technique in other area for credit every semester.  
Must take Performance every semester for credit.


Minimum of 2 credits of technique for credit every semester.


Minimum of two (2) days a week / 1 credit of technique for credit or audit every semester - Level 1 or higher. Minimum three (3) days a week of technique for credit or audit every semester (if you perform).


Prior to the first day of class each semester, a technical placement class is held. All dance students are required to take this class. Any other student enrolled in dance technique courses may be reevaluated for potential advancement to a higher level.




Rehearsals, Schedules & Casting

Any student participating in a rehearsal for a Performance course must take a technique class that same day.

In order to take the following courses, students must take ballet class on the same day: Pointe, Variations, Pas de Deux, Men’s Technique

In order to take modern partnering, students must take a modern or ballet class on the same day. Improvisation I and II - No technique class is required to be taken in conjunction with these courses.




Rehearsals, Schedules & Casting

Cast lists are posted as soon as possible following the auditions at the beginning of the semester. The posted rehearsal schedule indicates the time at which the rehearsal will begin. You must initial next to your name on the cast list to acknowledge your role(s) by the time of the first rehearsal.  Weekly rehearsal schedules are not always consistent and are adjusted as the creative process requires. Students involved in departmental rehearsals should always keep the daily 4:00-6:00 p.m. time slot open for that purpose. Understand that the dance rehearsal schedule for your Performance course takes precedence over your employer’s schedule. Dancers should arrive for rehearsal early enough to change, warm-up, and be prepared to begin at the designated time. Students in Composition II, Choreography, and Senior Project may cast their peers for projects relating to their course work. Students who are cast must take this commitment seriously and review the rehearsal schedule to uncover any possible conflicts before rehearsals begin. Keep in mind that those who are cast will soon be the ones who are casting their own choreographies.




Ballet Technique Defined

Grading structures listed below are examples and may vary by instructor.


Technique 55%
Journals/quizzes 15%
Written exam (vocab) 20%
Commitment/Work Ethic 10%

Classwork will emphasize the basic fundamentals and vocabulary of classical ballet.


To introduce the principles of the Vaganova methodology and terminology through the understanding of proper classroom etiquette, correct placement and posture throughout a given exercise, and demonstrate an understanding of musical tempos and rhythms while moving with clarity, efficiency, and artistic expression.

Technique 60%
Written exam (Vocab) 20%
Journals/assignments/quizzes 10%
Class Performance (commitment/work ethic) 10%


To further demonstrate the more complex principles of alignment and placement, increase coordination, strength and attention to detail within a given exercise, and develop sensitivity to phrasing and interpretation of music. Expanding on these goals, as well as increasing focus, épaulement, and port de bras, students will further their technical training and artistic expressiveness.

Technique 65%
Quizzes/assignments 15%
Journals 10%
Class Performance (commitment/work ethic) 10%


To increase accuracy in reproducing more complex movements, demonstrate phrasing, dynamics and personal presentation of the music while considering subtle details of the classical style to shape their artistic sensibilities. Various technical and stylistic demands from other schools of classical ballet are introduced to further develop the student’s movement potential.

Technique    75%
Journals/assignments/quizzes 15%
Class Performance (commitment/work ethic) 10%


To demonstrate control of advanced principles of movement with an increased capacity for accurate assimilation of intricate and complex movement, exhibit a comprehensive knowledge of the varying demands of different methodologies, apply technical concepts for personal correction, as well as uphold thoughtfulness for rhythm, quality and form in enchaînement exemplifying shading and nuance for artistic presentation.  These aims will provide the students with a knowledge that is rudimentary for a career in classical ballet.

Technique 80%
Quizzes/assignments/Journals 10%
Class Performance (commitment/work ethic) 10%

Please note that the Ballet Classes on MWF at 9:00-10:30AM are reserved for students taking Pointe or Men’s Technique at 10:30-11:30AM.




Modern Levels Defined

Grading structures listed below are examples and may vary by instructor.


Beginning Modern is an introductory level course for those without previous modern dance training or those who wish to supplement their current training. Classwork emphasizes the fundamentals of modern dance.

Technique 55%
Supporting Content 35%
Class Performance 10%


Modern I introduces the foundational principles of modern dance technique through the exploration of fall and recovery, opposition and succession, contraction and release, and curvilinear movement of the torso and pelvis, with attention to use of weight, effort, levels in space, locomotion, and phrasing. This course will also address correct anatomical placement, developing strength and flexibility, and basic modern dance movement terminology.

Technique 65%
Supporting Content 25%
Class Performance 10%


Modern II builds on the foundational training established in Modern I through the introduction of greater complexity in movement patterns, directional changes, and tempo. Repetition at this level is key to increasing strength, flexibility, and maintaining functional alignment while moving through space. This course will also assist students in the development of basic inversions and dynamic transitions from floor to standing. Additional and more detailed study of anatomical principles, modern dance terminology, and imagery will also be addressed.

Technique 70%
Supporting Content 20%
Class Performance 10%


This course assumes a strong technical foundation, including functional alignment, the ability to move smoothly in and out of the floor, and attention to technical detail. Modern III introduces contemporary dance techniques in the context of the technical and artistic expansion of the dancer through eclectic choreographic approaches to technique, including an emphasis on the development of individual artistry, creativity, and expression.

Technique 75%
Supporting Content 15%
Class Performance 10%


Modern IV serves as the culminating course in contemporary dance technique through increasing technical and artistic challenges appropriate for pre-professional dancers. Students are encouraged to develop sophisticated approaches to the execution, manipulation, and improvisation of movement material and to demonstrate collaborative engagement in course material in keeping with current standards in the field of dance.

Technique 80%
Written work 10%
Class Performance 10%






Mississippi Sports Medicine Urgent Care (Orthopedic Only)
1325 E. Fortification St.
Jackson, MS 39202
Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Premier Medical Group Clinic
1200 N. State St.
Jackson, MS 39202
Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Baptist Family Medicine - Dogwood
151 E Metro Parkway #103
Flowood, MS 39232
Monday-Friday 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm


The University recommends that students are insured with accident and/or health insurance at all times during attendance at Belhaven University.


Belhaven University and the Dance Department seek to meet the needs of students by fostering a warm environment of personal contact between students, faculty, and staff members. Students should feel free to visit the Dance Office, the Campus Counselor, the Office of Student Life, or the Office of Student Learning to discuss concerns. Resident students are also encouraged to talk to their Resident Director and/or their Resident Assistant. A qualified, professional counselor is on campus.  Appointments may be scheduled directly with the Campus Counselor. A short-term model of counseling (4-6 sessions) is used in order to best serve the greatest number of students. The first appointment is free, sessions two through six are $5, and subsequent visits are $40.


The University Dining Commons is open daily - except during designated holidays and breaks.  This service provides an unlimited “seconds” program on all items in the cafeteria except premium entrees. In the dining area a “light line” of healthier and more nutritious foods will be provided. If you have dietary needs or have comments or questions regarding the meal service, please contact Dining services directly at 601-968-5912.

Rules that apply to food services:

  • Student ID cards are required.
  • Food is to be consumed within the dining area.
  • Shoes and complete attire must be worn in the dining room.
  • Carry-out meals for illness must be approved by your R.D.
  • Carry-out meals are available for working students and for rehearsals overlapping meal times with written documentation from your employer or Chairperson. Pick up forms in the Dance office.


The dance collection is housed on the second floor of the Warren A. Hood Library. Reference materials are available on the first floor, and print books are located on the first and second floors. For the purposes of dance research, we recommend the following databases, which are accessible on- and off-campus via the Belhaven University website: Academic Search Premiere, CREDO Reference, Dance in Video, EBSCO Host, the Ebook collection, the International Bibliography of Theater and Dance, and JSTOR. Reference librarians are available to assist you with research during normal business hours.

The library catalog can be accessed through the Belhaven Library website here. The library databases are available thru Blazenet and Libguides here and here respectfully.




Guidelines for Writing Papers

The Wynn Kenyon Think Center in the Warren A. Hood Library is your primary resource for academic writing support. Students can utilize the Think Center at any time during its hours of operation: Monday-Thursday 8am-9pm and Friday 8am-7pm. You can schedule an appointment by calling 601-968-8865 or by emailing them at Additional support for academic writing can be found here.

Please note that the following are general guidelines. Please consult your instructor for specific instructions on course writing assignments. Students may be required to submit drafts of their papers to the Think Center for additional revision at the request of the instructor. The following guidelines come from Writing About Dance by Wendy R. Oliver (Providence College: Human Kinetics, 2010).


A self-reflection, journal entry, or creative process essay offers students the opportunity to think about dance in a personal way. Whether reflecting on his/her own dancing, the dancing of classmates, or other kinds of dance experiences, this kind of writing involves contemplation and introspection in order to understand them more fully. Reflective essays encourage artistic and personal growth.


Dance critiques are writing that describes and discusses a dance performance in an illuminating way. Dance critiques help students develop personal aesthetic taste, as well as, understanding of what makes a work successful. (Note that “liking” a dance is not the same as deeming it “successful.”)
The following are general guidelines to writing a dance critique:

  1. Observation and Note Taking: Keep your imagination open and avoid analysis initially. Note taking is strongly encouraged. Keep the program as a reference and guide.
  2. Free Writing: Ask yourself, “What stood out about the performance and why?” Write your response without concern for errors.
  3. Construction: Use your free writing to construct your critique. Develop an introduction, body, and conclusion. Suggested format follows:
    1. Introduction
      1. General Information about performance (who, what, when, where)
      2. Interesting assertion (thesis) about performance as a whole or one work in particular
    2. Body
      1. Dance one, thesis sentence (analytical, interpretative, or evaluative)
        1. Performance detail
        2. Performance detail
        3. Performance detail
      2. Dance two, thesis sentence
        1. Performance detail
        2. Performance detail
        3. Performance detail
      3. Dance three, thesis sentence
        1. Performance detail
        2. Performance detail
        3. Performance detail
    3. Conclusion
      1. Summary of points
      2. Response to concert as a whole
      3. New insight


A research paper requires you to gather information and evidence and synthesize it in a personalized way to identify trends, conflicts, gaps, or a single problem or perspective. A research paper is guided by the author’s judgment, since one must sort through large amounts of material to determine relevant points. A research paper is not merely a collection of what others have said before on a topic; it is a thoughtful shaping of evidence to support a thesis which encompasses personal insights relating to commonalities found in literature, as well as inconsistencies and areas for future study. Topics range from historical, social, aesthetic, or pedagogical issues.


The purpose of the annotated bibliography is to determine what others in the field have written about a topic to identify the thesis and methodology, avoid redundancy with other published materials, and to synthesize how the author’s writing may address your own research endeavors. Acceptable sources for a literature review are encyclopedias, books, scholarly journals and magazines, newspaper and web articles, unpublished dissertations, etc. While internet sources, such as Wikipedia, can be helpful in the research process, they are NOT acceptable sources for an annotated bibliography.


Plagiarism is the theft of written material or ideas. When using the words of others, those words must be enclosed in quotation marks and cited with an endnote or a footnote. Typically, a quotation of two lines or fewer remains part of the running text; quotes of five lines or more should be set as a separate, indented block quote, which should be single-spaced. Paraphrased materials, summaries, and ideas (even if the words are totally different from the original source) must also give credit to the person who first expressed the thought with an in-text citation, including the last name of the author, the date of publication, and the page number (if applicable). If the idea expressed in the paper is common knowledge, there is no need to cite a source. Commonsense knowledge includes general historical facts, standard information in the field, and commonsense observations.


The thesis is the main point of the paper and asserts something about the topic, conveying purpose, opinion, and attitude. Usually, introductory information and context are necessary before the thesis statement is introduced.


The structure of a research paper follows the same format as critique (introduction, body and conclusion). The length of the body varies depending on the length of the paper, but no matter its length, each paragraph in the body makes a point related to the thesis.


The Dance Department uses The Chicago Manual of Style format for citation. Refer to the Bedford Manual for Chicago Style format for citation guidelines. Always include a works cited page for research papers; however, citations are not limited to research papers and should be included within any written assignment, providing credit for others’ work.




Guidelines for Writing Papers




Typed assignments should print on standard-sized paper (8.5” x 11”), use 1” margins on all sides, choose Times New Roman 12 point font, and double-space text, with one space after punctuation and between sentences. Formal papers, including research papers, dance critiques, etc., require a title page with the title centered one-third of the way down the page in ALL CAPS and your name, the course, and the date centered and single-spaced one-third from the bottom of the page. Formal papers should also include page numbers beginning with Arabic numeral 1 in the top right corner on the first page of the text. Informal papers, including journal entries, reflection papers, creative process papers, video responses, etc., do not require a title page or page numbers, instead left-align your full name, the name of the course, the instructor’s name (correctly spelled), and the date.


Student Name

Course Name

Instructor Name

Date of Assignment

Always check spelling and grammar on written assignments and refrain from using contractions within collegiate writing.

The references page should center the title, “References,” at the top of the page. You may also choose to use the titles “Works Cited” or “Works Cited and Consulted.” Do not bold, italicize or enclose in quotation marks. Single-space reference entries internally, double-spacing entries externally. Flush left the first line of the entry and indent each subsequent line. Order entries alphabetically by the authors’ last names.



The following examples illustrate citations using the author-date system. Each example of a reference list entry is accompanied by an example of a corresponding parenthetical citation in the text. For more details and many more examples, see chapter 15 of The Chicago Manual of Style.


  • One author:
    Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin. (Pollan 2006, 99-100).
  • Two or more authors:
    Ward, Geoffrey C., and Ken Burns. 2007. The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945. New York: Knopf. (Ward and Burns 2007, 52).
  • For four or more authors:
    list all of the authors in the reference list; in the text, list only the first author, followed by et al. (“and others”): (Barnes et al. 2010).
  • Editor, translator, or compiler instead of author:
    Lattimore, Richmond, trans. 1951. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Lattimore 1951, 91-92).
  • Editor, translator, or compiler in addition to author:
    García Márquez, Gabriel. 1988. Love in the Time of Cholera. Translated by Edith Grossman. London: Cape. (García Márquez 1988, 242-55).

Books published electronically: If a book is available in more than one format, cite the version you consulted. For books consulted online, list a URL; include an access date only if one is required by your publisher or discipline. If no fixed page numbers are available, you can include a section title or a chapter or other number.


  • Austen, Jane. 2007. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Penguin Classics. Kindle edition. Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. 1987. The Founders’ Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Austen 2007) (Kurland and Lerner, chap. 10, doc. 19).

Journal Article: Article in a print journal. In the text, list the specific page numbers consulted, if any. In the reference list entry, list the page range for the whole article.

  • Weinstein, Joshua I. 2009. “The Market in Plato’s Republic.” Classical Philology 104:439-58. (Weinstein 2009, 440).

Article in an online journal: Include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) if the journal lists one. A DOI is a permanent ID that, when appended to in the address bar of an Internet browser, will lead to the source. If no DOI is available, list a URL. If the URL is an unstable link include the database name followed by the accession number in parenthesis. Include an access date only if one is required by your publisher or discipline.

  • Kossinets, Gueorgi, and Duncan J. Watts. 2009. “Origins of Homophily in an Evolving Social Network.” American Journal of Sociology 115:405-50. Accessed February 28, 2010. doi:10.1086/599247. (Kossinets and Watts 2009, 411).

Article in a newspaper or popular magazine: Newspaper and magazine articles may be cited in running text (“As Sheryl Stolberg and Robert Pear noted in a New York Times article on February 27, 2010, …”), and they are commonly omitted from a reference list. The following examples show the more formal versions of the citations. If you consulted the article online, include a URL; include an access date only if your
publisher or discipline requires one. If no author is identified, begin the citation with the article title.

  • Mendelsohn, Daniel. 2010. “But Enough about Me.” New Yorker, January 25. Stolberg, Sheryl Gay, and Robert Pear. 2010. “Wary Centrists Posing Challenge in Health Care Vote.” New York Times, February 27. Accessed February 28, 2010. (Mendelsohn 2010, 68) (Stolberg and Pear 2010).

Book review:


  • Kamp, David. 2006. “Deconstructing Dinner.” Review of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan. New York Times, April 23, Sunday Book Review. (Kamp 2006).

Thesis or dissertation:

  • Choi, Mihwa. 2008. “Contesting Imaginaires in Death Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty.” PhD diss., University of Chicago. (Choi 2008).

Paper presented at a meeting or conference:

  • Adelman, Rachel. 2009. ” ‘Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On’: God’s Footstool in the Aramaic Targumim and Midrashic Tradition.” Paper presented at the annual meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 21-24.(Adelman 2009).


Website: A citation to website content can often be limited to a mention in the text (“As of July 19, 2008, the McDonald’s Corporation listed on its website …”). If a more formal citation is desired, it may be styled as in the examples below. Because such content is subject to change, include an access date or, if available, a date that the site was last modified. In the absence of a date of publication, use the access date or last-modified date as the basis of the citation.

  • Google. 2009. “Google Privacy Policy.” Last modified March 11. /en/privacypolicy.html. McDonald’s Corporation. 2008. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts.” Accessed July 19. (Google 2009) (McDonald’s 2008).

Blog entry or comment: Blog entries or comments may be cited in running text (“In a comment posted to The Becker-Posner Blog on February 23, 2010, …”), and they are commonly omitted from a reference list. If a reference list entry is needed, cite the blog post there but mention comments in the text only. (If an access date is required, add it before the URL; see examples elsewhere in this guide.)

  • Posner, Richard. 2010. “Double Exports in Five Years?” The Becker-Posner Blog, February 21. (Posner 2010).

E-mail or text message: E-mail and text messages may be cited in running text (“In a text message to the author on March 1, 2010, John Doe revealed …”), and they are rarely listed in a reference list. In parenthetical citations, the term personal communication (or pers. Comm.) can be used.

  • (John Doe, e-mail message to author, February 28, 2010)
  • (John Doe, pers. Comm.)


Item in a commercial database: For items retrieved from a commercial database, add the name of the database and an accession number following the facts of publication. In this example, the dissertation cited above is shown as it would be cited if it were retrieved from ProQuest’s database for dissertations and theses.

  • Choi, Mihwa. 2008. “Contesting Imaginaires in Death Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty.” PhD diss., University of Chicago. ProQuest (AAT 3300426).



Library and Other commercial databases. Only include a URL if the database includes a recommended stable form. Otherwise include the name of the database and, in parentheses, any identification number provided with the source.

  • Howard, David H. 2008 “Hospital Quality and Selective Contracting: Evidence from Kidney Transplantation.” Forum for Health Economic and Pollicy 11, no. 2. JSTOR (2600561).

URLs or DOIs and line breaks. In a printed work, if a URL or DOI  has to be broken at the end of a line, the break should be made after a colon or a double slash (//); before a single slash (/), a tilde (~), a period, a comma, a hyphen, an underline (_), a question mark, a number sign or a percent symbol; or before or after an equals sign or an ampersand. Such breaks help to signal that the URL or DOI has been carried over to the next line.

Citations Taken from Secondary Sources. If an original source is unavailable, and “quoted in” must be resorted to, mention the original author and date in the text, and cite the secondary source in the reference list entry. The text citation would include the words “quoted in.”

  • Costello, Bonnie. 1981. Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    In Louis Zukofsky’s “Sincerity and Objectification,” from the February 1931 issue of Poetry magazine (quoted in Costello 1981)…

Scriptural References. References to the Jewish or Christian scriptures usually appear in text citation or notes rather than in bibliographies. Parenthetical or note references to the Bible should include book (in roman and usually abbreviated), chapter, and verse - never a page number. A colon is used between chapter and verse. Note that the traditional abbreviations use periods, but the shorter forms do not. Since books and numbering are not identical in different versions of the Bible, it is essential to identify which version is being cited. The version should be spelled out, at least on the first occurrence.

  • 2 Kings 11:8 (New Revised Standard Version)
  • 1 Cor. 6:1-10 (NRSV)




Tips for Rehearsing

Always be prepared for rehearsal. Aim to arrive early to warm up your body, prepare your feet and shoes, go over choreography learned previously, etc.  It is vital to warm up your body even if you have already had a class earlier. Rehearsals usually come towards the end of the day, and you may experience some fatigue. If you are properly warmed-up, injuries are less likely to occur.

If you know that you will be late for a rehearsal, please let the choreographer or the rehearsal director know ahead of time. Rehearsal time is limited and every minute counts. It is also inconsiderate to those who are on time and ready to work to be kept waiting.

There are occasions when discussions in a rehearsal are necessary, e.g. between you and the choreographer, between you and your partner, or you and your group. Please make sure that those discussions don’t disturb others or distract in any way from the person conducting the rehearsal. In many instances, it is important that you are listening and giving your full attention to whatever directions the choreographer is giving, even if they don’t pertain to you at that moment. Unless you have been told to take a break, remain active and engaged in the rehearsal. Demonstrate that you are listening, learning, and participating.


It is an honor to be assigned as second cast or understudy. It is often a testimony to your reliability and potential. There are many stories of dancers chosen as understudies or second cast who went on to be first cast choices because of their determination and good stewardship of rehearsal time. Remain an active participant throughout rehearsal and learn as many “parts” as possible. Ask the choreographer if you need more direction.

If you find yourself injured during a rehearsal period, you are still required to attend the rehearsal. It is important not to schedule physical therapy during rehearsal time unless given permission to do so by the rehearsal director.


You should feel free to ask the choreographer(s) why you were cast a certain way and be prepared to discuss it in a mature manner. Remember that decisions about casting are complex and involve technicality, artistry, rehearsal availability, number of opportunities available, number of cast members needed, etc.




Performance Situations

No jewelry should be worn on stage except that which is required as costuming.

Do not wear fingernail polish on fingers or toes - not even clear polish.


Men and women should wear foundation that matches their skin tone. Use browns and tans for eye shadows, warm reds for cheeks and lips. Do not wear lip-gloss. Women will need 1 pair of false eyelashes coated with black or dark brown mascara. If the lashes are new, don’t forget to trim them on either end. Use black eyeliner to line both upper and lower lid; no “fish tails,” “buttonholes,” or Cleopatra impressions please. Men should use mascara to augment their own lashes. Do not lend or borrow make-up to or from others.

Please do not leave the theatre with your stage makeup still on. It is unprofessional to attend post-performance receptions and functions with your makeup still on.


Please get ready as quickly as possible. If you are not ready when places are called or when the next transition is to take place, please let someone in the stage crew know so that the stage manager can be made aware of it. Don’t talk while standing in the wings. Our audience is too close. Make sure that when standing in the wings, you are not seen. If you can see the audience they can see you. Remember that exiting traffic has the right-of-way, and keep the wings clear of clutter and limbs.

When the stage manager calls times to curtain, such as “Ten Minutes,” please respond by saying “Thank You,” acknowledging that you heard him/her and that you are aware of where we are in the program.




Costume Policies

The Dance Department’s costume collection is cost-intensive and consists mainly of original pieces, created for specific characters and/or works still in the repertoire or waiting to be revived. Therefore, it is imperative that students take good care of them, not only when in rehearsal or performance settings, but in transport and storage as well.


  • DO NOT eat or drink (water is allowed). Leave no beverages, foods, or things with food-stuff on them in the vicinity of the costume(s).
  • DO NOT use cologne or strong perfume.
  • DO NOT go to the restroom. Take off the costume in the dressing room first, go to the restroom, then put the costume back on in the dressing room.
  • DO NOT apply make-up. Keep make-up away from where costumes are stored or where others wearing costumes have to pass closely by you.
  • DO NOT allow the costume to sit on the floor, or to be thrown on the ground.
  • DO NOT take the costume with you or launder it unless otherwise instructed by the costumer.




Costume Policies


(costumes being used in class throughout the semester - i.e. tutus for Variations, etc.)

Student(s) must schedule a time with the costumer to come to the costume shop to sign a costume agreement form and be assigned a costume for the course.
Students are responsible for their assigned costume. Their costume must be stored properly in the costume shop when not in use.
Damage or improper care of a student’s costume may affect their grade or result in fees.


Requests must come from a choreographer / rehearsal director. Please email requests to the costumer as early as possible to accommodate the tight production schedule.
Performer(s) must then schedule a time to come to the costume shop to sign a costume agreement form and be assigned a costume for rehearsal.
Performers are responsible for their assigned costume. Their costume must be stored properly in the costume shop when not in use. Damage or improper care of a student’s costume may affect their grade or result in fees.


Requests for costumes must be made by the choreographer (or MFA/BFA candidate).

Appointment to pull costumes should be made with the costumer by the given deadline. (At least a week before 1st dress rehearsal.)

A costume rental agreement must be filled out with the costumer for all pieces being used. Any additions after the initial rental agreement is signed must be approved by the costumer before they can be used.

Costumes worn in performances must be given approval by faculty advisors and the costumer before dress rehearsals begin.

The choreographer (or MFA/BFA candidate) who signed the rental agreement is responsible for all costumes. The costume(s) must be stored properly in the costume shop when not in use, or as agreed with the costumer.

Damage or improper care of a student’s costume may affect their grade or result in fees.


STUDENTS: (student performances and projects other than MFA / BFA / DOXA)

  • Students must schedule a time to meet / discuss with the costumer and pull costumes.
  • A costume rental agreement must be filled out with the costumer for all pieces being used. Any additions after the initial rental agreement is signed must be approved and initialed by the costumer before they can be used.
  • The student who signed the rental agreement is responsible for all costumes. Costume(s) must be stored properly in the costume shop when not in use, or as agreed with the costumer.
  • The student is responsible for cleaning the costume before it is returned. Cleaning instructions will be provided by the costumer.
  • Damage or improper care of a costume will result in fees or may affect the student’s grade if applicable.




Annual Performances

Following is a sampling of the annual performance opportunities available through the Belhaven University Dance Department.


BUDE is a company consisting of students enrolled in dance technique and performance courses at Belhaven University. The ensemble’s main venues are the Fall and Spring Dance Concerts, which feature choreography by dance faculty and guest artists. Styles include classical and contemporary ballet and modern dance. Casting auditions are held at the beginning of each semester. Casting will be posted on the production boards. Rehearsals are scheduled Monday through Friday afternoons from 4-6pm. Evening rehearsals (7-9pm) will occur during guest artist residencies. Repertoire from the BUDE is occasionally performed off-campus in festivals and/or outreach settings.


The mission of the DME is to use dance as a tool to serve the community and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. The DME consists of students enrolled in dance technique and performance courses at Belhaven University. The repertoire ranges from contemporary ballet to modern dance. Casting auditions are held during the mandatory performance audition at the beginning of the Fall semester, and selected students must make a one-year commitment to the DME. Casting will be posted on the production boards. Rehearsals are scheduled Monday through Friday from 4-6pm and Saturdays as needed. Evening rehearsals will occur occasionally. Dancers in the Dance Ministry Ensemble must be willing and able to commit Saturdays, and occasionally Sundays, to performing and/or workshops. The Dance Ministry Ensemble has a concert on-campus in February but performs primarily off-campus for nursing homes, children’s homes and churches in Jackson and beyond.


Members of Belhaven University dance faculty, students, DOXA and alumni join together with other local dance artists to offer an inspiring and lively evening of dance.


This thesis concert features original choreography by M.F.A. candidates.


Senior dance majors present an evening of original choreography and performance at the intersection of scholarship and practice.


This annual concert provides the opportunity for students to present choreography to the public. The officers of Doxa audition and approve all pieces submitted to the concert to assure that they are in agreement with the Belhaven University mission statement, and to ensure the quality and excellence of the choreography presented. The concert is not related to any course at Belhaven University, but students may use material from their courses. The concert may be used to raise funds for the club’s purposes. Anyone interested in this event should contact the DOXA officers.


This performance venue offers an informal atmosphere to share class repertoire, choreographic studies, works-in-progress, etc. It gives choreography students the opportunity to show work in front of an audience, provides a forum for students to receive valuable feedback from faculty and peers, and gives faculty a consolidated time to view student work. Performances may take place in a studio setting or another space.


Repertoire may be performed locally, nationally or internationally at dance festivals and other performance venues. Students participating in the touring venue are selected by the faculty with ample notification and must make a commitment to the rehearsal and performance schedule. Participation is voluntary, though highly encouraged.




Faculty & Staff Bios

Please click here for a list of dance faculty and staff bios!




Faculty & Staff Bios


  • Daniel Dunbar
  • Daniel Jones
  • Frank Laney
  • Marc Ridgeway
  • Dr. Owen Rockwell


  • Bud Berthold
  • Hunter Gibson
  • Marc Ridgeway
  • Owen Rockwell




Faculty & Staff Bios

  • Stacey Andrews (The Academy of Ballet), Jackson, MS
  • Randall Bane (David’s House), Kansas City, MO
  • Deborah H. Birrane (Deborah Birrane & Unexpected Company), Seattle, WA
  • Keith Black (New Stage Theater), Jackson, MS
  • Hope Boykin (Alvin Ailey Dance), NY
  • Michael & Mary Cadle (Worship in the Arts), Franklin, TN
  • Ruth Clark (Springs Dance Company), London, England
  • Dan (Yunnan Arts Institute) Kunming, China
  • Cheryl Esch, Columbus, OH
  • Richard Faucher (Ballet Magnificat), Jackson, MS
  • Rose Faucer (Ballet Magnificat) Jackson, MS
  • Randall Flinn (Dance Ad Deum), Houston, TX
  • Garland Goodwin-Wilson (Moving Colors Productions), Baton Rouge, LA
  • Guillaume Graffin, (American Ballet Theater), New York, NY
  • Dr. Colin Harbinson, (International Festival of the Arts), Paris, ON
  • Mara lfju, Norfolk, VA
  • Judith Jenkins, Dallas, TX
  • Dr. David Keary (Ballet Mississippi), Jackson, MS
  • Yvette Koonce (Polarity Dance Theatre), Jackson, MS
  • Jeff Lewis, Humble, TX
  • Amy McIntosh Tulsa, OK
  • Georgina Parkinson (American Ballet Theater), New York, NY
  • Troy Powell (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), New York, NY
  • Steve Rooks (Vassar University), Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Melody Ruffin-Ward, (Old Dominion University) Norfolk, VA
  • Matthew Rushing (Alvin Ailey Dance), NY
  • Catherine Sherer, Jackon, MS
  • Cathy Sincock (Springs Dance Company), London, England
  • Kathy Thibodeaux (Ballet Magnificat), Jackson, MS
  • Kenneth Tolle (Hosanna Sacred Arts), Birmingham, AL
  • Jiri Voborsky (Ballet Magnificat), Jackson, MS
  • Bill Wade, Cleveland Heights, OH
  • Shereel Butler Washington, Richmond, CA
  • Spirit Wings Dance Company, MD
  • Robert Wesner (Neos Dance Theatre), Ashland, OH
  • Mrs. Xu (Yunnan Arts lnstitute) Kunming, China
  • Yue Ya Ming (Yunnan Arts Institute) Kunming, China
  • Zhu Hong (Yunnan Arts Institute) Kunming, China
  • Aaron Chen, Nashville, TN
  • Valerie Henry
  • Gary Galbraith
  • Bill Wade, Jr.
  • Merrie Kidd
  • Dorrell Martin
  • Ryan Corriston
  • Robert Underwood
  • Randall Flinn
  • Michael Bearden
  • Marc Wayne
  • Jeff Russell
  • Mark Tomasic
  • Lauren Anderson
  • Vincent Hardy
  • Stephanie Miracle
  • Henry Danton
  • Durell Comedy
  • Sung Yong Kim
  • Sheron Wray
  • Shawn Stephens
  • Stephanie Powell
  • Ronda DeFazio
  • Catherine Batcheller
  • Elizabeth Dishman
  • Priscilla Nathan-Murphy
  • Melonie Murray
  • Nancy Stark Smith
  • Brandon Welch
  • Ami Dowden Fant [Liz Lerman]
  • Stella Almblade
  • Whitney Dufrene
  • Michael Fothergill
  • Rebecca MacArthur
  • Frankie Peterson
  • Gabriel Speiller
  • Caleb Mitchell
  • Abigail Hardy
  • Kellis Oldenburg
  • Jonathan Hsu
  • Kevin Jenkins
  • Trisha Carter





Meaning “Glory” in Greek, is the Belhaven University Dance Organization.


Membership in the club is open to anyone enrolled at Belhaven University, and is immediately included when a student is a part of the Dance Department. The DOXA leadership team is responsible for planning activities such as outreach, creative worship sessions, prayer ministries, improvisation sessions, fundraising and sponsoring master classes and workshops.


A student-run organization that is a valuable resource for all students. DOXA plans fundraisers, concerts, nights of worship and prayer, special classes, colloquia, outreaches and social events. DOXA is instrumental in verbalizing needs, possible solutions, and is an important medium for dialogue between the dance students and the administration. DOXA also co-sponsors master classes, guest lectures, workshops, and a lot more!


The schedule of activities in which you, as members, will participate, varies from semester to semester. If you are an officer, you will generally meet once a week. We need your support, so please let us know if you would like to become a member or an officer!




Departmental Dance Awards

The Dance Department recognizes outstanding students annually with awards in three categories: scholastic achievement, service, and artistic merit.

Daniel Award for outstanding scholastic achievement (Daniel 1:17) is awarded by the dance faculty to the dance major or minor with the highest cumulative grade point average and a minimum of 30 completed Belhaven credit hours.

  • 1999 - Yvette Koonce
  • 2000 - Nathan Hynum
  • 2001 - Courtney Gurley
  • 2002 - Jill Kille
  • 2003 - Jenna Ostendorff
  • 2004 - Melissa Wade
  • 2005 - Brianna Crisler
  • 2006 - Krista Pieper
  • 2007 - Adelaide Schoonover
  • 2008 - Victoria McConnell
  • 2009 - Joanna Stucky
  • 2010 - Tiffany Schrepferman
  • 2011 - Karissa Machacek
  • 2012 - Aubrey Myers
  • 2013 - Joanna Carter
  • 2014 - Leyna Woods
  • 2015 - Alayna Brenchley
  • 2016 - Arianna Marcell
  • 2017 - Kathryn Lee
  • 2018 - Betsie Stevens
  • 2019 - Anna Rhodes
  • 2020 -  Audrey Hammitt
  • 2021 - Katrina Peterson
  • 2022 -  Hannah Mucha
  • 2023 - Madilyn Hiley.




Departmental Dance Awards

The Diakonos Award for exceeding ministry through practical service (John 1:13-20) is awarded to the student who has contributed greatly to the fulfillment of practical needs in the dance department.  

  • 1999 - Josephine Gorman
  • 2000 - Micah Bomgaars & Nathan Hynum
  • 2001 - Angela Jones
  • 2002 - Katie McGaughey & Lauren Morris
  • 2003 - Ashleyanne Spinks & Keith Williamson
  • 2004 - Lillie Marie Hudson
  • 2005 - Michael Morris & Kendra Hanlon
  • 2006 - Audrey Lowry
  • 2007 - Andrew Leatherman
  • 2008 - Victoria McConnell
  • 2009 - Mary Ruth Pegg
  • 2010 - Anna Hazen Blanchard
  • 2011 - Abriana Ahern
  • 2012 - Carleigh Chitwood
  • 2013 - Rhiannon Crosier
  • 2014 - Carleigh Chitwood & Kathryn Gurtler
  • 2015 - Abigail Stauffer
  • 2016 - Arianna Marcell
  • 2017 - Jonathan Bostelman
  • 2018 - Jonathan Bostelman
  • 2019 - Sarah Freeman
  • 2020 - Julia Patterson
  • 2021 - Kaitlyn Blake
  • 2022 - Isabella Hunter.
  • 2023 - Megan Kruthoff.




Departmental Dance Awards

The Bezalel Award for outstanding artistic achievement (Exodus 35:30-35) is awarded to the dance major who has made major artistic strides and accomplishments in the areas of performance, choreography or production. 

  • 1999 - Jill Pelhan
  • 2001 - Katharine Krepper
  • 2002 - Michele Painter
  • 2003 - Amy Harper, Stephanie Miracle, Kevin Wu
  • 2004 - Aimee Long, Michael Morris, Kirie Oda, & Jenna Ostendorff
  • 2005 - Amy Harper, Andrew Leatherman, Krista Pieper, & Anna Seaman
  • 2006 - Kimberly Holloway, Katrina Hagelin, Michael Morris, Krista Pieper
  • 2007 - Katherine Emily Mansfield, Kathleen Norberg, Elizabeth Gordon, Michael Morris
  • 2008 - Amanda Parsons, Kathleen Norberg, Tiffany Schrepferman, Michelle Sipes
  • 2009 - Kimberly Holloway, Scarlett Wynne, Erik Sampson
  • 2010 - Anna Gilbert, Melissa Wenhold, DeMarcus Suggs, Tiffany Schrepferman
  • 2011 - Leyna Woods, Rhiannon Crosier, Whitney Dufrene, Michael Bishop, Anna Bailey
  • 2012 - Rachel Kurtz, Donald Sayre, Jana Shivers, Hannah Stoltenberg
  • 2013 - Olivia Hamilton, Matthew Palfenier, Elle Ciccarone, Deborah Loo
  • 2014 - Gabriel Speiller, Marian Bayer, Casey Sanders, Rachel Jaeger
  • 2015 - Melissa Hull, Arianna Marcell & Kaleb Reilly, Grace Miller, Stephanie Bonham
  • 2016 - Abigail Stauffer, Marilyn Miller, Alia Carlberg, Andrea Knudson
  • 2017 - Sarah Allen, Betsie Stevens, Anna Rhodes, Ally DesJardins
  • 2018 - Stephanie Bonham, Andrea Knudson, Audrey Hammitt, Kolie Gilliam
  • 2019 - Anna Rhodes, Abri Effland, Jacquelyn Hynson, Katrina Peterson, Katherine Claxton
  • 2020 - Ally DesJardins, Sophie Paczak, McKenna Brooks, Susanna Sim
  • 2021 - Patricia Colon, Alyssa Rainey, Hannah Mucha, Madilyn Hiley, Goldie Mims
  • 2022 - Kaitlyn Blake, David Cummings, Megan Kruthoff, Emma Boyle, Naomi Tharp
  • 2023 - Cassidy Jarvis, Virginia Harding, Lily McGee, Savannah Stach.



Departmental Dance Awards

The Refiner’s Award for Outstanding Improvement.

  • 2012 - Hudson Frisby
  • 2013 - Anna Gilbert & Elisabeth Kurashige
  • 2014 - Derwin May & Conrad Useldinger
  • 2015 - Laura Hall
  • 2016 - Abby Maharaj
  • 2017 - Joshua Schaeffer
  • 2018 - Jenna Werner
  • 2019 - Alex Brown
  • 2020 - Taijah Lamar & Andrew Stiller
  • 2021 - Sarah Hart & Liz Morales
  • 2022 - Catherine Lukner & Nicholas Birmingham
  • 2023 - Elizabeth Morales, Anissa Mohler.




Departmental Dance Awards

The Recognition of Service in the areas of scholarship, service, ministry or artistic merit may also be occasionally awarded by the dance faculty. 

  • 2000 - Karen Hamm for distinguished excellence in dance performance
  • 2000 - Mrs. Lauri Worrill-Biggs for 7 years of excellence in teaching
  • 2001 - Mr. Greg Trussell
  • 2002 - Dr. Don Hubele, Mr. Jeffrey A. Russell
  • 2005 - Mr. Jeffrey A. Russell for faithful and caring service (2001-2005)
  • 2005 - Lauri Worrill-Biggs for faithful and caring service (1998-2005)
  • 2006 - Amy McIntosh for faithful and caring service (2001-2006)
  • 2009 - Betsy McMillian for faithful and caring service (2006-2009)
  • 2010 - Britta Wynne for faithful and caring service (2004-2010)
  • 2011 - Stephen Wynne (2003-2011)
  • 2014 - Rachael Inman (2010-2014)
  • 2015 - Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg (2013-2015)
  • 2016 - Caleb Mitchell for faithful and caring service (2009-2016)
  • 2018 - Emily Wright for faithful and caring service (2008-2018)
  • 2022 - Laura Morton for faithful and caring service (2004-2022)
  • 2022 - Mia Whitehead for faithful and caring service (2012-2022)





Belhaven University is accredited by: N.A.S.D. National Association of Schools of Dance.

The National Association of Schools of Dance was established in 1981 to develop a closer relationship among schools and programs of dance for the purpose of examining and improving practices and professional standards in dance education and training. A general statement of aims and objectives follows:

  • To establish a national forum to stimulate the understanding and acceptance of the educational disciplines inherent in the creative arts in higher education in the United States.
  • To establish reasonable standards centered on the knowledge and skills necessary to develop academic and professional competence at various program levels.
  • To foster the development of instruction of the highest quality while simultaneously encouraging varied and experimental approaches to the teaching of dance.
  • To evaluate, through the processes of voluntary accreditation, schools of dance and programs of dance instruction in terms of their quality and the results they achieve, as judged by experienced examiners.
  • To assure students and parents that accredited dance programs provide competent teachers, adequate plant and equipment, and sound curricula, and are capable of attaining their stated objectives.
  • To counsel and assist schools in developing their programs and to encourage self-evaluation and continuing studies toward improvement.
  • To invite and encourage the cooperation of professional dance groups and individuals of reputation in the field of dance in the formulation of appropriate curricula and standards.
  • To establish a national voice to be heard in matters pertaining to dance, particularly as they would affect member institutions and their stated objectives.


  • ACCREDITATION: The Association’s main role is that of a specialized, professional accrediting agency. Accreditation is the process whereby an association or agency recognizes an institution as having met certain qualifications or standards. In NASD, the process focuses upon two principal concerns: educational quality and institutional probity. The review of educational quality is made according to nationally recognized standards developed by the Association with the full participation of its member institutions and in consultation with various professional groups in the field of dance. The review of probity is made by determining whether the institution is indeed providing the educational services it says it is offering to the public, and whether its own stated operational procedures are being followed.
  • CONSULTATION: Both associated with and in addition to the accreditation function of the Association, NASD provides counsel and assistance to established and developing institutions and programs.
  • INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH: Annually, NASD collects, compiles, and publishes statistics associated with the operations of dance schools and departments.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The Association publishes books, reports, holds an annual meeting and other forums, and provides information to leaders of dance programs.
  • POLICY STUDIES: NASD pursues an analysis and publications program on issues in dance, the arts, educations, accreditation, and cultural development.
  • PUBLIC INFORMATION: NASD provides information to the general public about accreditation and its relationship to educational programs in dance. All published documents of the Association are available to the public.






Acceptance to a professional studio school or an undergraduate program in dance is based on many considerations. These vary widely among institutions. For example, some have stringent audition requirements prior to admission while others have open admission policies followed by thorough examinations at some point in the program to determine whether the student may continue. For specific application requisites, contact NASD institutions directly.

The suggestions below indicate how you can best prepare during the high school years, not what you must achieve to apply or be accepted. The advice provided describes two things: first, an ideal set of knowledge, skills and goals for university-level applicants; second, competencies needed by dancers as they practice the various aspects of the profession in university, professional studio schools, and beyond.  In brief, you should learn as much as you can as early as you can.


  • Each dancer brings a unique set of talents, aspirations, and abilities to the dance profession. Although you are in school and probably taking class, it is important to take increasing responsibility for developing your particular abilities toward your specific goals.  Begin by obtaining the admission requirements of schools you may wish to attend the earlier, the better.  Ultimately, you are responsible for choices about how you use your time to prepare for your future.  For most dancers, that future involves dance at the center supported by many other capabilities.


  • Whatever you do or intend to do in dance, try to practice it as much as possible.  This applies not only to your technique, but also to other types of work in dance.  For example, if you are interested in teaching, you should try to observe and gain teaching experiences under appropriate supervision. If you are interested in dance scholarship or criticism, you should practice writing and speaking on dance topics.  If choreography appeals, seek instruction.  No level of knowledge or skill that you can attain will be too high.


  • Performance ability is essential for all dance professionals.  You should be a competent performer in at least one dance area whether or not you intend to have a performance career.  Ensemble experiences of all kinds should be sought.  Work in large and small ensembles develop different kinds of dance skills. Fine ensemble work comes primarily through practice.


  • Be sure that you know the basic terminology, the fundamental gestures, and the major types of dance.


  • Take every opportunity to study in music.  Try to acquire the ability to read and follow musical notation and an introductory understanding of the musical works that accompany dance.


  • Your body and mind are your instruments.  It is critical to take extremely good care of both.  Learn about nutrition and exercise, how to prevent injury, and how to maintain healthy habits that will promote long-term health and fitness.  Work closely with your physician, your parents, and your dance teachers.


  • You need to be familiar with far more dance than that which you perform.  Try to see as much dance from as many historical periods and cultural sources as possible.  Ask your teachers to recommend a list for you that covers the various repertories.  Try to make sure that you have seen major works of all types in the particular area of dance that interests you.  Seek more to learn the breadth and depth of the repertory than to enjoy what is already familiar.


  • Take opportunities to learn the basics of choreographic structure, including such areas as form, composition, and improvisation.  Like so many other things in dance, this knowledge is developed throughout a lifetime.  Those who are able to get started early have an advantage.  Work with your dance teachers, take classes at your local university or professional studio school, or otherwise explore opportunities to gain initial acquaintance with this material.


  • As a dancer, you will communicate in movement, but you will also rely heavily on your ability to communicate in words.  Everything from rehearsals to teaching, to writing grant proposals, to negotiating, to promoting your professional interests relies on fluent English skills.  Focus attention on learning to speak and write effectively.


  • The dance profession is big, but it is also part of a larger whole.  Dance both influences and is influenced by the humanities, mathematics, the sciences, the social sciences, and the other arts-architecture, film, literature, music theatre, and the visual arts.  For entrance into university-level study, you are encouraged to gain a basic overview of ancient and modern history, the basic thought processes and procedures of math and science, and familiarity with works in as many of the other arts disciplines as possible.  Most professionals who work with dance comprehensively develop a particular sensibility about the connections among dance, history, and the other arts.  Understanding the basics of math and the sciences support future work in dance technologies.  Social studies are related to understanding the context for various dance endeavors.


  • As we have already said, the best dance professionals continue to learn throughout their lives.  They are always studying and thinking, always connecting what they know about dance with their  knowledge of other fields.  Since you never know the direction your career will take, it is wise to spend your high school years gaining the basic ability to understand and work in a variety of fields beyond dance.  Keep dance at the center of your efforts, but accept and enjoy the challenge of gaining the kind of knowledge and skills in other areas that will support both formal studies at the advanced level and your dance career beyond.


For more insight and information on the field of dance, please refer to the NASD website at





IADMS enhances the health, well-being, training, and performance of dancers by cultivating educational, medical, and scientific excellence.


PAMA is an organization comprised of dedicated medical professionals, artists educators, and administrators with the common goal of improving the health care of the performing artist. The Performing Arts Medicine Association was founded in 1989.


The American College Dance Association exists to support and affirm dance in higher education through regional conferences, the adjudication process, and national festivals. The educational mission of the Association is to foster creative potential, to honor multiple approaches to scholarly and creative research and activity, to promote excellence in choreography and/or performance, and to give presence and value to diversity in dance.


The Alabama Dance Council (ADC) is a statewide, nonprofit service organization for the Alabama dance community. The ADC’s mission is to promote the study, creation, performance and enjoyment of dance in all forms. The ADC offers a forum at


The Dance Studies Association is an international organization of dance scholars, educators, and artists who aims to strengthen the visibility and increase the reach of dance as embodied practice, creative endeavor and intellectual discipline.


The USA International Ballet Competition provides an opportunity for dancers to test themselves against recognized international standards of dance excellence; to showcase their technical skill and artistic talent; to provide a forum for communication and intercultural exchange; and to educate, enlighten and develop future artists and audience support for the art of dance.


The primary purpose of schools of dance is to help individual students turn talent, inspiration, creativity, and dedication into significant potential for service to the development of dance culture in its multiple dimensions. Therefore, the focus of NASD’s work is on issues of dance content and educational substance as applied to the preparation of dance professionals.


The policies, procedures, rules and regulations contained in this handbook are not all inclusive and final.  The University and the Dance Department reserve the right to change, add, or amend the policies herein at any time. Students are responsible for all policies, rules and regulations in this document as well as other Belhaven University documents and are also responsible for all changes and policies stated elsewhere. The University and Dance Department will attempt to maintain updated information at all times.