Theatre & Dance
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The dance program at UCM is designed to train dancers, choreographers, and performers with particular attention to artistry and technical dancing. UCM is interested in creating an overall "intelligent dancer" - meaning a dancer that is fluent in various dance techniques, kinesthetic awareness, improvisation and compositional skills, performance experience, and production knowledge. We are committed to nurturing and stimulating a student's interest in dance with a balanced program that will offer all of these elements. UCM Dance operates with an open door policy encouraging students to participate in the art of dance in a variety of ways, allowing them to develop skills useful in their careers and life situations.
UCM Dance offers dancers a unique opportunity to discover, develop, and display their dance talents, potential, and creativity. A broad dance curriculum emphasizes both physical and cognitive skills and includes classes for academic credit in:
- Modern Dance I & II
- Ballet Dance I & II
- Jazz Dance I & II
- Tap Dance I & II
- Ballroom Dance I & II
- Musical Theatre Dance
Performance & Choreographic Opportunities:
Performances and choreographic opportunities are an important part of the program, ranging in possibilities according to the student's abilities, vision, and needs. There are a variety of ways for students to be involved and share their dance talents.
Fall Mainstage Musical: Every fall semester, the Theatre & Dance Department and the Music Department produce a musical in which dance students audition or apply to participate as performers, Dance Captains, and Assistant Choreographers. Students who are eligible to assistant choreograph must be currently enrolled or have completed the Choreography course.
Theatre for Young Audiences: The Theatre & Dance Department produces a world premiere children's show every year that often involves choreography and/or stage movement. The children's show is designed and choreographed by students. Students who have completed Choreography are eligible to choreograph for the show.
Spring Dance Concert: In October, students audition for the annual Spring Dance Concert that includes dance works ranging in a variety of dance styles such as: modern, tap, jazz, hip-hop, ballet, musical theatre, and contemporary dance choreographed by students, faculty, and guest artists. Auditions are currently held on two separate days in October (The first audition is to select the dance concert company members and the second audition casts those dancers in the individual concert pieces.) Students who are selected for the show are allowed to dance in up to 3 pieces for the concert. Students who have completed Choreography are eligible to submit a proposal to choreograph a piece for the Spring Dance Concert.
The Richard Herman BlackBox Theatre Program: Each semester students have the opportunity to submit a proposal to create original choreographic dance works for the BlackBox Experimental Theatre productions. For these shows, students find their own dancers and collaborate with other students to create a full evening of performances. At the end of the semester, the UCM dance classes also perform the choreography they have learned in their classes as part of the BlackBox program.
The UCM Department of Music's Opera Theatre: Most recently, students also have the opportunity to dance in the UCM Music Department's Opera Theatre performances in the spring semester.
Student Dance Organizations:
The UCM Dance Club: The UCM Dance Club is a student organization on campus that is affiliated with the UCM Department of Theatre & Dance. The organization promotes an enthusiasm for dance and serves to increase interest, stimulate creativity, and foster artistic achievement in dance through master dance classes, choreographing, and performing. The company serves as a major component for promoting the annual Spring Dance Concert and produces two major fund raising and promotional events on campus each year - So You Think You Can Dance UCM and Dancing with the Professors. The company is open to any UCM dance student and meets weekly. Classes are taught by students, faculty, and guest teachers ranging from jazz, tap, hip-hop, modern, musical theatre, ballet, contemporary, ballroom, yoga, and conditioning. The UCM Dance Club strives to perform for various events on campus and in the Warrensburg community and participate in departmental activities and service opportunities. Members of the UCM Dance Club also attend The American College Dance Festival every spring.
American College Dance Festival Association:
The UCM Department of Theatre & Dance is an institutional member of the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA). UCM students and faculty attend the Central Region conference every spring and participate in four days of performances, workshops, panels, and master classes in various idioms taught by instructors from around the region and country. ACDFA exists to support and affirm dance in higher education and its primary focus is to support and promote the wealth of talent and creativity that is prominent throughout college and university dance departments. The conferences also provide the unique opportunity for students and faculty from more than 25 regional institutions to have their dance works performed and adjudicated by a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals in an open and constructive forum. Each year, UCM submits 2 dance works (1 faculty/guest artist and 1 student work) for adjudication and 1 dance work for an informal dance concert. Culminating with the presentation of pieces selected for their exemplary artistic quality, the conferences are the primary means for college and university dance programs to perform outside their own academic setting and be exposed to the diversity of the national college dance world. The UCM Department of Theatre & Dance has a limited amount of funding to support registration fees for students; however, we encourage all students who are interested and can pay their own registration to attend ACDFA to take advantage of the outstanding concerts and classes. If you would like to attend, please let us know! For more information: www.acdfa.org.
For additional information on the UCM dance program please contact Ashley Miller, Assistant Professor of Dance.
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