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 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. Ultimately, they emerge with a more complete understanding of
how dance will impact and influence their lives.
Students work toward proficiency in the major through a combined course of study that includes intensive dance technique, dance history/criticism, and theoretical, 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, dance therapies, arts administration, and dance criticism. Dance majors and minors are encouraged to investigate related areas of study, and many of our majors combine the dance major with other areas of interest. Recent graduates have earned degrees in both dance and exercise science, art history, English, theater, computer science, psychology, government, neuroscience, and biology (pre-med).
The Dance Department has six full-time and six part-time dance faculty, two full-time dance musicians, and a full-time technical director of the Dance Theater. Guest artists are regularly invited to choreograph original works for our concerts, offer workshops, master classes, performances and lectures for the campus community and general public. Our long and rich history of guest artists includes Deborah Hay, Kenneth Topping (Skidmore alumnus and former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company), Kirsten Simone, Dwight Rhoden, Robert Battle, Erika Pujic, Brian Brooks, Summer Lee Rhatigan, Susan Kikuchi, Leah Cox, Marc Mann, the Bill T. Jones Company, the Martha Graham Company, the Jose Limón Company, Taylor 2, Sydney Skybetter, and many other artists of note.
The Skidmore Dance Department encourages individual growth and development, supporting our graduates’ ability to benefit from the diverse dance opportunities available today. Our alumni are members or directors of professional companies, dance therapists, arts administrators, lighting designers, stage managers, physical therapists, writers, choreographers and teachers. We are proud to have produced both a wide range of performing artists, and those who continue to have the performing arts as a part of their professional lives. We welcome you all.
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’ x 50′) have Harlequin Woodspring Basketweave System sprung-wood floors covered with Harlequin Studio Vinyl Floor, large windows, ballet barres, mirrors, baby grand pianos, and sound systems.
The Dance Theater is a 183-seat auditorium with a 46′ (wide) by 22′ (deep) sprung stage floor covered with Harlequin Studio Vinyl Floor. 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.