Our active dance program features multilevel technique classes and performance workshops in ballet, modern, jazz, tap and hip hop. All students, beginner through advanced, are given the opportunity to work closely with professional faculty; hone existing skills and learn new ones; and experiment, perform, create and gain a theoretical understanding of the history of dance through the dance minor.
The dance program also introduces dance forms and techniques from many cultures and historical traditions, including Afro-Caribbean dance, traditional Chinese and Japanese dance, flamenco, contra dancing and square dancing. Theory courses range from American Musical Theater and Dance to choreographic practicums to Dance Project, an independent study that culminates in a research presentation or performance.
Myriad residencies, master classes, guest artists, lecture demonstrations and dance concerts draw hundreds of performers and spectators each term. Each fall, the Stephanie C. Davis Dance Residency brings in world-class companies that offer on-campus instruction and performances at the Egg in Albany. Past performers have included Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Rioult, RUBBERBANDance and Monica Bill Barnes & Company. The College’s Edward Villella Dance Fellowship has enabled students to study with companies and professional groups all over the world, from the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn to the Kyoto Art Center in Japan.
The academic year concludes with the Steinmetz Symposium performance at the Nott Memorial, a showcase of dancing and choreography by more than 60 Union dance students. In addition, throughout the year students with a love of dance take part in the Ballroom Dance Club, Bhangra and Union Dance Team.
The College dance studio is located in the Visual Arts Building. With students in all majors increasingly pursuing dance classes, plans are under way to construct a new dance facility in the near future.
ADA052. Dance in America. An introduction to dance in America from Native American to contemporary diverse styles, approached through lectures, videos, and dance workshops. Voyage through time from the French Court with the birth of Classical Dance through the twentieth century with the development of Modern and Post-Modern Dance. Study the advent of new music and dance with the African American heritage and American contributions towards social dancing. There is special emphasis on historical background, studying the dancers, choreographers, traditions, and trends that influence the making of contemporary dance as an art and form of expression.
ADA022. Lyrical Jazz. Each week the class will begin with a warm-up followed by technical combinations and progressions to finish by performing choreographic work. This class will primarily focus upon dancing one's emotions. Students will be taught to recognize their true feelings and how to express them. They will learn to draw from their own life experience to provide meaning to their dancing. Dancers will learn metaphorical and symbolic movements to convey emotions such as sadness, happiness, hope, joy, euphoria, and more. This class is geared towards the intermediate level dancer looking to broaden his or her horizons with a new-age dance style.
ADA031. Modern Dance II. Explore the dynamics, rhythms, phrasing and use of space unique to contemporary dance while developing technical strength. Reinforce your physical possibilities and perfect your inner potential toward dance expression. For trained dancers.
ADA040. Afro-Dance. A class built for everyone who wants to dance to African rhythms. Emphasizes stamina and the learning of exciting dance routines. A cultural dance style and technique welcoming dancers of all levels into a rich range of African dance movements. For all students.
ADA072. Choreography-Ensemble. This class concentrates on creating choreography that will give students the opportunity to work as a team, a unit or a group. Every show demands this type of collaborative work to provide meaning, help advance the theme or storyline, or simply create a stunning visual effect. The Ensemble practicum encourages cooperation between students; and strives to develop an efficient dance vocabulary creating momentum, and advancing the plot of our winter dance concerts. Students will incorporate inventive sets and/or props in their choreography to be presented as part of the winter dance concert. For Intermediate students.