The Hampshire Dance Program prepares students for advanced work in dance and movement studies.

Students can concentrate in specific areas such as choreography and performance; dance history and criticism; or somatic studies; or combine dance with other fields such as theater, film, anthropology, psychology, kinesiology, education, or religion. Final projects might involve choreographing and producing a concert of original work, or undertaking in-depth research and writing.

The Hampshire Dance Program and Five College Dance Department have a very active program for students interested in other applications of dance studies or related fields as well, including such areas as dance and technology; somatics and expressive arts; dance education; and community outreach.

Student Project Titles

  • Projected Masculinities: Male Bodies in Theatrical Spaces
  • Celebrating Detachment in Choreography and Performance
  • Body, Landscape, Language: Investigations of the Internal and External through Performance and Poetry
  • Blink: Memory and Loss in Philosophy and Performance
  • A donde se fueron los cortes y las quebradas: (Mis) Translations of the Tango in Contemporary Choreography

Sample First-Year Course

Dancing Modern 1: What We do, What We See

This beginning level modern dance technique course will introduce students to "modern" and other dance technique practices. By practicing in-class exercises and phrase-studies, students will refine bodily awareness and articulation, hone spatial and rhythmic clarity, develop facility in perceiving and interpreting movement, and practice moving with our dance musicians' scores. We'll also consider what movement principles and priorities underlie the techniques we employ, and compare them to those of other dance styles and cultures. How do these influence the dances that result? Going a step further, we will examine the final products of dance practice, the dances themselves; students will learn to read and analyze choreography in performances from a range of dance styles and cultures. Students will be expected to grapple with the studio work with commitment and rigor, view performances live in concert, and think in movement, style, and written word. No previous dance experience is necessary.

Sample Courses at Hampshire

  • Black Traditions in American Dance
  • Contemplative Dance/Authentic Movement
  • Choreography on Film
  • Dance Activism
  • Dance and Culture
  • Dance Repertory
  • Dancing in Context
  • Dancing Motown: Rhythm and Blues, Soul and Funk
  • Division III Dance Seminar
  • Embodied Imagination
  • Fleeting Images
  • Group Improvisation: Exploring Creative Dance
  • Jazz Modernism
  • Laban Movement Analysis
  • Making Dances I and II
  • Modern Dance I, II, III, IV, and V
  • New Millennium Choreographers
  • Somatics: Thinking Body/Moving Mind
  • The Body and Film
  • Twentieth Century American Dance: Sixties Vanguard to Nineties Hip Hop

Through the Consortium

  • Ballet I, II, III, IV, and V
  • Comparative Studies of Latin American Dance
  • Contact Improv
  • Contemporary Dance Technique and Repertory
  • Dance Education: Theory and Practice
  • Rhythmic Analysis
  • Scientific Foundations of Dance
  • Twentieth Century Dance History
  • West African Dance

Facilities and Resources

Hampshire Dance Program
The Hampshire Dance Program's facilities include two sprung-floor dance studios, one of which converts into a fully equipped performance space; state-of-the-art sound and video equipment; and a substantial dance, video, and film collection. Both the small and main dance studios are found in the Music and Dance Building in the Longsworth Art Village, as are the faculty offices.

The Hampshire College library and archives recently acquired the Barbara Mettler dance archive, an extensive collection documenting her career of more than 60 years in creative dance. Mettler's hallmark was creative improvisation, and her conviction that all people could participate in this creative act led her to work primarily with laypeople rather than professional dancers. She wrote extensively and produced a number of films and videos that document her teaching. The collection includes films and videotapes, correspondence and other paper records, scrapbooks, and photographs. The collection comes to Hampshire as a bequest from Mettler's estate after her death in 2002.

Five College Dance Department
The Five College Dance Department is one of the few coordinated multi-college departments in the country. This program is an incredible resource. Among the Five Colleges, a complete and varied schedule of classes is offered, with courses planned and coordinated together as a complete curriculum. A unique benefit of the Five College Dance Department is the ability to work with a wide range of faculty members. Performances, lectures, workshops, and special events are continually happening throughout the Pioneer Valley.