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Dance Performance

The dance program at Whitman College is rooted in contemporary dance, a
global concert form which incorporates disparate approaches to the body,
aesthetics, and ideas, and which varies according to the artistic vision and
personal histories of individual choreographers and practitioners. Reflecting
these values, dance at Whitman nurtures the individual artistry and
curiosity of each student.

Our curriculum includes beginning movement courses in Modern Dance,
Ballet, and Hip Hop, specifically West Coast Street Styles and B-boying/B-
girling, each with corresponding lectures to situate the practices in cultural,
historical, and political contexts. These courses progress through
intermediate levels of Modern Dance and Ballet to Advanced Contemporary
Dance, where students are challenged to synthesize the technical demands
of their movement practices in ways specific to their own interests. Students
develop their skills as art-makers with individual points of view in Dance
Composition, and dive deep into subtle functions and sensory experiences of
their human body in Somatics.

Our students collaborate and create with nationally-recognized dance artists
in the annual dance concert, and immerse themselves in contemporary art-
making practices of some of the most sought-after experimental performers
during our dynamic Studio Series. Over the years, our guest artists have also
offered workshops in West African dance, Contact Improvisation, and Butoh,
among many other movement practices.

Throughout the curriculum, our students ask critical questions about
meaning-making in dance, and engage these critical questions as
choreographers, dancers, scholars, and lifetime audience members. Whitman
students have the options to pursue the Dance minor, take courses for
general distribution credit, or study and perform simply for their own pleasure
and enrichment.

For more information and course listings, see the Theater and Dance section
in the Whitman Course Catalog.

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