The mission of the Dance Department is to link critical thinking, historical perspective and creative discovery with the distinct movement skills derived from studio practice and stage performance. Students develop a deeper understanding of dance and how it has emerged and evolved as an art form. They learn to recognize and distinguish the ways in which culture and society influence dance and, conversely, how dance embodies and expresses the human experience.
Students work toward proficiency in the major through a combined course of study, which includes intensive dance technique and movement training, dance history/criticism, improvisation and composition classes. The dance major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree, preparing students for a career in the fields of performance, choreography, dance education, arts administration and dance criticism. Dance majors and minors are encouraged to investigate related areas of study, which might include art history, arts administration, music theory and performance, theater, museum studies, and exercise science.
What Makes Skidmore Dance Unique?
Unlike most liberal arts dance programs, students who major in Dance at Skidmore receive a Bachelor of Science degree. Out of the 120 college credits required for graduation, a minimum of 34 credits are required to complete the dance major. Typically, in a conservatory students are required to take approximately 60 credits for the major. At Skidmore, dance majors fulfill their choices for all-college liberal arts requirements, receive intensive dance training, and still have room for a variety of electives.
The Dance Center adjoins the Sports and Recreation Center. It consists of three areas including two spacious studios; a large dance, sport, and recreation area; and the fully equipped Dance Theater with adjoining dressing rooms.
The two dance studios (50'x50') have Harlequin Woodspring Basketweave System sprung wood floors covered with marley, large windows, ballet barres, mirrors, baby grand pianos, and sound systems.
The Dance Theater is a 184-seat auditorium with a 40' (wide) by 20' (deep) sprung stage floor covered with marley. The theater has a repertory dance lighting plot, controlled by a ETC Element 40-250 channel light board with 120-2.4k dimmers. The sound system is powered by an Allen & Heath 36-channel mixing board. Three pairs of speakers create a balanced sound reproduction both in the house and on stage. The Dance Theater is the center for dance activities during the academic year, and hosts professional dance companies throughout the year.