Dance Chair: Professor Karen Dearborn
Professors: Averill, Dretsch
Assistant Professors: Flynn, Peterson, Smith
Lecturers: Byrne, Mamura, Oliver, VanDanend Sorge
The dance program is designed to provide a solid background in the history and theory of the art in conjunction with intensive study in a variety of dance techniques. In addition to the full-time faculty, the department employs twelve professional artists, each a specialist within a specific dance style, as well as four professional musicians to play for classes and performances. The curriculum, based in the liberal arts tradition, serves as an excellent preparation for graduate study programs and careers in dance. Careers that dance majors and minors typically pursue include teaching, dance therapy, choreography, performance, physical therapy, and arts management.
Dance at Muhlenberg is joined with the theatre program to form the Department of Theatre and Dance. The faculty, staff, and students in both areas work closely together in the department’s performance program which annually features seven major dance concerts, a musical theatre production, and several plays. In addition, the department sponsors several off-campus touring ensembles in dance. All students, regardless of major, are eligible to participate in the performance program and work on production crews. Students with a serious interest in musical theatre performance can study acting and dance within the department and receive vocal training in the Department of Music.
The Baker Artist-in-Residence Program brings nationally distinguished professional guest artists to Muhlenberg each year to teach and participate in the performance programs of dance, music, and theatre. Recent semester-long residencies have included Robert LaFosse, Danny Buraczeski, Doug Varone and Dancers, David Dorfman Dance, and Urban Bush Women.
Dance technique courses meet for three to five hours a week and are worth 0.5 course units. The Arts (AR) requirement may be met when two dance idioms are completed in the same semester. Technique courses at all levels are repeatable for credit.
Placement at the appropriate level is determined by Muhlenberg Dance Faculty who will evaluate student level of expertise in the dance idiom. Beginning classes are designed for students with very little or no prior experience in the dance form. Intermediate classes are for those with several years of prior training while advanced classes are for those with significant professional training and demonstrated advanced skills.