Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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The Simon’s Rock dance program encourages each student to understand movement as a form of personal expression, a kinesthetic experience, a cultural and historical phenomenon, and as a subject of aesthetic analysis.

From their first semester, regardless of previous dance experience, students not only focus on dance technique, but begin a guided study of the creative process through choreography and performance.

The concentration is designed for students interested in exploring and analyzing dance from any of the following perspectives: as a creative performance art, a reflection of a culture and a historical period, as an exploration of physical movement, or in relation to and in combination with other arts. Students are required to take classes that foster creativity, expand movement vocabulary, improve technical skills, and provide tools with which to describe dance formally. At every level students work on original work, whether their own or in collaboration with others. Dance concerts at the end of each semester in the Daniel Arts Center’s McConnell Theater provide opportunities for choreographers, performers, composers, theater technicians, and costume and lighting designers. In addition, students may organize their own performances in the Dance Studio, the Liebowitz Black Box Theater, and the performance space in the Livingston Hall Student Union.

Related Career Paths

Students in the dance concentration may enter into fields and positions such as choreography, performance art, dance therapy, and education.


A minimum of 26 credits is required to complete the dance concentration. Prior to moderation students must have completed or be in the process of completing Dance Fundamentals I, which encompasses not only basic movement technique but also introduces students to dance history and culture. Additionally, students must take Dance Fundamentals II, a minimum of four semesters combined of Modern Dance Technique, Ballet Technique, and/or Flamenco Dance at the 200/300 level, three semesters of Dance Composition and one theater course. All students who have a concentration or complement in dance must attend Dance Concert Workshop and are expected to be major participants in at least four dance concerts.

Course Spotlight

Two female students leaping in the air.

Dance 130/131/230/231: Dance Composition

Movement is a powerful means of communication, ranging from literal gesture to abstract motion. This course explores strategies for movement invention and composition. Both improvisation—the spontaneous generation of movement that is ephemeral—and choreography—the setting of dances so they can be reconstructed—will be utilized. In this multilevel class, students are given tools that will allow them to develop basic principles of dance composition through themed improvisations, solo choreographies and group composition.

Related Special Programs