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Department of Dance

(585) 395-2153

Chairperson and Associate Professor: Jacqueline Davis, MA, Ohio State University. Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor: Susannah Newman, BS, Ohio State University. Distinguished University Professor: Garth Fagan, BA, Wayne State University. Professor: Sondra Horton Fraleigh, MA, San Jose State University. Associate Professors: Santo Giglio, MA, University of California Los Angeles; Clyde Morgan, BFA, Cleveland State University; Wally Wolfgruber, MFA, New York University. Assistant Professors: Natalie Goodhartz, PhD, Ohio State University; Khalid Saleem; Juanita Suarez, MFA, University of Utah. Professional Employees: Gregory Ketchum, BS, SUNY Brockport; Christian Tucker, MA, Ball State University.

Dance Department Overview

SUNY College at Brockport is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.

The Department of Dance offers a broadly based program in which graduate students may earn an MFA in Dance, an MA in Dance and an MA in Dance Studies with New York State K-12 dance teacher certification, or other emphases. The department has some of the best dance facilities in the country, including its own professionally equipped 300-seat dance theater, four studios, a body-conditioning lab, health pool and computerized music and design studios. Faculty and professional staff are nationally and internationally recognized in their areas of expertise as well as leaders in professional organizations such as CORD, NASD, IGMD, and NYSDA.

While at SUNY Brockport, graduate students may perform in faculty and guest artist work, choreograph their own work or assist in directing one of the two departmental touring companies. They may travel to regional/national conferences and festivals; to countries with departmental foreign study programs such as Japan, Ghana, England, Jamaica and Brazil; or to New York and other locations for approved and credited apprenticeships or dance study.

Upon completion of their degrees, SUNY Brockport graduate students go on to become

K-12, college, and university artist/teachers and researchers; performers and choreographers; allied health professionals; and dance administrators and managers.

Graduate Dance Degrees

THE 36-CREDIT MASTER OF ARTS IN DANCE is a graduate program which offers students an opportunity to study a selected area of emphasis from among dance aesthetics/criticism, dance science/somatics, movement analysis, dance choreography/performance, dance in Africa, dance in education, computers and music for dance, and design for dance. Students may also develop an interdisciplinary focus in dance/movement studies which might include studies in areas such as anthropology, exercise physiology, philosophy, journalism, theatre, fine art and visual studies, psychology, sociology, health/wellness, and Afro-American/women's studies.

The 36 credits are distributed as follows:

  1. A core of nine credits including courses in dance research, dance modernism and field work/teaching practicum;
  2. Twenty-one additional credits taken in the selected area of emphasis within dance (including graduate technique when appropriate) or within allied disciplines which support the emphasis; and
  3. Six culminating credits of thesis.


in performance and choreography with opportunities to emphasize other interests within this orientation such as dance history, dance science/so- or dance in Africa.

The 60 credits are distributed as follows:

  1. The same nine-credit core as the MA;
  2. Fifteen required credits in dance technique including DNS 603 and 605, and courses from among the 545-550 series and 554 styles courses;
  3. Twenty-four credits in choreography, performance, dance science/somatics, dance education, dance history and music for dance; and
  4. Twelve culminating credits of creative project/apprenticeship with its accompanying professional paper and graduate seminar.

Master of Arts in Dance Studies with Provisional/Permanent Teacher Certification,K-12

This is an emphasis leading to New York State Dance Teacher Certification. The 45-credit program includes the nine-credit MA core courses, 18 credits of professional courses, nine credits of student teaching, a three-credit seminar, and a six-credit thesis project.


An academic advisor is assigne-ach graduate student during the first semester; as the student's thesis/creative project/ apprenticeship orientation becomes clear, a mentor and project committee is selected.

Admission Requirements for the MA, MFA and MA with Teacher Certification

  1. An undergraduate degree with a major in dance, with a "B" or better average in dance and dance-related subjects; or an undergraduate degree in another major with evidence of a strong background of studies in dance;
  2. Three letters of recommendation, at least two from persons acquainted with the candidate's dance background;
  3. Completion of the College and departmental application forms, including submission of official transcripts of undergraduate study, graduate study and application for audition;
  4. Participation in an audition-interview process which is scheduled three times yearly. This audition consists of:
    1. being observed in technique class (intermediate-level skill is expected);
    2. solving an improvisation problem;
    3. presenting a three-minute study of original choreography;
    4. participation in an interview, including candidate's articulation of areas of interest in dance. Entrance into MFA program is through permission; and
    5. completion of a writing assessment assignment. Original research, essays or articles may also be presented, but are not required.
  5. A maximum of 12 credits may be earned at other colleges and universities with the approval of the department. Six credits may be earned, upon approval, at units outside the State Univer-f New York system. Twelve credits may be transferred from within the SUNY system, or from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.
  6. Established dance professionals may be eligible for up to 12 credits by examination and/or portfolio.

Any student whose GPA falls below 3.0 is subject to review for retention in the program.


Address inquiri-ut the graduate program to:

Graduate Dance Program Director
Department of Dance
SUNY College at Brockport
Brockport, NY 14420
Telephone: 395-2153

Application forms may be obtained from:

Office of Graduate Admissions
SUNY College at Brockport
Brockport, NY 14420
Telephone: (585) 395-5465

Completed applications should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by May 1 for fall admission and December 1 for spring admission.

Graduate Dance Courses Core Courses

DNS 602 Dance Research. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Acquaints students with the various fields of dance research and methodologies. Requires students to consider thesis topics and the building of a bibliography for a selected topic. Completion of a research proposal includes theoretical consideration of dance as a discipline and an art. 3 Cr.

DNS 606 Field Work Practicum I. Provides for the application of dance knowledge and skills in practice through teaching or assisting in a class relevant to the graduate emphasis area or a secondary area. 3 Cr.

DNS 608 Dance Modernism. Covers the origin and evolution of dance modernism. Considers important artists and aesthetics in 20th-century dance, as well as the changing concepts of beauty in dance, and issues and problems in contemporary aesthetics and criticism. 3 Cr.


DNS 524 Dance Repertory and Literature I. Explores choreographic works from resources of the notated or filmed repertory of resident or visiting artists, including research of the historical and aesthetic backgrounds of the topical dances. In some cases, the performance or research project may be an original work drawing upon modern or historical styles. 3 Cr.

DNS 525 Dance Repertory and Literature II. Prerequisite: Advanced technical level. Requires directing or performing a repertory work, and research into the background of the work and documentation of the performance or directing experience. 3 Cr.

DNS 527 Dance Performance. Covers techniques of performing, discussion and aesthetics of the performance using films, reviews, dance repertory and training exercises. Requires presentation of research regarding analysis of performance. 3 Cr.

DNS 537 Modern Jazz II. An intermediate-level studio course in jazz techniques. Reviews the historical development of jazz music and jazz dance. Requires applications of music style to movement style in jazz; development of jazz improvisation skills and a personal movement vocabulary; and solving improvisation and composition problems. Also requires a research project focusing on a selected era in jazz music, culminating in a written paper and a jazz dance solo composition or improvisation. 3 Cr.

DNS 540 Summer Dance Workshop. Provides for work with guest artists and may include dance technique, composition, repertory or other special topics. See summer bulletin for complete description. Requires a graduate project. 2-6 Cr.

DNS 554 Studies in Major Dance Styles. Prerequisite: DNS 205 or instructor's permission. Provides for a concentrated study on the graduate level in a specific dance style (i.e., Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Merce Cunningham, Garth Fagan etc.). Requires studio work and independent, self-directed practice, research, and performance. May be repeated if topics are different. 2 Cr.

DNS 673 Solo Dance Repertory. Prerequisite: DNS 527. Provides for the study, rehearsal and performance of selected solo master works from the modern dance repertory. 3 Cr.

DNS 545-550 Dance Technique and Theory, Intermediate and Advanced. Trains the dancer's body to respond to a broad range of movement demands, including modern dance technique. Places students in a particular section determined by previous training and skill rather than academic standing. 3 Cr.

DNS 557 Danscore II: Brockport Touring Company. Provides an interdisciplinary workshop in the preparation of choreography, lights, sound, and costumes for efficient touring. The first week consists of studio rehearsal and preparation; the second week includes travel to a variety of theatre settings for technical rehearsal and performance. 2 Cr.

DNS 559 Danscore III: Brockport Touring Company. Provides an interdisciplinary workshop involving the preparation of choreographic works, rehearsals, lighting, sound and costumes for effective touring. Entails travel for rehearsals and performances to a variety of theatre settings. 2 Cr.

DNS 603 Graduate Dance Technique I. Refines student's technical and performance skills at an intermediate/advanced level. Requires applications of selected theories of contemporary dance technique and analysis of movement in terms of space, time, shape, and energy. Covers selected problems in developing technique phrases, style, performance ability, theory and analysis of dance movement. 3 Cr.

DNS 605 Graduate Dance Technique II. Refines students' technical and performance skills at an intermediate/advanced level. Requires applications of selected theories of contemporary dance technique and analysis of movement in terms of space, time, and energy. Covers selected problems in developing technique phrases, style in dance, performance ability, theory and analysis of dance movement. Requires a culminating project selected from above problems and a journal documenting the problem-solving process. 3 Cr.

African Dance

DNS 523 Afric-ce III. Prepares students at advanced levels who are interested in teaching and performing African dance. 3 Cr.

DNS 621 Dance in African Life. Explores dance in African life as an art form, an avenue for community, a vehicle for preserving social identity, as communication, and as religious and ritualistic expression. 3 Cr.

DNS 622 Sankofa: Afro-Brazilian Dance Performance Lab. Prerequisite: DNS 332. Prepares students interested in performing and teaching the dances. Covers performance techniques and the cultural backgrounds of the dances. 3 Cr.


DNS 530 Intermediate Dance Composition. Prerequisites: DNS 205, 301, 302 and 306. Further develops skills learned in Beginning Composition. Emphasizes developing skills in choreographing for duet and small groups. 3 Cr.

DNS 641 Advanced Dance Composition. Requires the choreographing of a full-length dance composition for a large group, with an emphasis not only on the choreography, but on the logistics of this longer form of composition as opposed to shorter works choreographed on beginning and intermediate levels. 3 Cr.

DNS 642 Image-Dance-Music: Collaborations Workshop. Focuses on the collaborative process of art making, involving dance, music, film/video/animation, fine art, theater, text, etc. Faculty artists from SUNY Brockport's Department of Dance, the Eastman School of Music Composition Department and the Rochester Institute of Technology Film/Video/Animation Department will instruct student artists from the three institutions in the compositional, technical, and aesthetic issues of critical importance to innovative collaborations. Successful final projects will be produced and performed at selected area theaters towards the end of the academic year. 3 Cr.

Dance Science and Somatics

DNS 505 Advanced Topics in Kinesiology for Dance. Prerequisite: DNS 305. Covers selected topics in kinesiology for dance. Includes problems in movement analysis and requires research assignments. 3 Cr.

DNS 552 Somatics: Body/Mind Integrity. Covers movement re-education for reducing stress and pain, improving posture, balance, mobility and self image, as well as somatic processes derived from Feldenkrais "awareness through movement lessons" (ATM)®, yoga, body/mind centering, and simple dance/movement improvisations. Includes reading, research and explorations of healing principles: therapeutic touch, bodily spontaneity, affirmations of nature and body/mind integrity. Includes application to dance processes. 3 Cr.

DNS 580 Dance Science: Injury Prevention. Examines various dance training techniques and current information on injury prevention. Develops an understanding of the special demands of the dance discipline on the body and health. Studies include topics such as weight and resistance training, motor imaging, proprioception, nutrition, and pilates-based conditioning. 3 Cr.

DNS 615 Movement Theories: Alexander, Bartenieff, Sweigard. Prerequisite: BIO 221. Provides lecture/discussion and studio experience based on the work of F.M. Alexander, Irmgard Bartenieff, and Lulu Sweigard. Covers comparative theoretical study with practical applications made to the training of dancers and to performance of other specialized and everyday activities. Requires completion of weekly assignments and a final project. 3 Cr.

DNS 653 Physiological Basis of Conditioning for Dance. Provides for the assessment of functional and structural changes needed to prepare the dancer's body for the anatomical and biomechanical elements of performance. Evaluates specific techniques appropriate for dance conditioning. Also includes environmental stress, clothing materials, body type, and nutrition. 3 Cr.

Notation and Movement Analysis

DNS 575 Intermediate Laban Movement Analysis. Relates the history, theory and applications of Laban Movement Analysis (effort/shape) to dance and other movement activities. Through lecture/discussion and lab experience, explores LMA as a descriptive tool for use in education, choreography, therapy, research, criticism and other fields. Develops both observation and movement skills. 3 Cr.

DNS 665 Laban Movement Analysis Certification Program I. The Laban Movement Analysis Certification Program is offered through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) in New York City. Transfer credit from other institutions with programs recognized by LIMS may be accepted. Presents LMA Theory and Bartenieff Fundamentals in Part I. 3 Cr.

DNS 666 Laban Movement Analysis Certification Program II. The Laban Movement Analysis Certification Program is offered through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) in New York City. Transfer credit from other institutions with credit recognized by LIMS may be accepted. Presents observation skills and LMA seminar in Part II. 3 Cr.

DNS 667 Laban Movement Analysis Certification Program III. A continuation of DNS 666. 3 Cr.

DNS 668 Laban Movement Analysis Certification Program IV. A continuation of DNS 667. 3 Cr.

Dance Education

DNS 581 Dance in Secondary Schools I. Explores teaching modern dance technique on the high school and college level. Requires reading and preparation of materials for structuring technique classes, seminar discussions of theory, a research project, and practicum teaching under supervision. 3 Cr.

DNS 582 Dance in Secondary Schools II. Covers developing course outlines, unit plans and lesson plans for teaching dance on the secondary level. Requires practice teaching in basic dance technique, improvisational technique, presenting and evaluation of compositional problems, and lecturing in an academic area of dance. 3 Cr.

DNS 583 Children's Dance I. Provides for teaching dance in elementary schools. Covers the history and philosophy of dance education, curricular development, evaluation procedures and the implementation of dance programs in education. Requires a research project. 3 Cr.

DNS 584 Children's Dance II. Covers theories and practices of teaching dance on the elementary school level. Requires an evaluation practicum with an emphasis on creative teaching, concurrent studies in a teaching children's dance course, and completing an independent research project. 3 Cr.

DNS 585 Dance Education Practicum. Prerequisites: DNS 581, 582, 583, and 584. Requires K-12 school observations. A one-semester student teaching assignment which prepares the dance artist/educator for a specialist teaching position in kindergarten through 12th-grade school settings. Expects, under college and master teacher school supervision, full participation as a member of the school's professional team, including teacher/parent communication and extracurricular activities. Focuses on planning, preparing, presenting, and assessing dance in the curriculum. 9 Cr. By Special Arrangement.

DNS 683 Studies in Dance Education. Compares and contrasts various points of view, and studies the educational philosophy underlying dance in education. Surveys the literature on dance in education. Requires a research project. 3 Cr.


DNS 516 History and Development of Dance. Covers the major historical trends in dance, including prehistoric and ancient cultures, the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic eras in Western Europe, the German and American backgrounds, and current trends in contemporary dance. Requires a research paper. 3 Cr.

DNS 517 Historical Dance Reconstruction. Covers the historical reconstruction of dance forms from primary sources, including dance manuals, literature, notation systems, costume treatises. Covers the relationship and evolution of social and theatrical forms. Requires facility with library techniques. Knowledge of one foreign language is recommended. 3 Cr.


DNS 551 Accompaniment for Dance: Research Project. Focuses on the relationship of music for dance, the rhythmic problems involved, and/or historical relationship of music and various forms of dance: folk, modern, ballet and jazz. 3 Cr.

DNS 555 Music Resources for Dance. Explores music materials and resources for use in choreography; technique of taping and tape collages for productions; concerns of original percussion scores; and advanced analysis of musical forms of rhythmic structure. 3 Cr.

Study Abroad

DNS 560 Foreign Studies in Dance. Helps develop broader perspectives of dance through studies in its uses and forms in another culture. May include institutions in London, Ghana, Jamaica or other recommended areas. A full semester of study. 15 Cr.


DNS 563 Advanced Production and Design. Prerequisite: DNS 207. Concentrates on the theatrical elements of dance production and design. Requires students to research, render, and, i- cases, execute studio design of scenery, costumes, properties and make-up salient to dance. Requires a graduate project. 3 Cr.

Thesis, Projects, Student Teaching, and Independent Study

DNS 599 Independent Study in Dance. Designed individually through consultation between the student and instructor to suit the student's needs and interests and the special competence of the instructor. Additional requirements may be established by the department. 1-6 Cr.

DNS 692 Graduate Seminar in Dance. Provides an opportunity to define career goals, and to network in preparation for an application to next career and/or educational effort. Allows students to meet for group discussion/thesis sharing on current issues and career trends in dance. Includes practical experience in professional portfolio creation, résumé and statement of philosophy writing, and interview practice, along with appropriate development of networking, grant writing and auditioning skills. 3 Cr.

DNS 693 Student Teaching. Provides experience in teaching dance in a classroom setting: planning, testing, classroom management, interaction with professional staff. Includes meetings with other student teachers and student teaching supervisor. Requires reflection upon teaching experience and future goals in the profession. Integrates practice and theory. 9 Cr.

DNS 696 Creative Project or Apprenticeship. Culminating project for the MFA degree. Entails a creative project or apprenticeship involving students with their own creative endeavor. Emphasizes development of performance skills and choreographic experience, supported by written documentation. Requires students to present original choreography in a concert, or to show the results of their creative research in some other form of performance if students choose a creative project and professional paper. May also involve research into topics of interest such as related arts, movement theory, history, dance science and somatics, or production design. Requires professional paper based on the theme of the choreography or creative research. The apprenticeship option involves an apprenticeship with a recognized dance company and presentation of a performance or lecture-demonstration from the apprenticeship experience as well as a final written report. 9 Cr.

DNS 697 Field Work Practicum II. Requires the application of dance knowledge and skills in practice through teaching or assisting in a class relevant to the MA emphasis area or a secondary area. Must be in a secondary non-emphasis area. 3 Cr.

DNS 698 Thesis. The culminating course in the MA dance program. Involves the writing of a thesis under supervision of the candidate's MA committee chairperson. Thesis topic and final acceptance are by committee approval. 6 Cr.

DNS 699 Independent Study in Dance. Designed individually through consultation between student and instructor to suit the student's needs and interests -- and the special competence of the instructor. Additional requirements may be established by the department. 1-6 Cr.

Last Updated 7/21/22