In 2012, the University of Maryland created an undergraduate degree program in dance. One of the goals of the program is to present certified dance instructors to grades K-12. Many public school programs have searched for certified instructors, and discovered there were few available. Often, they would hastily certify a dance instructor for teaching qualifications.
Dance Curriculum from UMCP’s Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Program
The undergraduate program leads to a B.A. degree in dance. Students are taught the fundamentals and cross-disciplinary studies of this art form, which endeavors to assist students in becoming artistic and expressive movers, to develop their potential as creative artists, and to grow in their understanding of dance as an art form.
Students of dance at the University of Maryland have the opportunity to participate in performance and choreographic concerts, both off and on campus. Students who are pursuing a dance major will also have the opportunity to participate in advanced master programs sponsored by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-arts facility within one of the nation’s fastest growing regions for the arts. The campus facility also houses the University of Maryland’s School of Music and the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library. The Director of Undergraduate Dance Studies, Alvin Mayes, received the 2011 Pola Nirenska Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance.
Events Happening at the UMCP Facility
Professor Karen Bradley of TDPS received a grant to study the effects on the brain while dancing. Collaborating with Dr. Jose Contreras-Vidal, she selected a number of highly skilled dancers who volunteered to do an EEG cap while dancing.
Explains Bradley, “the research will help identify the components of individual human personality, allowing us to authentically communicate emotion and expression in fields like robotics, prosthesis development and animation.”
Required courses for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dancing include three courses in choreography, pedagogy, inquiry in dance and world cultures, dance technology and media, movement observation and a thesis and internship.
The University of Maryland’s School of Dance is fully committed to students of artistic merit. Assistantships are available for graduate studies and are granted after a successful audition and graduate school acceptance. Graduate assistantships allow students to work closely with the faculty, either as teaching assistants or as collaborators on research projects.
Graduate students may also apply for a fellowship package, including the prestigious University-wide Flagship Fellowship. Students who are interested in receiving a fellowship should submit their application materials by December of each year.
For a career in Dance, the University of Maryland is supportive and enthusiastic, offering opportunities to graduate students to perform both on and off campus. It encourages artistic expression and creative interpretation. Its commitment to the field presents opportunities for students to showcase their talents and develop their cultural identity.