Concentration Requirements

  • This page outlines requirements for the Dance concentration (BA, The Arts). Students can also study this subject as a minor or as part of a self-designed major (BA or BS, Liberal Arts). Arts majors can also choose the Arts in Context concentration, in which they study dance along with a liberal arts discipline. Many courses in the Dance curriculum are suitable for students with any degree of previous experience, and the participation of nonmajors is encouraged.


    The Dance concentration of the Lang Arts major is for students who wish to study dance in the context of a liberal arts education. Please see above for other curricular options.

    The curriculum of the Dance program is structured around four focus areas:

    Movement Practice

    Rather than using the familiar term "technique," the dance program uses "movement practice" for its dance classes to signal an ongoing approach to physical exploration, as opposed to a linear path towards "mastery." With an opportunity to study movement practices ranging from ballet to contact improvisation to vogue, students consider diverse understandings of the body and virtuosity. Engaging in dynamic studio work, students and faculty ask: What can a body do?

    Choreographic Research

    In Lang's "choreographic research" courses, students explore varied approaches to the creative process as conceived and employed by some of the field's most adventurous contemporary practitioners. These courses frame dance making as a series of investigatory acts, an arena for research and discovery. Students work individually and collaboratively as choreographers and learn methods to describe, analyze, and critique one another's movement studies.

    History and Theory

    Lang Dance students engage in a range of academic seminars, analyzing dance through a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches and honing their skills as readers and writers. Working closely with faculty and peers (including students majoring in music, visual arts, theater, and a range of other disciplines) students think critically about the body and consider the opportunities and challenges that come with analyzing movement. In addition to considering dance in relation to other art forms, students learn to situate dance within a social and cultural context.


    Each semester, students have the opportunity to work with guest artists in an intensive rehearsal process, presenting a re-staged or new dance in a public performance. Residencies often include a study of the influences that have affected the guest artist's life and work. Recent guest artists include Sarah Michelson, Eiko Otake, John Jasperse, Luciana Achugar, Reggie Wilson, Souleymane Badolo, Beth Gill, Yvonne Meier, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Juliette Mapp, Sally Silvers, and representatives from the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Each year, one performance work is created by an artist-in-residence from Movement Research, a New York-based professional organization that serves as a laboratory for experimentation in movement-based performance arts. Recent MR artists include Juliana May, David Thomson, Ivy Baldwin, Jeanine Durning, Joanna Kotze, and Nami Yamamoto.

    Requirements for the Concentration in Dance (BA, The Arts)

    The Dance concentration within the Arts major requires courses in the four focus areas listed above, distributed as follows. In addition, first-year students are strongly advised to choose the First Year Seminar that focuses on Dance (LNGC 1534 Improvisation Embodied in Fall 2015). Students must receive grades of C or better in all courses taken to fulfill concentration requirements.

    Aesthetics. Choose one:

    • ULEC 2320: Aesthetics or
    • LINA 2002 Aesthetics Across the Arts or
    • Another approved aesthetics course

    Three Lang InterArts (LINA) courses: identified by subject code LINA (LAIC before fall 2010)

    Two Choreographic Research courses:

    • LDAN 2050 Choreographic Research Introduction
    • LDAN 3325 Choreographic Research Continued

    LDAN 2018 Foundations in Dance Studies

    LDAN 2040 Introduction to Dance History

    Movement Practice Courses totaling 10 credits (currently 2-credit and 1-credit courses are offered). Choose from:

    • Moving with Somatics Introduction
    • Moving with Somatics Continued
    • Modern Dance Practices
    • Ballet Practices Introduction
    • Ballet Practices Continued
    • West African Dance Practices
    • Hip-Hop in Context
    • Contact Improvisation Practices
    • Capoeira

    3 LDAN Performance Courses

    2 Dance Elective Course(s) totaling eight credits (sample courses listed below)

    • Vogue'ology
    • I Have a Dream: Dance in Education
    • Lang at Judson Church
    • Dance History (a second course, in addition to the major requirement)
    • Politics of Improvisation
    • Debates in Performance Studies
    • Ephemeral Art
    • Performance/Phenomenon
    • Practical Side of Performance
    • Arts Media Toolkit

    LDAN 2502 Experiential Anatomy (offered once every two years)

    Senior Capstone, chosen from

    • Senior Seminar
    • Individual independent project

    Total credits: 56-57

    Requirements Worksheet

    Courses should be chosen carefully, in consultation with the director of the program. Students should track their progress using the program requirement worksheet for the year in which they declared their major in The Arts:

    Students who declared earlier than 2011 should see their academic advisor for requirements.