Note: All graded dance courses listed below may be used to fulfill the Group X requirement.
Dance 201, 232, 241, 252, 260, 335, 345, 351, 360, 362, and 365 may be used to meet either the Group A or Group X requirement.
Students may no longer simultaneously receive both academic and PE credit for Dance 101, 111, 112, 211, 212, 252, 260, 311, 312, 321, and 411, effective Fall 2020.
Dance 100 - Dance Production
Variable (zero or one-half)-unit semester course. Students, faculty, and staff work together to create departmental dance productions. In this class, students learn the different parts of onstage and backstage work that are required to make a dance production. Students also learn the practices of collaborating and producing. Roles available include performer in thesis concerts or work as a dramaturg, designer, stage manager, or assistant choreographer in thesis and/or biannual departmental concerts. This course is available to majors and nonmajors, and students are admitted to the course by audition or departmental approval. All students, regardless of experience, are welcome to take this class, and if a student is interested in this class, the faculty will work with the student to help them find a role. Credit/no credit only. Studio. May be repeated for credit.
Dance 101 - Dance Technique
One-half-unit semester course. Through this course, students may take technique classes in ballet, Argentine tango, hip-hop, or other dance forms; students should consult the schedule of classes for specific techniques and levels offered in a given semester. Technique classes will be accompanied by readings and discussions that place movement practices in their historical and contemporary contexts. To qualify for one-half credit, students must have taken or be currently enrolled in a graded (rather than a credit/no credit) dance department course; each graded dance department course taken allows a student to earn credit for two semesters (one unit) in DANC 101. Students may repeat DANC 101 and/or enroll in more than one section for credit. A maximum of four units (eight semesters) in DANC 101 may be accrued overall. This course may be applied toward the dance studio requirements for majors and minors. Credit/no credit only. Studio. May be repeated for credit.
Dance 111 - Introduction to Contemporary Dance: Mind in Motion
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. Designed for students with no previous dance training, this course provides a foundation for the further study of a variety of dance forms. Principles of alignment, body mechanics, and locomotion will be explored through the practice of movement vocabularies drawn from modern and contemporary concert dance. Though our primary work will be in the studio, the course includes a discussion of critical perspectives from which to view contemporary dance performance, and viewing of dance performances both live and on video. Students enrolled in the course for one unit will undertake additional reading, viewing, and writing assignments. This course may be applied toward the dance studio requirements. Studio.
Dance 112 - Introduction to Contemporary Dance: Cross-Cultural Contexts
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. This course emphasizes the study of modern and contemporary dance technique and introduces elements of movement composition through the creation of collaborative choreography projects. Active work in the studio, along with readings and discussions, is designed to locate modern and contemporary dance within cross-cultural contexts, emphasizing Afro-diasporic influences. Students enrolled in the course for one unit will carry out additional projects in choreography and additional written work. This course is suitable for students with no previous dance experience. DANC 111 is recommended but not required. This course may be applied toward the dance studio requirements. Studio.
Dance 201 - Introduction to Dance Studies: History and Culture
One-unit semester course. This course is an introduction to dance studies as an interdisciplinary field within the humanities and social sciences. Broadly defined, dance studies engages in critical analyses of dance practices from historical and cultural perspectives. Throughout the course of the semester, students explore and affirm dance as a vital cultural practice by considering a broad range of concert and social dance practices across time and geographic place. Course material pays particular attention to how dance articulates complex questions around race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and nation. Written and embodied assignments introduce and explore key methodologies in the field, including movement description and analysis, critical assessment of embodied practice, archival research, and interviews. No previous dance experience is necessary. This course may be applied toward the dance studies requirements. Conference.
Dance 202 - Ballet for All of Us
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. Ballet classes serve a wide demographic of student, professional, and recreational dancers of diverse backgrounds. However, ballet continues to be among the least racially diverse of the performing arts, one that can reinforce gender stereotypes and unhealthy body images. How might we reenvision the practice of ballet to include our own bodies, histories, and perspectives and to serve our goals as individuals? How might ballet be for all of us? In this course, we will disrupt the hierarchy of ballet as “high art,” instead approaching it as “an art” that we can use towards our own agendas. Our primary work will be movement based; we will investigate how ballet class can enhance our own dance practices. We will also draw on our individual embodied histories and movement practices, putting these into dialogue with ballet to deepen our understanding of dance practice more broadly. For those taking the course for full credit, readings on race, gender, and body image in ballet will contextualize our studio work. Previous experience in choreographed movement (any form of dance, martial arts, etc.) is recommended but not required. This course may be applied toward dance studio requirements for majors and minors. Studio. May be repeated for credit.
Not offered 2023–24.
Dance 211 - Contemporary Dance I: Invention and Design
One-unit semester course. Designed for the intermediate dancer, this course combines an exploration of modern and contemporary dance techniques with an extensive introduction to movement composition. Work in both areas emphasizes movement invention, design, and development. Course work includes attendance at professional dance performances, video viewings, discussions, and critiques. Students will perform their work in the end-of-semester concert. This course is appropriate for students with previous training in dance technique. This course may be applied toward the dance studio requirements. Studio.
Dance 232 - Community Dance and Collective Creation
One-unit semester course. Community Dance at Reed (2016–present, www.reed.edu/dance/community-dance) aims to bring together members of the Reed College and broader Portland communities through community dance as a form of social intervention and collective creation. Community Dance at Reed welcomes all bodies, with a critical awareness of how race, class, ability, gender, age, and sexuality impact the ways we relate to ourselves and one another. As a community project, the program offers creative movement sessions that are free and open to the public. Practice sessions employ improvisation-based techniques that strive to connect movement with salient social and political questions. Across the semester, we collaboratively create a dance work based on social, cultural, and identity-based themes of shared importance to group members. Enrolled students read and discuss the literature on community dance and performance, consider ethical and practice-based questions, and critically engage with case studies of community performance projects. Students develop and lead community movement sessions, and codirect the creation of the dance work with community members. No previous dance experience is necessary. This course may be applied toward either the dance studio or studies requirements. Studio-conference.
Not offered 2023–24.
Dance 241 - Dancing Latinx America
One-unit semester course. This course is an introduction to Latinx American dance studies. This course takes a hemispheric perspective and considers a wide range of social, concert, and popular dance practices from the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. From a disciplinary perspective, this course explores the intersection of three fields: dance studies, Latin American studies, and Latinx studies. At this intersection, it engages the methods used by scholars working from historical, ethnographic, queer, feminist, and ethnic studies standpoints to ask: What is the relationship between dance and Latinx American identity (national, personal, and/or transnational)? How do dance practices reinforce and/or deconstruct racialized, gendered, and classed stereotypes? How do movement forms and performance styles mobilize, remember, or reimagine Latinx identities and histories? No previous dance experience is necessary. This course may be applied toward the dance studies requirements. Conference. Cross-listed as CRES 261.
Not offered 2023–24.
Dance 252 - Improvisation
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. Since the early 1960s, improvisation has played an increasingly sophisticated role in contemporary dance. This course will investigate contemporary improvisational practices that are at once creative, performative, and philosophic. Half of the semester will focus on contact improvisation, a partnering form that explores the exchange of physical support, the practice of which has challenged notions of gender roles, ability and disability, and community structure. The other half of the semester will focus on choreographic improvisation, a constellation of improvisational practices in which movement scores are developed and refined over time, and which has influenced changing views of the function of performance and the relationships between makers, performers, and viewers of dance. Our primary mode of investigation will be moving; this practice-based research will be contextualized by readings and viewings. Students enrolled in the course for one unit will undertake additional readings and a research project. One year of dance technique or one year of creative work in visual art, music, theatre, or creative writing is highly recommended. This course may be applied toward either the dance studio or studies requirements. Studio-conference. May be repeated for credit.
Dance 253 - Improvisation: Solo Forms and Shared Practices
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. This course will investigate a variety of solo improvisational practices that enhance holistic experiences of dancing; expand solo movement repertoires artistically, physically, and conceptually; and attend to personal movement aesthetics, philosophies, and intentions. Drawing on a variety of influential dance practices including authentic movement, site dance, improvisational technologies, and others, we will focus on the potential of these practices to expand and deepen our improvisational knowledge as soloists while sharing our solo practices within a community of artists/movers/peers. Students enrolled in the course for one unit will undertake additional reading, viewing, and studio-based work. This course may apply toward the dance studio or studies requirement for majors and minors. Studio-conference. May be repeated for credit.
Not offered 2023–24.
Dance 265 - Dances of Africa and the African Diaspora
One-unit semester course. This course will explore dance practices and cultural traditions of West Africa and this cultural influence on Brazil, Cuba and the United States. This course will combine geographic, cultural, political and social studies through the platform of dance. Discussion, readings and physical practice will frame our investigation of the ways that dance informs social practice and political change, and affirms Diasporic linkages. Course work includes studio assignments, readings, guest artists, and dialogue. This course may be applied toward either the dance studio or studies requirements and may be repeated for credit. Conference-studio.
Dance 270 - Dance, Race, and Gender
One-unit semester course. How do global dance practices perform and/or contest racial and gender identities? What is the relationship between quotidian and danced identities? This course introduces and explores the intersections between dance studies and constructions of race and gender with special attention to how these fields intersect with questions of labor, class, ability, and sexuality. It considers a wide range of historical and contemporary practices ranging across social dance, concert dance, site-specific performance, dance as visual art, and popular forms. Work inside and outside the classroom focuses on readings, viewings, class discussion, and written assignments; however, students also engage in movement workshops and dance practice–based classes throughout the course of the semester. DANC 201 is recommended but not required. This course may be applied toward the dance studies requirements. Conference. Cross-listed as CRES 260.
Not offered 2023–24.
Dance 311 - Contemporary Dance III: Action and Interaction
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. Designed for high-intermediate- and advanced-level dancers, this course will combine rigorous technical training with work in choreography. Work in contemporary dance technique will include detailed work in alignment and focus on moving with energy and precision. Choreographic work will address compositional elements of dance—including action, space, time, gesture, structure, image, and interaction—as inherently meaningful catalysts for thinking choreographically. Studio work will be supported by video viewings, discussions, and critiques, as well as attendance at professional dance performances. Student work will be performed in the end-of-semester concert. Prerequisite: DANC 211, 212, 312, or 313, or equivalent experience. This course may be applied toward the dance studio requirements. Studio. May be repeated for credit.
Not offered 2023–24.
Dance 313 - Contemporary Dance V: Biography/Autobiography
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. Designed for high-intermediate- and advanced-level dancers, this course combines rigorous technical training with work in choreography. Contemporary dance vocabularies will provide a platform from which to hone technical facilities and approach nuanced movement material. Work in choreography will investigate biographical and autobiographical sources as source materials for performance. A critical review of significant choreographic works employing biography or autobiography will inform our on-going investigation of ways to approach and develop these source materials. Through the use of movement, text, vocalizations, journal writing, memory games and storytelling, students will create performances based on biographical narratives and real-life experiences. Work in this course will include attendance at professional dance performances, video viewings, discussions, and critiques, and students will perform in the end-of-semester concert. Prerequisite: DANC 211, 212, 311, or 312, or equivalent experience. This course may be applied toward the dance studio requirements. Studio. May be repeated for credit.
Dance 321 - Contemporary Performance Ensemble
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. This course focuses on performance through the development, rehearsal, and production of contemporary dance works. Students will address the technical, stylistic, and interpretive challenges of choreographic material presented as well as develop and manipulate choreographic material of their own. Work in and out of class leading to performance will be supported through small group sessions and movement-based projects, as well as readings, viewings, written responses, and critiques. Requires rehearsal outside of class times. Prerequisite: instructor’s permission or by audition. This course may be applied toward the dance studio requirements. Studio. May be repeated for credit.
Dance 335 - Special Projects in Choreography: Political Bodies
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. Focusing on a specific area of choreographic investigation, this course alternates between topics from year to year. Prerequisite: one year of dance technique and one year of creative work in dance, music, theatre, writing, or the visual arts. This course may be applied toward either the dance studio or studies requirements. Studio-conference. May be repeated for credit.
Not offered 2023–24.
Dance 362 - Dance Ethnography
One-unit semester course. This research seminar examines methods and theories that engage in and emerge from cultural analysis of dance practices. It explores the relationship between dance and ethnography through readings, performance, discussion, and independent research. Students read foundational texts in the field as well as recent ethnographies to address the politics of representing and engaging others, situating positionality, accounting for the transnational circulation of performance practices, and serving as advocate and/or witness. Assigned ethnographies emphasize the relationships between dance and race, nation, class, sexuality, and gender. DANC 201 recommended but not required. This course may be applied toward the dance studies requirements and as a junior seminar. Conference.
Dance 365 - Contemporary Global Dance
One-unit semester course. This course asks what it means to dance “locally” in a global world. It considers how contemporary global dance practices in historical context challenge neat distinctions between Western and non-Western traditions and serve as active sites that construct and/or critique these classifications. To explore dance as a complex site of cultural negotiation, contestation, and exchange, the course traces transnational dance diasporas across the global north/south axis and across the Atlantic Ocean. Students examine how global dance flows animate the formation of national, racial, ethnic, and gendered (post)colonial identities, chart global migration patterns, mobilize transnational political economies, and complicate facile understandings of cultural authenticity. Prerequisite: DANC 201 or consent of the instructor. This course may be applied toward the dance studies requirements and as a junior seminar. Conference. Cross-listed as CRES 365.
Not offered 2023–24.
Dance 411 - Advanced Technique: Performance Practices
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. Designed for the advanced dancer, this course offers a rigorous examination of technique, integrating vocabulary from classical and contemporary dance with choreological conceptions of the body in motion. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and embodying the conceptual framework of movement material and the ways in which that understanding is integrated in performance. Focused assignments will center on how varying approaches to dance performance relate to genre and conceptions of the performative. With permission of the instructor, the course may be repeated as an advanced practicum. Prerequisite: DANC 311, 312, or 313 or equivalent experience. This course may be applied toward the dance studio requirements. Studio. May be repeated for credit.
Dance 470 - Thesis (Dance)
Two-unit yearlong course; one unit per semester.
Dance 481 - Independent Study
Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. Prerequisite: approval of instructor and division.
The following courses are offered for PE credit only. Register for these courses under the PE department listings.
Reed students my take courses at neighboring Lewis and Clark College for credit and without charge. Please visit Reed's registrar's office for more information. Courses include:
TH 106 Fundamentals Of Movement
TH 107 Ballet I
TH 108 Contemporary Dance Forms I
TH 207 Ballet II
TH 208 Contemporary Dance Forms II
TH 214 Dance In Context: History And Criticism
TH 252 Rehearsal And Performance: Dance
TH 308 Dance Composition And Improvisation
TH 340 The History and Theory of Modern and Contemporary Performance
TH 350 Dance And Performance
Reed students may spend a semester or year studying dance at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Please visit Paul DeYoung in the international programs office for more information.