Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

   
    Mar 01, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalogue 
    
2023-2024 Catalogue

Belhaven University Graduate Dance Student Handbook


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
FACULTY
VISION & MISSION STATEMENT
DEPARTMENT POLICIES FOR GRADUATE DANCE STUDENTS
HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROGRAMS
LIBRARY AND RESOURCES
DIGITAL DANCE COLLECTIONS
COSTUME POLICIES
AVAILABLE PERFORMANCE VENUES, ENSEMBLES, & CONCERTS
MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN DANCE

 

NOTE

Introduction

Belhaven University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.

Welcome to the Dance Department at Belhaven University. We have prepared this handbook to ease your transition into graduate study. It contains general information you will use throughout your time as a graduate dance student and answers many commonly asked questions. Please use this handbook in consultation with your graduate faculty advisor who will guide you through your program of study at Belhaven. Updated information will be given to you throughout your program. We welcome any input regarding this publication and how we might improve it to better serve your needs. We believe this year holds new and exciting opportunities for you in the advanced creative and scholarly study of dance. The Belhaven University Dance Department encourages you to embrace all that God has for you in this journey.

Sincerely,

Erin Scheiwe Rockwell, MFA
Professor of Dance
MFA Program Director

 


 

FACULTY

Faculty

Please click here for a list of faculty and their bios!

 


 

VISION & MISSION STATEMENT

Vision and Mission Statement

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.
 

MISSION STATEMENT OF THE DANCE DEPARTMENT

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

GOALS FOR MFA STUDENTS

The Master of Fine Arts program at Belhaven University integrates a Christian worldview with pedagogical, theoretical, and artistic inquiry in dance studies. The MFA in Dance equips graduate students for careers as leaders in higher education, choreography, performance, ministry, and scholarship.


GOAL 1: WORLDVIEW: CHRISTIAN INTEGRATION WITH DANCE STUDIES

To develop dance artists, educators, and scholars who can articulate a nuanced approach to dance studies from a Christian perspective and are able to critically assess their work and the work of others from such a perspective.

  1. Objective 1: To offer graduate courses that provide breadth and depth in pedagogical, theoretical, and artistic inquiry that demonstrate rigorous engagement with historic and contemporary Christian thought and practice.
  2. Objective 2: To develop a learning community that values curiosity, social responsibility, and respect for differing philosophical and theological viewpoints.
  3. Objective 3: To encourage the cultivation of Christian community with dance professionals in a wide variety of settings through residencies, workshops, conferences, etc.
  4. Objective 4: To foster the development of a personal Christian worldview that synthesizes scholarly and artistic commitments with religious practice.
  5. Objective 5: To promote dance advocacy and social engagement through community-engaged performances, residencies, and teaching opportunities at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

     

GOAL 2: PEDAGOGY: PROCESS AND SCIENCE-BASED MODELS

To develop future dance educators who model effective approaches to dance teaching which acknowledge pedagogical and kinesiological best practices.

  1. Objective 1: To offer dance technique courses that demonstrate a range of pedagogical practices that are grounded in anatomical awareness, somatic inquiry, and practice-led research.
  2. Objective 2: To develop a body of knowledge that synthesizes critical pedagogy with dance studies as a means to investigate contemporary approaches to dance teaching.
  3. Objective 3: To provide graduate students with a variety of teaching opportunities in studio and lecture settings under the supervision of graduate faculty as a means to cultivate professional, ethical, and effective strategies for dance teaching.
  4. Objective 4: To develop a teaching portfolio of professional materials that prepare graduate students for careers in private studios, K-12, higher education, and community-based dance teaching.
  5. Objective 5: To emphasize strategies for cultivating personal health and professional longevity through campus resources (dance athletic trainer, campus counselor, etc.), curricula, and special workshops or seminars.

     

GOAL 3: THEORY: PRACTICE AS RESEARCH AND CRITICAL STUDIES

To cultivate dance scholars with embodied and theoretical stances that acknowledges the ability of dance to reflect and enact culture and to articulate the ways in which these influences interact with their own body of work.

  1. Objective 1: To offer graduate courses that emphasize the integration of embodied and textual forms of knowledge production.
  2. Objective 2: To introduce graduate students to critical scholarly conversation partners that inform the field of dance studies through reading, research, discussion, formulation of ideas, and oral and written presentations.
  3. Objective 3: To cultivate modes of analysis that investigate the role of the dancing body in the cultural formation and perpetuation of social relationships.
  4. Objective 4: To encourage graduate student engagement with the other artists and scholars through the presentation of their work at conferences, festivals, and workshops.
  5. Objective 5: To practice a variety of methods for professional presentations, including informal in-class showings and discussion, mock-conferences, choreography showings, lecture-demonstrations, and performance presentations.

 

GOAL 4: ARTISTRY: PROCESS, INNOVATION, AND COLLABORATION

To encourage the development of dance artists who employ sophisticated dance composition and performance skills which reflect a synthesis of artistry, craft, and individuality.

  1. Objective 1: To offer opportunities to observe, participate in, and practice diverse strategies for the development of original choreographic material through interaction with faculty, guest artists, and peers.
  2. Objective 2: To provide opportunities to practice dance making through process-based skills in improvisation, movement generation, choreographic development and the realization of evening-length concert dance works.
  3. Objective 3: To foster a generative environment for divergent thinking, risk-taking and experimentation through student-driven feedback approaches, such as Lerman’s Critical Response Process.
  4. Objective 4: To establish working relationships with faculty, production staff, and other academic departments that foster collaboration in the realization of choreographic presentations.  
  5. Objective 5: To provide diverse opportunities and environments for the presentation of original choreography, including site-specific environments, workshops, conferences, and off-campus venues.
  6. Objective 6: To equip students with tools to integrate technology into the development and/or presentation of original choreography.

     

 

DEPARTMENT POLICIES FOR GRADUATE DANCE STUDENTS

Department Policies For Graduate Dance Students

ATTIRE

Graduate students are not expected to adhere to the same guidelines for attire as undergraduate dance students. However, our department emphasizes modesty and practicality for studio and rehearsal attire. Graduate students should wear form-fitting clothing that allows for safety and functionality. Suggestions for appropriate attire include tights and leotards, fitted yoga pants, leggings, etc. Please refrain from wearing clothing that is excessively worn (i.e. transparent or with holes) and that has distracting images or text. Individual instructors may have specific guidelines for graduate students in studio courses.

 

GUIDELINES

All dancers are to neatly and appropriately secure their hair off the face and neck.

The wearing of jewelry, with the exceptions of engagement/wedding bands and post earrings, is prohibited.

Please use locker rooms. Do not change clothes in the studios or hallways.
 

BALLET CLASSES/PERFORMANCE FOR WOMEN

  • Pink or skin-toned canvas ballet shoes are recommended with elastic appropriately attached. It is suggested to have more than one pair/ semester.
  • Pointe shoes: Recommended to have 2-3 pairs/semester for class/rehearsals. Ribbons are required for class.
  • Flesh-toned camisole leotard (no shiny straps) is required for performance.


BALLET CLASSES/PERFORMANCE FOR MEN

  • Dance belt.
  • Black ballet shoes with elastics appropriately attached. Recommended to have at least 2 pairs/semester.


MODERN DANCE CLASSES

  • Dancers should be prepared to dance barefoot. Kneepads may be desired for floorwork.
  • Dance pants or leggings are generally preferred with tight fitting tops. Please refer to specific faculty requests.
     

STUDIOS AND 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/rosin on the marley floors.

Graduate teaching assistants will be issued keys to studios when fulfilling teaching responsibilities. Following a class or rehearsal, graduate students should lock all equipment before leaving the building.

Request for studio space and changes to your rehearsal schedule must be submitted in writing to the dance workstudy office (dance@belhaven.edu) with GRADUATE STUDENT REHEARSALS in the subject line. Include the date, time, and preferred studio in your email request. Rehearsals may not interfere with previously scheduled events or classes.

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

After-hours you may not be in the building unless accompanied by another person.

Audio/video equipment is available for graduate student use. This equipment is to be used under the supervision of faculty.
 

DEPARTMENTAL MEETINGS

Fridays 2:30-3:30.

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to attend all dance department meetings. Regular commitments, such as part-time jobs, should not be scheduled during this time slot. Departmental announcements, guest speakers, and departmental performances are presented at this meeting.
 

BULLETIN BOARDS

All undergraduate and graduate dance students 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 Chairperson or the Dance Administrative Assistant. Student notices are placed on the student board located between Studio 2 and 3. We post current announcements regarding conferences, workshops, job vacancies, ministries, request for papers, choreography submissions, and festivals for which we receive printed information regularly.  Departmental information is also regularly posted in the “Belhaven Dance Announcement” group on Facebook.
 

DANCE OFFICE

The Dance Office is located on the second floor of the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Building. Besides up-to-the-minute information and forms, here you can find some selected resources as well. Including some subscriptions to dance publications.
 

GRADUATE STUDENT OFFICE

The Graduate Student/Adjunct Office is located on the first floor of the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Building (VADC) across from the computer lab 125. This shared office space is equipped with desks, shelves, mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. Graduate students are expected to respectfully negotiate the use of this space. No sensitive student files or valuables should be left in the office unattended. Please keep this office locked when no one is present. The school is not responsible for lost items. 
 

STUDENT SCHEDULE FORMS

Every graduate dance student is required to keep a schedule card with up-to-date contact information and semester schedule including courses taken and work schedule.
 

PLACEMENT CLASS

Prior to the first day of class each fall, a technical placement class is conducted. All incoming graduate students are required to take this class. Any other student enrolled in dance technique courses may be evaluated for placement or potential advancement to a higher level.
 

DEPARTMENTAL ENSEMBLES REHEARSAL SCHEDULES AND CASTING

Cast lists (of those students enrolled in performance for credit) 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 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 takes precedence of your employer’s schedule. Dancers should arrive for rehearsal early enough to change, warm-up, and be prepared to begin at the designated time.
 

GRADUATE STUDENT PROJECT REHEARSALS

Rehearsals for graduate student projects in dance are to be scheduled around the student’s existing course schedule and should not interfere with the classes, crew assignments, or rehearsals for departmental productions. Students participating in these rehearsals are expected to approach them seriously and with the same degree of commitment they would approach a departmental production rehearsal. All dance students requiring a studio to complete course work have equal access to studio space and will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Graduate students must submit their request through Google Forms found at https://forms.gle/uvGBPNh4cSC4dwPe6 or by using the QR code posted on the call board. Space can be reserved for projects not related to course work, however, priority of studio space will always be given to students completing course work. Graduate students in Choreography I, II, and III can cast undergraduate and graduate students for projects relating to their course work. Those students being cast must take this commitment seriously and review the rehearsal schedule to uncover any possible conflicts before rehearsals begin.

 


 

HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROGRAMS

Health and Wellness Programs

STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES

Student Health Services are available at Lakeland Family Medicine Center located in north Jackson, within walking distance from the University Medical Center. The clinic has 12 examining rooms and a well-equipped lab, x-ray and emergency room. This clinic is on Lakeland Drive near Cups in Fondren. University of Mississippi Medical Center suggests that for students who do not have insurance or have international insurance, you will do best to go to the Federally Qualified Health Center at the Jackson Medical Mall (about 3 miles from campus). The FQHC is federally subsidized and staffed by UMC physicians. They have assured us it provides quality care but will be less costly for our uninsured students.

Hours: 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Phone: (601) 984-6800.

 

STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE

All students should be insured with accident and/or health insurance at all times during attendance at Belhaven University. Belhaven does not automatically provide student health insurance, however, as an optional service, a Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Program is available. Brochures on the policy are in the Office of Student Development. For international students, a medical insurance plan is required. As part of your acceptance to Belhaven University, you have agreed either to purchase student insurance or to provide proof that you are already covered by an adequate insurance policy. Information is available at registration or in the Office of Student Development.
 

STUDENT CARE

Belhaven University and the Dance Department seek to meet the needs of students by fostering a warm environment of personal connection between students, faculty, and staff members. Students should feel free to visit the Dance Office, the Dance Clinic, or the Office of Student Development to discuss concerns.
 

FOOD SERVICE

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 healthy and nutritious foods is also provided. If you have dietary needs or have comments or questions regarding the meal service, please contact Dining services directly at 968-5912.

These are a few 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.
  • Sack lunches are available for working students and for rehearsals overlapping meal times with written documentation from your employer or Chairperson.
     

THE SHOEBIRD CAFÉ

There is a coffee shop with specialty coffee drinks, sandwiches, and snacks located on campus in the Student Center.

 


 

LIBRARY AND RESOURCES

Library and Resources

BOOKS

The Warren A. Hood Library maintain a growing collection of books on a wide range of topics related to dance studies, including pedagogy, anatomy and kinesiology, history, cultural studies, performance, dance ministry, biography, dance writing, research methods, dance and disability studies, etc. Librarians are available to assist in the location of these texts, most of which are found on the second floor. In addition to our physical book collection, BU also has access to 47,000+ e-books through the Ebsco E-book collection.
 

INTERLIBRARY LOAN (ILL)

ILL obtains research materials from other libraries that the Warren A. Hood Library does not own or provide to the BU community.  The process and guidelines for obtaining the ILL can be found at http://www.belhaven.edu/library/inter_library_loan.htm.  ILL’s can take several weeks to obtain, so plan accordantly.
 

E-BOOKS

In addition to our physical book collection, BU also has access to 47,000+ e-books through the Ebsco E-book collection.
 

DATABASES

INTERNATIONAL BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THEATRE AND DANCE WITH FULL TEXT

The Biliography covers 60,000 journal articles, books, book chapters, and dissertation abstracts on all aspects of theatre and performance in 126 countries. International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text contains more than 490 full-text titles, including more than 170 full-text journals, and more than 360 full-text books & monographs.


JSTOR

Full-text access to over 1000 scholarly journals, including more than 2 million articles, from a wide range of disciplines. Current issues from journals (the most recent 3-5 years) are generally not available in JSTOR. [dates vary].


ADDITIONAL DATABASES FOR DANCE INCLUDE

Art & Architecture Complete; Classical Music Library Online; Digital Theater Plus; Education Source; The International Encyclopedia of Dance; Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance; U.S. History in Context; World History in Context.

 


 

DIGITAL DANCE COLLECTIONS

Digital Dance Collections

Dance Online: Dance in Video contains dance productions and documentaries by the most influential performers and companies of the 20th century. Selections cover ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, experimental, and improvisational dance, as well as forerunners of the forms and the pioneers of modern concert dance

Digital Dance Archives links together different dance archive collections, representing over 100 years of British dance. If you are curious about dance, its history and innovations, you can: search for photographs, artwork, and videos; select items and make personalized virtual scrapbooks; tag and share content; and annotate video and images.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive is an ever-growing collection of dance videos filmed at Jacob’s Pillow from the 1930s to today. Jacob’s Pillow is home to America’s longest running dance festival. Each year thousands of people from across the U.S. and around the globe experience the Festival with more than 50 dance companies and 200 free performances, talks, and events.

New York Public Library Digital Collections links to multiple dance related resources including treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection, the Claire Holt Collection of Indonesian Dance and Related Arts, and Dance in Photographs and Prints.

Dance Heritage Coalition (DHC) is a national alliance of institutions holding significant collections of materials documenting the history of dance. Its mission is to preserve, make accessible, enhance and augment the materials that document the artistic accomplishments in dance of the past, present, and future. In particular, the America’s Dance Treasures collection contains clips of original choreography, brief biographies, and lists of references of over 100 American performers and choreographers from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Library of Congress: Performing Arts Reading Room is the access point for the collections in the custody of the Music Division at the Library of Congress. Numbering approximately 20.5 million items and spanning more than 1000 years of Western music history and practice, including the classified music and book collections, music and literary manuscripts, iconography, microforms, periodicals, musical instruments, published and unpublished copyright deposits, and close to 500 special collections in music, theater, and dance.

New York Public Library: Jerome Robbins Dance Division is the largest and most comprehensive archive in the world devoted to the documentation of dance.

MAC Labs: Two state-of-the-art Mac Computer labs are located in Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. Dance students have access to these computer labs to facilitate their coursework and creative projects. Each lab is filled with new computers updated with current application programs to assist students in creating and editing audio recordings, photographs, posters, programs, video dances, websites, etc. Graduate students can receive have access to these facilities for course projects, independent study, and thesis research and production.

Chicago Style Author-Date Citation: The Dance Department uses the Chicago Style Author-Date method for organizing professional papers and documenting references. It is required that graduate students purchase Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th edition. Graduate students are expected to adhere to the guidelines outlined in this text for all formal writing assignments in their courses and for the development of their thesis project papers.

 


 

COSTUME POLICIES

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.
 

WHEN WEARING ANY COSTUME OR COSTUME PART

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 spray on cologne but DO wear underarm deodorant of some kind. (Strong body odor is hard to remove.)

DO NOT allow the costume to sit on the floor, or to be thrown on the ground.    

DO NOT alter the costume in anyway unless pre-approved by the Director of Dance Costume.

Students must follow these and additional instructions for special care or storage need of the costumes he or she will be wearing. Failure to do so may result in the student being fined or charged for the refurbishing or total replacement of the costume or costume piece.

  • The student is responsible for gathering up props and costumes immediately after use and for returning them into the care of the costume department in the best state possible, notifying them of any problems and/or repairs needing attention. Failure to do so will result in the lowering your performance grade.
  • Many, but not all, costumes are available for special projects and loans to students.
  • Costumes are not to leave the costume room for non-departmental productions without a Costume Rental Contract.
  • To request a rental, the student may obtain a Costume Rental Contract from the Dance Office. By signing this form, the student takes full responsibility for the costume rented in adherence to the aforementioned guidelines and should return the costume in the best state possible.
  • Alterations may not be made without prior approval.
     

PROCEDURE FOR COSTUME RENTALS

  1. An appointment to pull costumes must be made with the Director of Dance Costuming by the given deadline (Specific dates TBD-generally 1 week before the first dress rehearsal).
  2. Costume rental agreement must be filled out with the Costumer for all pieces used. Any additions after the initial rental agreement is signed must be approved and initialed by the costumer before use.
  3. Costumes worn in performances presented at Belhaven University and any festivals must receive faculty advisor and Costumer approval before dress rehearsals begin.
  4. Costumes for VADC performances MUST be kept in the costume shop on the designated rack.
  5. Direct all questions concerning costumes and check out procedures to the Costumer.
     

If a costume is damaged or lost, a replacement fee will be required.

Graduate students must arrange for the production of costume elements for adjudicated showing of choreography and graduate thesis projects. The Director of Dance Costuming may be contracted to produce graduate student costumes, however, these arrangements should be made at the beginning of the semester in which the performance will take place.

 


 

VENUES, ENSEMBLES, & CONCERTS

Available Performance Venues, Ensembles, and Concerts

The following is a sampling of the annual performance opportunities available to graduate students through the Belhaven University Dance Department.
 

DOXA EMERGING CHOREOGRAPHERS CONCERT

This annual concert is organized by the undergraduate student dance club, DOXA. The content and programming is at the discretion of DOXA and their faculty advisor. The concert may also be used to raise funds for the club’s purposes. Anyone interested in this event should contact the DOXA officers.
 

CHOREOGRAPHY/DANCE STUDENT SHOWCASE

This performance venue offers an informal atmosphere to share class repertoire, choreographic studies, works-in-progress, etc. It gives graduate and undergraduate 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 viewing time to view student work. The content of this venue can take an infinite number of shapes, including showings for the Dance Department meetings, worship, improvisation, and/or other projects in their various stages of completion. Performances may take place in a studio setting or another space. Graduate students are required to submit three works for informal adjudication before commencing work on the graduate thesis project.
 

BELHAVEN UNIVERSITY DANCE ENSEMBLE (BUDE)

The BUDE consists of graduate and undergraduate students and apprentices enrolled in dance courses at Belhaven University. The repertoire ranges from the Classics to Post-Modern Dance. Casting auditions are generally held at the beginning of the semester. Casting will be posted on the production boards. Rehearsals are scheduled Monday through Friday from 4-6pm. Night rehearsals will occur occasionally and is likely during a guest choreographer residency. The Ensemble performs occasionally off campus. Its main venues are the Fall and Spring Concerts as well as a possible tour/outreach at the conclusion of the academic year.
 

BELHAVEN UNIVERSITY DANCE MINISTRY ENSEMBLE (DME)

The DME consists of graduate and undergraduate students and apprentices enrolled in dance courses at Belhaven University. There is a yearlong commitment required for participation in the DME.  The repertoire ranges from Contemporary Ballet to Modern Dance. Casting auditions are held during the mandatory performance audition at the beginning of each year. Casting will be posted on the production boards. Rehearsals are scheduled Monday through Friday and Saturdays as needed. Evening rehearsals will occur occasionally. Dancers in the DME must be willing and able to commit each Saturday, and occasionally Sundays, to performing and/or workshops. DME performs on campus in Chapel has a full production each year early Spring semester. DME also performs off-campus for nursing homes, hospitals, churches, as well as possible tours outside the Jackson area. It is the Ensemble’s desire to use dance as a tool to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 

COMMUNITY CONCERT

This event features art organizations, schools, and ministries from the community alongside works created by Belhaven faculty and students.
 

GRADUATE THESIS CONCERT

This concert serves as the culminating showcase for MFA in Dance thesis projects. As emerging choreographers, performers, and dance scholars, graduate students present innovative dance works in a variety of genres and settings. The concert venue and dates will vary depending upon the numbers and requirements of the projects each year.
 

TOURING

From time to time there may be opportunities for a core group of dancers to perform outside of our usual venues. Under auspices of the Belhaven University Dance Ensemble, repertoire may be performed locally, nationally, or internationally. Students participating in touring ensembles are selected by the faculty with ample notification. Participation is voluntary.  Full commitment to rehearsals and tour schedule is required for participation.

 


 

MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN DANCE

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

The Master of Fine Arts in Dance is a 60-credit terminal degree that integrates a Christian worldview with pedagogical, theoretical, and artistic inquiry in dance studies. The MFA in Dance equips graduates for careers as leaders in education, choreography, performance, ministry, and scholarship.  Belhaven’s graduate dance program encourages students to develop career-related skills through the practical application of theoretical knowledge, innovative, and compositional techniques, and the experiential methodologies of apprenticeships. Graduate students submit their work for peer and faculty review, as well as contribute to the field through attendance and participation in regional and national dance conferences. Graduate students gain experience in teaching through pedagogy courses and the opportunity for teaching assistantships upon the completion of 18 hours of graduate study. The development, compilation and application or incorporation of creative work, inquiry, and investigation will culmination in the graduate thesis project.
 

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

The highest standards of academic excellence must be achieved and maintained at the graduate level of study. Graduate students should strive for the highest possible levels of technical and academic excellence. Thus, a final grade in a graduate level course of C or below will result in academic probation. A second final grade of C or below will result in the student’s repetition of the course. A pattern of poor academic performance may result in automatic dismissal from the MFA in Dance program.
 

BREADTH AND DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND REQUIRED LEVELS OF ACHIEVEMENT

Graduate students should demonstrate an advanced level of skill in creative practice, be able to articulate an historical and contemporary awareness of issues relevant to field, and to synthesize this information with the integration of faith and learning in the Belhaven University curriculum.  Graduate students must complete 39 credits in studio or related areas, 15 credits in theory or other studies in dance, and 6 elective credits. Graduate students may also take graduate-level courses in other departments (such as those offered in the Masters of Business and Masters of Education degrees) for elective credit. These general guidelines afford graduate students the ability to develop a breadth of competency in choreography, research, and teaching as well as the flexibility to cultivate specialization in areas of individual interest through independent studies, apprenticeships, and electives. Other requirements include:

  • Maintaining a physical residence in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Enrollment in a minimum of three credits per semester
  • Enrollment in a minimum of six credits per semester for teaching assistantship and scholarship awards
  • Maintaining a 3.0 GPA in all graduate level courses
  • The completion of three graduate showings of choreography or performance
  • The completion of the Program of Study as outlined in the curricular table
  • The completion of the graduate thesis project from proposal to realization, including a supporting document and oral defense.

     

 

PROGRAM OF STUDY

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

Master of Fine Arts in Dance Program of Study
Studio or Related Areas (39 units required)
COURSE # TITLE UNITS
DAN 502 Graduate Dance Production 1-3 units
DAN 525/526 Ballet Technique 2 units
DAN 533/534 Modern Technique 2 units
DAN 543/544 Graduate Performance I 1 unit
DAN 570 Graduate Choreography I 3 units
DAN 571 Graduate Choreography II 3 units
DAN 585 Somatic Practices for Dance I 2 unit
DAN 625/626 Ballet Technique 2 unit
DAN 643/644 Graduate Performance II 1 unit
DAN 660 Performance Media Techniques 2 units
DAN 670 Graduate Choreography III 3 units
DAN 671/672 Graduate Improvisation 1 unit
DAN 685 Somatic Practices for Dance II 2 unit
DAN 725/726 Ballet Technique 2 unit
DAN 733/734 Modern Technique 2 unit
DAN 700/701/702 Graduate Thesis Project 7-9 units
Note Minimum number of technique credits 12 units
Other Studies in Dance (15 units required)
DAN 501 Graduate Kinesiology (lecture) 3 units
DAN 503 Graduate Kinesiology (lab) 1 units
DAN 511 Graduate Seminar 1 units
DAN 575 Graduate Pedagogy (lecture) 3 units
DAN 576 Graduate Pedagogy (lab) 1 units
DAN 580 Philosophy of Dance 3 units
DAN 680 Critical Issues in Dance 3 units
DAN 662 Research and Writing for Dance 3 units
Electives (6 units required)
DAN 500 Arts Administration 3 units
DAN 545 Dance and Christian Ministry 3 units
DAN 550/650 Graduate Apprenticeship/Internship 1-3 units
DAN 560 Dance Technology 3 units
DAN 565 Rhythmic Theory for Dancers 2 units
DAN 590/690 Graduate Independent Study 4-8 units
DAN 591/691 Graduate Special Topics 1-3 units

*Required courses in bold.
 

SAMPLE PROGRAM OF STUDY

Other than technique classes, most coursework is taught on a two-year cycle. The occurrence of some classes is more predictable than others, depending on demand, enrollment, etc. This sample program of study can assist you in projecting your coursework. This list is subject to change.

Year One-Fall Year One-Spring
DAN 511 Graduate Seminar (1) DAN 526 Ballet Technique (1)
DAN 525 Ballet Technique (1) DAN 534 Modern Technique (2)
DAN 533 Modern Technique (2) DAN 571 Graduate Choreography II (3)
DAN 570 Graduate Choreography I (3) DAN 575 Graduate Pedagogy (3)
DAN 662 Research and Writing for Dance (3) DAN 576 Pedagogy Lab (1)
Year Two-Fall Year Two-Spring
DAN 625 Ballet Technique (1) DAN 502 Dance Production (1-3)
DAN 633 Modern Technique (2) DAN 585 Somatic Practices for Dance (1)
DAN 643 Graduate Performance (1) DAN 626 Ballet Technique (1)
DAN 670 Graduate Choreography III (3) DAN 634 Modern Technique (2)
DAN 501 Graduate Kinesiology (3) DAN 671 Graduate Improvisation (2)
DAN 503 Graduate Kinesiology Lab (1) DAN 700 Graduate Thesis Project (1-3)
Year Three-Fall Year Three-Spring
DAN 725 Ballet Technique (1) DAN 685 Somatic Practice for Dance II (1)
DAN 733 Modern Technique (2) DAN 734 Modern Technique (2)
DAN 545 Dance and Technology (3) DAN 565 Rhythmic Theory for Dance (2)
DAN 690 Graduate Independent Study (1) DAN 650 Graduate Apprenticeship (1)
DAN 701 Graduate Thesis Project (3) DAN 702 Graduate Thesis Project (3)

                                               
            
COURSES OFFERED EVERY SEMESTER           

  • DAN 525-726 Ballet Technique                
  • DAN 533-734 Modern Technique            
  • DAN 543-734 Graduate Performance            
  • DAN 550/650 Graduate Apprenticeship            
  • DAN 502 Graduate Production (Stage Management)    

COURSES OFFERED ONCE IN 3 YEARS

  • Most required and elective courses.

     

 

TECHNIQUE LEVEL PLACEMENT AND DEFINITIONS

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

Graduate dance students must place in a level III or higher in ballet or modern technique to qualify for admission into the program. It is expected that graduate students will enter the program with a firm technical foundation in place.
 

BALLET III

This high intermediate technique course emphasizes increased accuracy in reproducing more complex movements while considering subtle details of classical ballet. Graduate students will explore a theoretical understanding of the technical practices employed in the classroom through individual readings, outside observations, and research assignments.
 

BALLET IV

This advanced technique course challenges the student to accurately assimilate and execute the intricate complexities of classical ballet. Graduate students will examine the concepts related to the development of a technically proficient and artistically expressive ballet dancer through individual readings, outside observations, and research assignments.
 

MODERN III

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.
 

MODERN IV

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.

 


 

DESCRIPTION OF CHOREOGRAPHY COMPONENT

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

Choreographic exploration and experimentation is a vital component to the MFA program. Graduate dance students are required to take three semesters of graduate-level choreography courses, in which they will develop and refine dance-making skills for solo and ensemble work. Graduate choreographic works in progress will be shown informally once during the semester and completed works will be formally adjudicated at the end of each semester. Graduate students must complete three successful adjudications before work on the culminating thesis project can commence. Graduate students are encouraged to create and show work each semester during their program of study. 
 

EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT OF CHOREOGRAPHY

Informal adjudications will be held at the end of the semester for graduate students enrolled in DAN 570, DAN 571, and DAN 670. Graduate faculty will complete a graduate choreography evaluation form, which will be collected by the teaching faculty for choreography courses. These evaluations will contribute to teaching faculty’s consideration of students’ final grade for the course. Graduate students must receive a satisfactory (B- or higher) letter grade in each choreography course to be permitted to advance to the culminating thesis project.

 


 

DESCRIPTION OF PERFORMANCE COMPONENT

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

The purpose of graduate dance performance courses is to provide the graduate student with the opportunity to explore and hone a sense of individual artistry. Individual artistry is achieved through a strong technical foundation, exposure to a wide-range of instruction, styles and dance-making practices, and the cultivation of an intelligent body that can respond to the nuances in movement dynamics through improvised and intentional movement sequences.
 

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR PERFORMANCE COURSES

All policies and procedures for undergraduate performance courses apply to graduate students as well. In addition, graduate students are expected to assume a leadership position in the rehearsal and performance process. Faculty choreographers and rehearsal directors will determine additional responsibilities for graduate students, such as additional reading/writing/presentation related to choreographic or performance material, rehearsal director apprenticeship responsibilities, etc. Though graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the Performance/Production courses will be considered first in the casting process, there is no guarantee that they will be cast in a piece. Students not cast will need to withdraw from the course unless the Chair of the dance department has approved alternative arrangements.


RECEIVING CREDIT

Graduate students cast may receive credit for performing faculty and/or guest artist works in the Fall or Spring Faculty Concerts, Dance Ministry Ensemble, or other events approved by the Chair.


REHEARSAL SCHEDULES

Once casts are determined, rehearsal schedules are assigned. All cast members are expected to adhere to the rehearsal schedule and are required to make the necessary arrangements to be at each rehearsal for which they are called. Absences will be noted and will affect the final grade.


REHEARSAL ATTIRE

Consult the choreographer/rehearsal director concerning individual preferences or guidelines regarding appropriate attire, hair and shoes.


INJURY OR ILLNESS

If you are injured, whether first cast, second cast, or understudy, you are required to attend rehearsals. Should your injury be serious to warrant pulling you out of the part, it is at the discretion of the choreographer/rehearsal director to release you from participation in the rehearsal. You may be asked to assist the choreographer/rehearsal director in covering your part with the second cast/understudy. You may not schedule physical therapy during rehearsal time unless given permission by the choreographer/rehearsal director.


LOAD-IN AND STRIKE

All graduate dance students will receive opportunity to hone production skills in graduate production courses. Graduate dance students are also expected to participate in production aspects of graduate thesis concerts, performing such duties as crew work, load-in or strike.  Sign-up sheets for this purpose will be posted. All dancers performing off campus, on tour are expected to comply with guidelines regarding load-in and strike on the road.

 


 

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR INDEPENDENT STUDY AND APPRENTICESHIP/INTERNSHIP

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

INDEPENDENT STUDY

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to pursue independent study of topics related to their research interests and/or topics of interest not covered in the graduate course curriculum.  Graduate students may enroll for one to three credits for independent study. The number of credits awarded will be based on the depth and scope of the project proposed by the student and in accordance with the recommendation of the faculty supervisor. Independent study courses are typically reserved for second and third year students.
 

APPRENTICESHIP/INTERNSHIP

Graduate students are encouraged to pursue apprenticeship/internship with Belhaven faculty, master teachers, or other professionals in dance or dance-related fields. The purpose of apprenticeship/internship is to gain practical, work-related skills in the areas of teaching, choreography, arts administration, or scholarly/creative research. In apprenticeship/internship, graduate students report directly to faculty members and, through this supportive relationship, faculty are better equipped to serve the students in their department. Graduate students may enroll for one to three credits for apprenticeship/internship. The number of credits awarded will be based on the depth and scope of the project proposed by the student and accordance with the recommendation of the faculty member/dance professional with whom the student proposes to work. Apprenticeship/internship courses are reserved for second and third year students.

Graduate students enrolled in independent study and/or apprenticeship/internship courses must create a syllabus including:

Course Name, Number, Semester and Year
Statement of Purpose
Course Objectives
Course Materials, such as texts and readings
Course Evaluation
Course Schedule

A template for generating the independent study and apprenticeship/internship syllabus is available upon request. Graduate students must have this syllabus approved by the graduate faculty advisor before the course of study can commence.

 


 

GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING THE THESIS PROJECT PROPOSAL

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

All project proposals should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins. While the content of the proposal may vary depending on area of interest, all the following components should be included. Thesis project proposals should reflect the development of individual student interests throughout the program of study and should relate to skills gained in the MFA curriculum. Project proposals that diverge significantly from the MFA curriculum will not be approved. The project proposal should not exceed ten pages.

  1. Give a brief introduction to your topic that delineates the context, theoretical frameworks and your capability, level of access or expertise in the field of inquiry (1-2 pages).
  2. Formulate a concise purpose statement that articulates the scholarly and/or artistic aims of your project. For ease of identification, begin this sentence with a variation of “The purpose of this project/performance/etc. is to…” (1 paragraph).
  3. Provide a list of 4-5 research/creative questions which guide the accomplishment of the project (delineate by bullet points).
  4. Conduct a brief survey of literature which highlights the scholarly or creative works with which your project is in conversation (3-4 pages).
  5. Delineate the methodologies you will employ to accomplish the stated aim(s) of the project, including access to resources, research practices and choreographic processes (2-3 pages).
  6. Discuss the significance and relevance of your project. Give a more detailed explanation of the context and theoretical significance of the project mentioned in your introduction.  Articulate any desired or projected outcomes from the project, particularly the ways in which your project will interact with the Christian worldview and impact the field of dance.  
  7. Conclude with a detailed justification of the ways in which you will accomplish your project, including type of venue, number of participants, etc. Include a rationale for the project which details its relevance and significance, how the project will interact with a Christian worldview and impact the field of dance (1-2 pages).
  8. Provide a full Chicago Style Author/Date bibliography of works cited in your project proposal and a list of references of works that are influencing the conception, process for accomplishing and completion of your project (approx. 20-25 sources).
     

REVIEW OF THE THESIS PROJECT PROPOSAL

Provide an electronic copy of your thesis project proposal to the Graduate Faculty Advisor and the members of your MFA Committee by the assigned deadline. Your committee will review your proposal and then schedule a meeting to discuss the feasibility of your project and any changes that need to be made to your proposal. If changes are necessary, you will be given an additional deadline to submit the revised project proposal to your MFA committee.

Once the project proposal has been approved by the members of the MFA Committee, the student can begin the second and third phases of the project-thesis concert and thesis document.  The MFA Committee Chair will work closely with the student in an advisory capacity throughout the duration of the project.  
 

THESIS CONCERT

The thesis project should incorporate the development of a choreographic project of significant length and breadth related to the research and creative interests of the student. Although individual parameters will vary based on MFA Committee recommendations, each graduate student should production approximately twenty minutes of choreographic material. Graduate students will present their work jointly with other members of their cohort in an evening-length professional concert. This concert can take place in the Belhaven University Dance Studio theater, another professional venue, or in an approved site-specific location. Graduate students are responsible for all production elements related to their thesis concerts, including lighting, stage and house crew, costumes, and advertising. Advertising materials can be generated by the dance department, if needed. All advertising materials for Belhaven University-affiliated concerts must be approved by the Chair of the Dance Department.
 

THESIS PROJECT PAPER

All graduate dance students will develop a professional paper as part of their thesis project. This paper functions as a supporting document to the creative component of the project, however, the structure and content of the paper should be such that the paper can stand on its own as a scholarly document. All graduate papers should follow Chicago Style citation, and be formatted with one-inch margins, typed, double spaced, and in Times New Roman 12-point font. Although individual projects will direct the structure and content of individual papers, the following guidelines provide the essential components for thesis project professional papers:

  1. Introduction:  The introduction to the thesis project professional paper should provide a more in-depth context than the proposal paper.  This section should include elements that create or influence the context of the project, such as environment, time-period, culture, etc.  This section should also provide a space for self-reflexivity from the author.  The thesis project professional paper should acknowledge the ways in which the graduate student interacts with the project and the biases, assumptions, and limitations that influence the scope of the work and its projected outcomes.
  2. Thesis Statement:  The thesis statement(s) should provide a clear purpose statement for the project in general and the professional paper in particular.  The thesis statement should provide a clear outline for the scope of the paper and shape the reader’s expectations for the structure and content of the paper.
  3. Content
    1. Description of process
    2. Application of theoretical framework(s)
    3. Relevance to the field of inquiry
  4. Conclusions

a.    Outcomes
b.    Reflections
c.    Areas for further investigation
 

ORAL DEFENSE AND EXAMINATION OF THESIS PROJECT

Upon completion of the thesis concert and acceptance of the thesis project professional paper by the MFA Committee, the faculty will schedule an oral defense and examination of the thesis project with the graduate student. The oral defense will be held on campus and is open to the general public as well as university faculty and students. The graduate student will prepare a twenty-minute oral presentation synopsizing the thesis project and professional paper. This oral presentation should be accompanied by visual representation, such as power point, still images, or video, where applicable. The graduate student will then field questions on the thesis project and professional paper from the MFA thesis committee as well as members of the audience.  Following the oral defense and examination, the MFA thesis committee will deliberate to determine if the graduate student has successfully completed all requirements for the thesis project and the graduate student will be notified of pass/fail status.
 

THE MFA COMMITTEE AND THE ROLE OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

The MFA Committee is composed of three members. Two of these must be dance department faculty members; the third can be from another discipline, especially from a field related to the thesis project. Faculty from other institutions can be considered as potential MFA Committee members. All MFA committee members are subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director. The purpose of the MFA Committee is to provide guidance to the graduate student during the development of the thesis project and professional paper and to ensure that the graduate student is pursuing a rigorous course of study that adheres to the highest standards of academic and artistic excellence. While the graduate student is expected to work independently to conceptualize, develop, and realize his or her project, MFA Committee members provide additional resources and feedback on written and choreographed material. Graduate students are expected to meet with their MFA Committee as a group at least once during each semester in which the thesis project is in progress.

 


 

BELHAVEN UNIVERSITY AND DEPARTMENT OF DANCE ATTENDANCE POLICIES

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

The class attendance policy assumes that students will be present for all classes. University policy requires that students attend at least 80 percent of class meetings during a semester or summer session in order to receive credit. For Fall and Spring semesters, this 80 percent is interpreted thusly:

  • 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 school activities, emergencies, and late registration) are included in the maximum number of absences.
 

TARDINESS

Please consult the syllabus for each individual course for policies regarding tardiness. Entering the classroom after the first exercise has been completed, in some courses, may mean the student will have to observe the class since an important part of class preparation has been missed. When in doubt, always ask the instructor for clarification.
 

ABSENCES

Attendance is recorded daily. Excessive absence reports will be made to the Offices of Student Learning and the Registrar during the semester as necessary. Students anticipating missing a class or rehearsal due to illness or another legitimate reason are expected to notify the instructor in charge in advance. Students should never leave a class in progress without notifying the instructor. Sitting out/class observation: If you are feeling unwell, but are not contagious, or if you have a minor injury, the instructor may permit you to sit out and observe class. You should bring a note from the health clinic or a doctor’s note to your instructor for classes missed due to illness. Prolonged illness or injury will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
 

ILLNESS/INJURY/CLASS OBSERVATION

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. If you are feeling unwell, but are not contagious, you must inform the instructor. If the faculty determines that you are unable to participate in technique classes, you may be permitted to sit in class and work on rehabilitation exercises, or you may be asked to complete an observation assignment. Students permitted to observe class must provide the instructor with a note from either a doctor or from the dance clinic. If you adhere to these guidelines, you will NOT incur an absence.  If you sit out of class for more than one full week, the faculty will collectively discuss your prolonged illness or injury to assess the situation on a case-by-case basis. Additional absences may affect your grade.

 


 

INJURY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

A Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer (ATC/PT) is on staff in the Performing Arts Medicine Clinic to serve you when you have healthcare needs. The Trainer is able to provide most care on-site and can refer you to other qualified healthcare providers when necessary. Please also consult the chair of dance for prolonged injury.  When you receive an injury it is your responsibility to report it to your professor and to consult the 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 a follow-up appointment. The treatment and rehabilitation instructions provided by the Athletic Trainer should be followed, and all clinic appointments are to be kept unless you contact the Athletic Trainer in advance to change an appointment. 

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 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 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 and rehabilitation instructions. If you are under a red or yellow slip, the Athletic Trainer will then determine the time frame in which you will be able to return to activity. If it is judged that you will not be healed enough to return to full activity, you will receive an incomplete for the class. 

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.

 


 

SCHOLARSHIPS, FINANCIAL AID AND AWARDS

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

UNDERGRADUATE ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIP

Students who have received their undergraduate degree from Belhaven University are eligible to receive a one-time $1000 scholarship towards their graduate tuition at Belhaven University.
 

BELHAVEN UNIVERSITY GRADUATE STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP

This scholarship is given to incoming graduate students in recognition of their potential to achieve creative or scholarly excellence in the field of dance. To be eligible for this scholarship, the student must be enrolled for at least 6 credits per semester and must maintain at 3.5 GPA. This scholarship may be renewed annually based on continued student performance.
 

JOHN D. HENDERSON MEMORIAL AWARD

The John D. Henderson Memorial Award is an endowed scholarship award to a dance graduate student who, in the eyes of the dance faculty, exhibits excellence in creative and/or scholarly endeavors, a commitment to Christ-centered leadership, and potential for future impact in the field of dance. This award is typically given to second or third-year students as a one-time award.
 

ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR POSITIONS

Second and third year students may be offered Adjunct Instructor contracts to teach undergraduate dance department studio and lecture courses. Adjunct faculty are expected to adhere to university guidelines including preparing a syllabus for students, conducting classes and examinations, and meeting with students as necessary. In this way, Graduate Student instructors operate in a direct relationship to students in conjunction with faculty oversight. Additional guidelines will be made available to individuals upon the offer of an adjunct contract.
 

GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS

Graduate Teaching Assistants in the Dance Department are awarded tuition remission for the MFA in Dance program in exchange for teaching and assisting with undergraduate dance courses. Responsibilities include:

  • Teach and/or assist with a minimum of two undergraduate dance courses per semester (3-6 total load hours), as assigned by the Chair of Dance. Graduate Assistants are expected to adhere to University guidelines for teaching faculty, including preparing a syllabus for students, conducting classes and examinations, and meeting with students as necessary. Graduate Teaching Assistants are supervised by graduate faculty and receive feedback through faculty observation and student course surveys.
  • Assist with operational responsibilities in the Dance Department including attendance at specified faculty meetings and Dance Department meetings, assistance with recruitment trips, serving as a substitute instructor for dance classes as needed, etc.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment in the MFA in Dance program.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative 3.2 grade point average.

     

 

ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

The Belhaven University Department of Dance is an institutional and/or affiliate member of the following organizations.  Graduate students are strongly encouraged to investigate those organizations that dovetail with their research interests and to take advantage of their website resources, conferences and seminars, and graduate student memberships.  Individual graduate faculty can provide guidance and mentorship concerning which institutions are most relevant to graduate research interests.

  • 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. www.alabamadancecouncil.org.
  • American College Dance Association (ACDA) exists to support and affirm dance in higher education through regional conferences, the adjudication process, and national festivals. The educational mission of ACDA 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. www.acda.dance.
  • Dance Camera West (DCW) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and developing the vibrant art of dance media. DCW connects diverse cultures and environments through its exploration of dance on screen, bringing hundreds of challenging and provocative films to Los Angeles from around the globe, effectively bridging the gap between the uniquely influential Los Angeles film community and the significant local dance populace. www.dancecamerawest.org.
  • Dance Studies Association (DSA) is an international organization of dance scholars, educators, and artists that aims to strengthen the visibility and increase the reach of dance as embodied practice, creative endeavor and intellectual discipline. DSA aims to strengthen the visibility and increase the reach of dance as embodied practice, creative endeavor and intellectual discipline. www.dancestudiesassociation.org.
  • International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) enhances the health, well-being, training, and performance of dancers by cultivating educational, medical, and scientific excellence. www.iadms.org.
  • National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) 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. www.arts_accredit.org.
  • National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and promotion of high-quality education in the art of dance. NDEO provides the dance artist, educator and administrator a network of resources and support, a base for advocacy, and access to programs that focus on the importance of dance in the human experience. www.ndeo.org.
  • Performing Arts Medicine Association (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. www.artsmed.org.
  • USA International Ballet Competition (IBC) 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. www.usa.ibc.com.
  • World Dance Alliance (WDA) is an international organization dedicated to the exchange of ideas and an awareness of dance in its many forms. WDA has two regional branches, Americas and Asia Pacific, to address global policy and projects. www.worlddancealliance.org.
  • Women in Dance (WD) promotes and celebrates female leadership in dance and other male-dominated arts-fields. www.womenindance.com.
  • Other Journals or publications of note: Contact Quarterly, Journal of Dance Education, Dance Education in Practice, The International Journal of Screendance.

     

 

MFA IN DANCE READING LISTS

Master of Fine Arts in Dance

RECOMMENDED READINGS FOR TECHNIQUE

Bales, Melanie and Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, eds. 2008. The Body Eclectic: Evolving Practices in Dance Training. Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

Carter, Alexandra and Janet O’Shea, eds. 2010. Routledge Dance Studies Reader, 2nd ed., London and New York: Routledge.

Copeland, Roger and Marshall Cohen, eds. 1983. What is Dance?: Readings in Theory and Criticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kostelanetz, Richard, ed. 1998. Merce Cunningham: Dancing in Space and Time. New York: Da Capo Press.

Laban, Rudolf. 1960. Mastery of Movement. London: MacDonald & Evans.

Maletic, Vera. 1987. Body, Space, Expression: the development of Rudolf Laban’s Movement and Dance Concepts. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
 

RECOMMENDED READINGS FOR PERFORMANCE

Albright, Ann and David Gere, eds. 2003. Taken by Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

Foster, Susan Leigh. 2010. Choreographing Empathy: Kinesthesia in Performance. Abingdon: Routledge.

Johnson, Mark. 2007. The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lepecki, André, ed. 2004. Of the Presence of the Body: Essays on Dance and Performance Theory. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Sorrel, Walter, ed. 1992. The Dance Has Many Faces. 3rd ed. Chicago: Chicago Review Press.
 

RECOMMENDED READINGS FOR CHOREOGRAPHY

Albright, Ann Cooper. 1997. Choreographing Difference: The Body And Identity in Contemporary Dance. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Bayles, David and Ted Orland. 2001. Art and Fear: On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. Image Continuum Press.

Bogart, Anne. 2007. And Then You Act: Making Art in an Unpredictable World. London and New York: Routledge.

Buckland, Theresa, ed. 2006. Dancing from Past to Present: Nation, Culture, Identities. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Butterworth, Jo and Liesbeth Wildschut. eds. 2009. Contemporary Choreography: A Critical Reader. New York and Oxford: Routledge.

DeFrantz, Thomas, ed. 2001. Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance History (Studies in Dance History). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Desmond, Jane, ed. 2001. Dancing Desires: Choreographing Sexualities on and off the Stage. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Fisher, Jennifer and Anthony Shay, eds. 2009. When Men Dance: Choreographing Masculinities Across Borders. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Jackson, Naomi and Toni Shapiro-Phim, eds. 2008. Dance, Human Rights, and Social Justice: Dignity in Motion. Scarecrow Press.

Lavendar, Larry. 1996. Dancers Talking Dance. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.

Lerman, Liz. 2011. Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

McCarren, Felicia M. 2003. Dancing Machines: Choreographies in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

 




DISCLAIMER

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.