DNCA-230: Beginning Choreography

Liberal Arts
Art (Art History)
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Beginning Choreography
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Catalog Course Description

Provides opportunities to use individual creativity through the composition of dance movement. Discover and practice manipulating movement using the dance elements of time, space, and energy to create and build a dance. Movement will mainly be composed for solo pieces.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

To help students learn and apply the tools of the craft of choreography and to develop an appreciation for dance composition as an art form.

Core Course Topics
  1. Compositional Themes
    • Explain how to select dance themes.
    • Select a dance theme for a project.
  2. Alignment & Technique
    • Execute alignment exercises and all composed movement with clear technique.
  3. Elements of Dance
    • List and expound on the elements of dance and illustrate their use in developing movement material.
  4. Improvisation
    • Illustrate improvisation that is guided or open-ended.
  5. Abstraction
    • Explain, formulate, and illustrate abstracting the essence of movement.
  6. Genres of Dance
    • List and describe current genres of dance.
  7. Choreographic Devices
    • List and explain the choreographic devices. Employ and demonstrate their use through the composition of motifs, phrases, sections and a dance.*
  8. Phrases
    • Compose movement phrases and thematic movement phrases using improvisation, abstract ideas and the choreographic devices.
  9. Dynamics-Breathing, Accents and Climaxes
    • Examine a phrase and determine the high point and accents.*
    • Create phrases employing a high point and accents.*
    • Experiment with breathing in a selected phrase, determine ways in which it flows logically as well as its effect on the phrase's dynamics.*
  10. Compositional Structures
    • List and explain compositional forms and structure motifs into phrases, phrases into sections, and sections into a dance.
  11. Choreographers and Choreographic Works
    • Choose a famous choreographic work and explain the choroegrapher's approach to their work, its inspiration and significance.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  1. Class assignment: List places from which dance themes can be drawn. Expound on personal inspirations/motivations for dances.
  2. Movement assignments: Execute alignment exercises and illustrate clear technique through all dance studies/classroom projects.
  3. Written exam: List and explain the elements of dance and their uses.
  4. Classroom work: Illustrate improvisation from a given problem to solve or an open ended idea.
  5. Movement and oral exam: Explain and illustrate abstracting the essence of a movement from a literal to an abstract gesture.
  6. Written exam: List, define and describe the current dance genres.
  7. Written exam: List and describe the choreographic devices as discussed in class. Classroom assignments: Dance Studies-Employ the use of the devices through the creation of the dance study. Final exam: Illustrate use of the devices in the final dance project.
  8. Classroom assignments: Compose movement phrases for assigned dance studies with given parameters.
  9. Classroom work: Employ climaxes, breathing and accents in given and/or self composed phrases.
  10. Written exam: List and explain compositional structures. Movement exam: Illustrate the selection and use of a compositional structure in the final project.
  11. Classroom assignment: Oral, written, video and/or Power Point presentation of a selected choreographer and their works, explaining their significance and contribution to dance as an art form.

The Intimate Act of Choreography, Blom & Chaplin

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Other Details

Determined by department.

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Summer 2014
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date